Sotheby’s will be holding an 'Islamic, South Asian & Middle Eastern Week' in London, featuring important auctions of sought-after works spanning centuries and continents. The collection includes a range of collector's items including artworks, objects, scripture and more.
The exhibition will take place from October 21-25, after having travelled through Dubai (October 3-7) and New York (September 15-20) before finally reaching London.
Within the exhibit, the Arts of the Islamic World & India will showcase the heritage left by artists under Islamic patronage from Spain, North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and India.
Amongst the items are stunning Islamic manuscripts, including a Holy Qur'an leaf on vellum dating to the eighth century, a sixteenth-century Safavid Qur'an copied by a student of 'Ala al-Din Muhammad Tabrizi, and a stunningly detailed double-sided page from the Imperial Mughal manuscript the Tarikh-i Alfi, ‘The History of a Thousand Years,' stated Sotheby's on its website.
One of the finest pieces in the collection is an exquisite leaf from the renowned Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, a universally recognised book and a testament to the height of Persian art and literature.
Attributed to the artist Mirza ‘Ali, the illustrated page demonstrates his mastery of both the figural and the natural, as the large composition spills into the margins, creating a captivating scene, filled with mesmerising detail.
The 16th-century folio from Persia’s ‘The Book of Kings’ – one of the finest illustrated manuscripts in existence – is also being offered with an estimate of 4-6 million pounds.
The folio was written for the Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1582 and 1588, and recounts the ruling Caliphs through the Islamic period.
The folio is thought to be the last remaining in private hands, with only approximately eighteen or so others known to survive, the website stated further.
“The Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp is a perfect encapsulation of artistic skill, patronage and beauty — universally acknowledged as one of the supreme illustrated manuscripts of any period or culture and ranking among the greatest works of art in the world,” Benedict Carter, Head of Department at Sotheby’s Islamic & Indian Art, was quoted as saying in Gulf Today.
The Collection of Maharani Jindan Kaur, wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh will also be on display, featuring a carved emerald and diamond-set gold bazuband and gem-set and enamelled belt buckle, from North India in the 19th-century.
The sale will also offer 15 Indian paintings from the collection of Betsy Salinger, the daughter-in-law of author J.D Salinger.
The selection, not seen on the market in decades, crosses centuries, spanning outstanding Mughal folios to the distinctive styles of the lyrical Pahari schools, dynamic Rajasthani schools to the masterful Mughal and Deccani schools and court ateliers, as stated by the Sotheby's website.