This season’s Arts of the Islamic World sale was led by an exceptional Ottoman voided silk velvet and metal-thread panel (çatma), with çintamani and tiger-stripe design from the collection of Argine Benaki Salvago which sold for £1,076,750, marking a record price for an Ottoman textile at auction. Her entire collection, comprising eight Ottoman textiles and objects as well as Greek textiles sold for a total of £2,361,954.
The second highest price in the auction was achieved by an extremely rare Umayyad brass astrolabe, signed by Muhammad ibn al-Saffar, Spain, Cordoba, dated in Western Abjad 411 AH/1020 AD, going to an institution for £608,750. Competitive bidding raised the price of a beautiful Mughal spinel, inscribed with the names of three Emperors, Jahangir, Prince Khurram and 'Alamgir, and dated 1615 AD and 1659 AD, to a result of £272,750 compared to the pre-sale estimate of £60,000 - 80,000.
Encompassing over three continents and a thousand years, this April’s Arts of the Islamic World sale is led by an exciting selection of Ottoman textiles from the prestigious collection of Argine Benaki Salvago, appearing on the auction market for the very first time. Dating to the seventeenth century and hailing from India is a fifty-five carat spinel inscribed with the names of three Great Mughal Emperors, emblematic of the taste for large, uncut precious stones at the court of the Mughals.
The achievements of early Arab science are represented by one of the most exciting astronomical discoveries in recent history: an Umayyad Andalusian astrolabe, signed by Muhammad ibn al-Saffar, made in Cordoba in 1020 AD. A monumental lustre tile fragment from thirteenth/fourteenth century Persia from the collection of renowned Danish potter Erik Reiff exemplifies the mastery of the lustre technique on a large scale. We are also pleased to announce that we will be offering a further selection of calligraphy and manuscripts of the Islamic world from the collection of the late Jafar Ghazi, as highlighted by an illuminated Qur’an juz’ (XVIII) from fifteenth-century Ottoman Turkey, executed in alternating gold and blue script.