Our biannual sale of Arts of the Islamic World comprises an exceptional array of fine and rare works of art including important examples of ancient manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork, weaponry, textiles, and paintings that span the period from the rise of Islam in the 7th century through to the 19th century. Furthermore the pieces on offer represent artistic cultures from the broad geographical area stretching from Islamic Spain all the way to China.
The diverse and remarkable artistic traditions of the Ottoman Empire are embodied by an exceptional early 16th century Ottoman ivory and turquoise-inlaid box set with rubies. This unique treasure, crafted by Persian goldsmiths working for the Ottoman court for a high-ranking courtly figure, is believed to have been made to contain scales to measure the weight of gemstones. Furthermore, the luxurious elegance a 17th/18th century silver-gilt hanging ornament decorated with vivid peridot gems and intended to hang above the throne of a royal figure is reminiscent of the wealth of an Empire which, at its zenith, stretched across three continents. The earlier Ottoman period is represented by a superb selection of Iznik tiles from the celebrated Robert Strauss Collection, formed during the 1950s.
Many of the items included in the sale are distinguished by their provenance. A lavishly adorned sword and scabbard from the armoury of Tipu Sultan, one of the great heroes of Indian history, is notable for its hilt, meticulously decorated with growling tigers heads of extraordinary quality. Additionally, a pair of fine silver candlesticks was presented to the Egyptian king Fouad (r.1917-36) at the end of the 19th century.