A small Indian cornelian bowl, mounted in gold filigree, 17th Century .

The bowl originated from Cambay on the west coast of India, but the gold filigree base is perhaps of European origin, 4.2 cm in diameter.

It came to Burghley as part of an enormous bequest to Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703), from her mother Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1689).

The bequest was recorded in an inventory known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which lists: ‘A Round Cornelian Cup with a Gold philigrin ffoote.’

Cornelian is a type of chalcedony which derives its colour from iron oxide impurities in the mineral.

Cambay, where it is still found, has been a centre for the production of such pieces for many hundreds of years.


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