Mon, Apr 20, 2015

Art & Auctions
Islamic Art Week set to open

Christie’s Islamic Art Week kicks off tomorrow when its two salerooms in London, UK, will host a wealth of treasures from the Islamic and Indian worlds, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship and diversity of works across the category. 

The week will begin with exceptional offerings from the Oriental Rugs and Carpets sale on April 21 and continue at King Street on April 23 with Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds and the South Kensington Arts & Textiles of the Islamic & Indian Worlds sale on April 24, each presenting collectors with a unique opportunity to acquire these rare and magnificent works.


The sale of Oriental Rugs and Carpets at King’s Street will feature property from a number of exceptional collections from across the globe. Leading the sale is an important Mongol empire wool flatwoven carpet from the late 13th or first half 14th century, the only surviving carpet from the Mongol Empire and of significant importance in the understanding of Mongol Empire textiles. It carries an estimate of £500,000-700,000 ($747,250-1.04 million). 

Further highlights of the sale include a particularly fine selection of Chinese carpets spanning three centuries, dating from the early 17th century to the early 20th century, two of which are from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, as well as a seven-m-long, late 16th century Cairene carpet from a private European collection, with an estimate of £60,000-80,000 ($89,670-119,560). 

The auction also features an array of beautiful silk rugs and carpets, including a large silk and metal-thread Koum Kapi carpet (estimate: £80,000-120,000/$119,560-179,340).


The King Street sale of Islamic and Indian Art on April 23 presents  an  important  astrolabe  made  in  Iran  in  AH 1117/1705-06 AD (estimate: £150,000-250,000/$224,175-373,625), demonstrating the confluence of science and beauty in the Islamic world, along with a striking celestial globe from Lahore, 1660 (estimate: £100,000-150,000/$149,450-224,175). 

Also featured is a beautifully rendered Ottoman gilt-copper Chamfron, possibly the most sculptural of all pieces of armour, providing both protection for the horse’s head and the opportunity for great decoration, with an estimate of £120,000-180,000 ($179,340-269010). 

Furthermore, the sale includes a superb collection of rare Iznik dishes, led by an important ‘Damascus-style’ Iznik dish which uses manganese glaze in combination with bright turquoise and emerald green to create the most outstanding of finishes (estimate: £70,000-100,000/$104,615-149,450). Surviving examples of this type of Iznik are few and very rarely appear on the market, providing collectors the almost unique opportunity to acquire such an exquisite work of art.


The South Kensington sale on April 24 will conclude Islamic Art Week with a selection of more than 400 works of art. 

The sale includes a strong selection of Islamic manuscripts and works on paper, led by an important collection of medieval Spanish and North African manuscripts. 

A London collection of Indian silver from the Raj is another highlight of the sale, as well as a fine 19th century, enamelled water pipe from Iran (estimate: £3,000- 4,000/$4,483-5,978), an Ottoman Kutahya pottery dish from the second half of the 18th century (estimate: £3,000-4,000/$4,483-5,978) and an Ottoman silver pen case (divit) from the period of Mahmud I (estimate: £2,000-3,000/$2,989-5,978). 

The sale also features 18th and 19th century Indian paintings, Central Asian textiles as well as ‘Orientalist’ works of art.

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in 2014 that totalled £5.1 billion/$8.4 billion, making it the highest annual total in Christie’s history.

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