Mohammed Afkhami’s family fled Iran after the revolution but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming interested in collecting Contemporary art from Iran. Those works are added to his family’s own holdings of Islamic art and his other collecting interests like vintage advertising posters:Continue Reading
Sotheby’s sale of Islamic art kicked off in London with the first ever Evening sale of what was described as “A Princely Collection.” With a pre-sale estimate of £4.8m at the high end, the total of £7.07m is a huge success especially when viewed through the 95.5% sell-through rate.Continue Reading
Georgina Adam does some sleuthing on this week’s Islamic art sales and the tent-pole auction of a “Princely collection” to figure out where it all comes from:
In a big week for Islamic sales in London who is behind the “Princely collection” of “treasures from the Islamic world” that comes up for auction in the first-ever evening sale in this category at Sotheby’s next Wednesday? The 112 objects, from 9th-century manuscripts and a 13th-century Persian tile to 19th-century Indian jewellery are expected to fetch over £4m. Specialists point out that many of the pieces figured in the book 1,400 Years of Islamic Art, and this reference is indeed given in the catalogue entries – but with no mention that the 1981 book was published by Khalili Gallery, the shop owned at the time by David Nasser Khalili, the Jewish-Iranian Islamic art collector. Continue Reading
Souren Melikian, a scholar of Persian art, remarks upon the growing appetite for Turkish works of art that echoes the larger trend seen in China where economic advancement creates demand for relics of an opulent past:
Turks are now scrutinizing their past as never before and, ironically enough, auction house experts are the only ones who truly respond to this phenomenon. [….] But professionals do not doubt that Turkish collectors have played the lead role in the spectacular price rise of art and antiquities with a perceived Turkish connection — even if the £2.3 million box or the £115,250 Koran may end up in a Gulf emirate at prices that suggest uncontrollable hubris.The rise of Turkish art from the past began a quarter of a century ago or so courtesy of the wealthy financial and industrial establishment. Continue Reading
A Florida woman joins the ranks of surprised art owners who discover their piece is more than it seemed:
[O]n April 15, a painting that Newman snapped up 15 years ago for $200 at a Cleveland estate sale fetched $155,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in London. Newman is pleasantly stunned, not only by the sum, but because she is finally able to know more about the artist who painted the piece. […] Erol Akyavas, a contemporary Turkish artist who lived from 1932 to 1999. Continue Reading
The Economist tells the whole story behind the record-setting carpet sold at Christie’s Islamic sale. That’s a record for carpets and Islamic art:
At the beginning of this year Christie’s received a call from a European dealer. He had a suspicion that a carpet he had recently bought was no ordinary Persian rug, but one of the famed “vase” carpets from Kirman. Made in the city that dominated the rug-making industry of south-eastern Iran for centuries, “vase” carpets are easily identifiable by a pattern of swirling branches, foliage and flowers arranged in vases.
This particular carpet, though, had no vase on it; only a continuing pattern of intricately joined leaves that gave the design an unusual energy and charm. But it was the weaving technique that alerted the dealer to the fact that it might be a “vase” carpet all the same.
Marco Polo, travelling through Persia in 1270, praised the carpets of Kirman as a particular marvel. Continue Reading
The sale brought in £15,447,450
Islamic top ten 14 Apr 2010
The Wall Street Journal gives us a quick look at some of the top lots in London’s Islamic Art week:
A Christie’s highlight will be a richly-decorated, 19th-century room from Damascus with surfaces ornately carved and adorned with gilt stucco and painted with arabesques, floral and architectural designs (estimate: £200,000-£300,000). In 2009, Christie’s sold a similar painted and carved Damascus room for £361,250.
At Bonhams, there will be a rare collection of textiles from the Persian city of Isfahan, where in the 17th and 18th centuries “conspicuous consumption was a social obligation,” Bonhams Islamic specialist Kristina Sanne says. Continue Reading
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 happyContinue Reading