To promote their April sale of Islamic Art in London, Sotheby’s have sent the highlights to Abu Dhabi where The National gets to hear Sotheby’s department head, Edward Gibbs, tell his best war stories:
- “It was a day in April 2004 around midday and I had only worked for Sotheby’s for six months. He pulled this beautiful dagger out of his pocket; it was about the same size as a paperknife with beautiful lapis lazuli set with a ruby, the blade decorated with gold inlay. It was an exceptionally rare Ottoman dagger from the reign of Sultan Suleyman […] The dagger realised more than £1 million against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-£70,000, and needless to say the family was extremely happy
- Another of Gibbs’s “finds” was a rare carpet that had been rolled up in somebody’s house since 1910, and once again, the owners did not know what they had in their possession. […] It turned out to be Safavid carpet. The Safavids ruled Persia in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Under their patronage some of the greatest art works were produced. The carpet was a gift from the Persian shah to the sultan of Turkey. It made £2.7 million, 20 times the predicted amount.
Treasured Memories (The National)