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Heliotrope tazza with turquoises and rubies
Ottoman workshop; Mughal workshop
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Ottoman workshop
Mughal workshop

Heliotrope tazza with turquoises and rubies

XVII century. Bloodstone, Gold, Ruby, Turquoise Room 079B

A vessel carved in a single block of heliotrope. The bowl, with an oval mouth and a very open bell-shaped profile, rests on a smaller ring. The decoration consists of a pattern of lines running parallel to the rim and foot into which four large medallions are inserted, all in embedded gold following the Kundan technique. The medallions are formed with floral incrustations joined by leaves and stalks, with the red of the rubies alternating with the blue of the turquoises. It is a piece of about 1600, made in the Ottoman Empire or India, of a type with relatively frequent examples in the principal collections of works from the period, since these objects in an oriental taste were highly valued. Similar pieces are preserved at Wawel Castle in Krakow, the Musée du Louvre, and Rosenborg Castle in Denmark.

It formed a set with a perfume pan (no. 60 in the 1776 inventory of the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural, and no. 5 in Arbeteta’s catalogue) that disappeared in 1918. One turquoise is missing.

Arbeteta reported that the estimated value of this object increased while it was in the Dauphin’s collection, going from 50 to 80 ducats according to a marginal annotation in the 1689 Versailles inventory, which indicates that the value of exotic objects was then on the rise.

The Museo del Prado has the photograph by Juan Laurent y Minier, Tasse sanguine, avec pierres enchâssées, XVIe siècle, règne de Henri II, c. 1879. Museo del Prado, HF0835/23 (L. Arbeteta, in press).

Technical data

Inventory number
Ottoman workshop; Mughal workshop
Heliotrope tazza with turquoises and rubies
XVII century
Chased; Mounted / set; Kundan
Bloodstone; Gold; Ruby; Turquoise
Height: 6.9 cm.; Diameter: 16 cm.; Weight: 198 g.; Diameter of the base: 4 cm.
Tesoro del Delfín
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Catálogo de las Alhajas del Delfín, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1989 (ed.rev), pp. 116.

Arbeteta Mira, Letizia, El tesoro del Delfín: alhajas de Felipe V recibidas por herencia de su padre Luis, Gran Delfín de Francia, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 145.

Arbeteta, L. Azcue, L., El Tesoro del Delfín, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2018, 2018.

Other inventories +

Inv. Gabinete Historia Natural, 1776. Núm. 64.
Taza con su pie, de piedra sanguina...

Exhibitions +

Oriente en Palacio. Tesoros asiáticos en las colecciones reales
01.03.2003 - 30.06.2003

Location +

Room 079B (On Display)

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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