Treasures Through Time: Art of the Middle East and India

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Launch Slideshow

The interwoven artistic traditions of multiple continents from the ninth century to the present day are represented in the upcoming week of Art of the Middle East & India at Sotheby’s from 14–20 October. The week will include our bi-annual sale of 20th Century Art: Middle Eastalongside our traditional sale of Arts of the Islamic World and Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art alongside the prestigious Khosrovani-Diba Collection, which comprises a selection of important Indian miniature paintings. The week promises to be of interest to connoisseurs and collectors of past and modern masters. Click ahead to see highlights.

Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art
18 October | London

Arts of the Islamic World
19 October | London

The Khosrovani-Diba Collection
19 October | London

20th Century Art: Middle East
20 October | London

Treasures Through Time: Art of the Middle East and India

  • A portrait of Bayezid I, school of Veronese, circa 1580.
    Estimate: £150,000–200,000. From Arts of the Islamic World.
    This portrait of Bayezid I ‘Yıldırım’ (The Thunderbolt), the fourth ruler of the Ottoman Empire, is part of a series of paintings and prints depicting the genealogy of Ottoman Sultans commissioned by Europeans in the West.



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  • A Mamluk silver-inlaid brass tray stand, Egypt, 14th century.
    Estimate: £150,000–200,000. From Arts of the Islamic World.
    This brass tray stand with inlaid silver decoration likely belonged to a highly placed official at the Mamluk court, its beautiful thuluth inscription heaping praise on its patron. The stand would have held an equally richly decorated tray on which fruits and other luxury foods will have been displayed.



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  • Property from the Late Jafar Ghazi Sa'adi (d.1292 AD), Kulliyat, signed by Na’im al-Din al-Katib, Persia, Timurid, dated 890 AH/1486 AD and 899 AH/1494 AD. Estimate: £80,000–120,000. From Arts of the Islamic World.
    This superb near-pristine Timurid manuscript of Sa’adi’s Kulliyat is the highlight of the collection of the late Jafar Ghazi. Each of these works bears witness to the high esteem in which calligraphy was held in Turkey, the Middle East and Persia from the medieval period up until the end of the Ottoman era.



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  • Ayman Baalbaki, Mulatham series, 2012.
    Estimate: £50,000–60,000. From 20th Century Art: Middle East.
    Ayman Baalbaki’s fierce abstract expressionist Mulatham series, his most admired and widely collected series. This work’s rarity lies in the orange, autumn background - only two of these fall background were produced by the artist.



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  • Ali Banisadr, Creation.Estimate: £120,000–150,000.
    From 20th Century Art: Middle East.
    Since our Doha 2014 sale, Sotheby’s still hold the record for Ali Banisadr, one of the most acclaimed contemporary international Iranian artists.



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  • Monir Farmanfarmaian, Variations on hexagon and octagon mirror, 2005
    Estimate: £120,000–150,000. From 20th Century Art: Middle East.
    Following her show at the Guggenheim NY and Serralves Museum in Porto, Monir has become an international sensation and this work from 2005 is one of her most exquisite and colourful work to appear at auction.



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  • A study of a Stork, from the Lady Impey Series, signed by Shaykh Zayn al-Din, Company School, Calcutta, dated 1781.
    Estimate: £ 60,000–80,000. From The Khosrovani-Diba Collection.
    This painting is one of over 300 natural history illustrations commissioned in the late 18th century by Lady Impey, wife of the Chief Justice in Bengal Sir Elijah Impey. The work was one of two birds from the series to have been part of Jacqueline Kennedy's estate when it was sold by Sotheby’s in 1996.



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  • A royal horse attended by three grooms, Mughal, circa 1570-90.
    Estimate: £200,000–300,000. From The Khosrovani-Diba Collection.
    This scene of an elegant royal horse attended by grooms, one of whom is shoeing him with golden nails, is painted in a style that can be associated with the artists of the Hamzanama, the monumental series of paintings made for Emperor Akbar between approximately 1560 and 1580.



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  • Radha consoled by Krishna in a forest at night, an illustration from the ‘Lambagraon’ Gita Govinda series, attributed to Purkhu or his circle, Kangra, circa 1820. Estimate: £50,000–80,000.
    From The Khosrovani-Diba Collection.
    This lyrical scene is from the so-called "Lambagraon" Gita Govinda series, named after Maharaja Dhrub Chand of Lambagraon. The romantic night scene and the rich, fecund landscape are typical of a series that fully celebrates in visual form Krishna's amorous adventures in the forests with Radha and the Gopis.



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  • Sayed Haider Raza, Bindu (Five Elements).
    Estimate: £100,000–150,000.
    From Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art.
    This delicately rendered abstract painting is a strong example of Raza's depictions of the Bindu. Devoid of any figures or forms, this striking work also hails from a simpler time before a multitude of shapes and words started to pervade his canvases.



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  • Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Untitled, 1973. Estimate: £900,000–1,400,000.
    From Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art.
    This ageless masterpiece is a testament to Gaitonde's painstaking process and exemplifies his proficiency over his medium, and his mastery over light, form, and colour to achieve a refined equilibrium between the real and the ephemeral.



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  • Francis Newton Souza, The Deposition, 1963.
    Estimate: £400,000–600,000.
    From Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art.
    One of Francis Newton Souza’s most moving portrayals of Christ’s agony, Titian’s Entombment of Christ is re-born using his own expressionistic language, which led critics to compare him with the likes of Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon.



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