Sotheby's sale of the celebrated collection of Islamic and Indian Art assembled by the late scholar and collector Stuart Cary Welch (1928-2008) will take place in two parts, with Part One, Arts of the Islamic World, taking place on 6 April, and Part Two, Arts of India, taking place on 31 May. Assembled over a period of half a century, this remarkable collection reflects the passion and taste of a true scholar-connoisseur, and includes a fascinating range of paintings, calligraphy and works of art from the Islamic and Indian traditions.
Among a host of highly important and rare items to be offered in Part One is an illustrated leaf from one of the most famous illustrated Persian manuscripts ever produced, the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, depicting Faridun in the Guise of a Dragon Tests His Sons (lot 78). This magnificent royal manuscript is acknowledged as one of the supreme illustrated manuscripts of any period or culture.
Other highlights include a breathtaking Mughal miniature of Five Holy Men, attributable to the artist Govardhan and mounted in an album leaf from the famous St. Petersburg Album (lot 94); a leaf from a manuscript of the Gulistan of Sa'di with borders attributable to Sultan Muhammad (lot 74); an exquisite drawing by Reza-i Abbasi (lot 81); a rare Humayun-period Mughal miniature (lot 88); a rare Deccani gilt-copper dagger set with rubies (lot 103); a bifolium from an illuminated copy of the Panj Ganj (lot 104); a group of important Deccani paintings and drawings, and several rare early pieces of metalwork.
The special nature and quality of each object captures some aspect of the dedication and aesthetic sensibility of this gifted and renowned scholar and collector.