IN a private sale negotiated by Christie’s, the Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired this remarkable 16th century tankard made for the Ottoman court.
Its pot-bellied form is based on the indigenous drinking vessels
used in the Balkans, but the materials could scarcely be more
luxurious: jade inlaid with gold and studded with rubies and
emeralds from Central Asia. In around 1800, the tankard was further
embellished with gold rococo fittings.
This is the first vessel of its kind to enter a British national
The tankard was offered to the V&A partly through the
Acceptance in Lieu scheme with additional funding (including major
grants from the Art Fund and the Wolfson Foundation), enabling the
V&A to achieve the total remaining cost of £477,500. It is now
on display in the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art.
The Acceptance in Lieu scheme enables taxpayers to transfer
important works of art into public ownership while paying
inheritance tax. The taxpayer is given the full market value of the
item, which then becomes the property of a public museum.