Sotheby’s spring sale of Arts of the Islamic World & India on 31 March celebrates the production of historic objects, paintings and manuscripts from across a multitude of continents and over ten centuries. The auction will be led by a magnificent twelfth-century silver-inlaid scalloped basin adorned with astrological designs (est. £1,000,000-1,500,000), measuring fifty centimetres in diameter. Crafted in the shape of the sun and featuring the zodiac signs, solar symbols, planets, animal heads and anthropomorphic calligraphic scripts, this rare basin was made to symbolise the universe and harness its energy – evidence of a counterculture of astrology in the Muslim world, which predated Islam and continues to this day. A courtly object, the dish would have been made for a ruler in order to assert their power within both an earthly and cosmic sphere whilst also having a protective and auspicious function. It has never previously been exhibited, having remained in the same private family collection for decades, so is set to make its auction debut. For further highlights please see the press release.
As Part of Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World & India Auction on 31 March 2021