The Arts of the Islamic World auction presented beautiful rare objects telling the story of over a thousand years of artistic exchange and influence in the Islamic world, bringing an above-estimate total of £5,416,625 (est. £3,594,300- 5,131,200).
The sale was led by an impressive painting depicting the enthronement of Sultan Osman II in 1618, that sold for £521,000 (est. £150,000-200,000). Painted by an artist traveling with Baron Hans Mollard von Reinek, the Austrian ambassador at the time, this work represents perhaps the earliest known depiction of an Ottoman courtly ceremony. A rare and exciting discovery, one of only two known Iznik examples in existence, a late 16th-century lavender-ground pottery matara sold for £389,000, nearly eight times its pre-sale estimate.
Featuring over a thousand years of artistic exchange and influence in the Islamic world from China, to India, Persia, Turkey, North Africa and Europe, Sotheby’s sale of Arts of the Islamic World is led by a magnificent Ottoman tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and brass-inlaid scribe’s box of exquisite craftsmanship from the sixteenth century. Also hailing from the Ottoman world is a superb dagger with a blade finely inlaid with gold with a carved Mughal jade hilt. One of the earliest works included is an extremely rare Qur’an leaf written in Eastern Kufic script on a background of delicate foliate scrolls from a manuscript dated between 1075 and 1125 AD.
We are also delighted to present important works of art from the collection of the distinguished lawyer, journalist and advisor to the ‘Ali Pasha dynasty at the turn of the twentieth century, Octave Borelli Bey (1849-1911). These works provide a rare insight into the lifestyle of one of the most influential French expatriates in Egypt, revealing the unique aesthetic of his French chateau.