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Aankomende week zal er een grootschalige veiling plaatsvinden van islamitische kunst in Londen. Onder andere bij het bekende veilinghuis Sotheby’s.

Auctions of art from India and the Islamic world are among my favorites. So many objects are exquisitely made, bursting with color and historically compelling. These regions will lead at London auction houses next week as painting, calligraphy, pottery, metalwork, glass, ornate weapons, textiles, jewelry and coins go under the hammer.

Morton & Eden, in association with Sotheby’s, will hold a 164-lot sale of Islamic coins on Monday. The auction will be headed by a gold dinar dating back to 708 A.D. that is expected to fetch £800,000-£1 million. The coin is believed to have been struck from gold produced from the Mine of the Commander of the Faithful, a legendary site northwest of Mecca. In April of last year, a gold coin from the same mine was sold for £3.72 million, the highest price ever paid for a coin at a European auction. “The sale attracted tremendous interest,” says specialist Tom Eden.

This Indian miniature of the Maharaja of Jodhpur in discussion with a prince on a palace terrace (circa 1840) is estimated at £3,000-£4,000.

Bonhams will follow on Tuesday with a general sale that includes delightful 16th- and 17th-century Iznik pottery from Turkey and 17th- and 19th-century Indian miniatures. “The Turkish and Indian markets are extremely strong,” says Bonhams specialist Alice Bailey. An Iznik dish from circa 1750, decorated with cobalt-blue peonies, is expected to fetch £50,000-£70,000; and an Indian miniature from circa 1840 featuring the Maharaja of Jodhpur talking to a prince on a palace terrace, both dressed in fiery orange robes, a more moderate £3,000-£4,000.

Tuesday through Thursday, Sotheby’s will hold a series of sales covering Classical to contemporary art and objects. For the first time, Sotheby’s will include an Orientalist auction in its Islamic week. Up until now, this sector—primarily consisting of works by 19th-century Western artists visiting North African and Middle Eastern countries—was embedded in sales of 19th-century European art. “Orientalist art has traditionally attracted a great number of 19th-century collectors. Then, in the early 21st century, there was a rise in interest from the regions where the paintings were made. Now there are synergies with Islamic sales,” notes Sotheby’s specialist Claude Piening.

The most highly estimated work in Sotheby’s 33-lot “Masterpiece” Orientalist sale is “The Scholar” (1878) by Turkish artist Osman Hamdi Bey, included because he was the first Turkish artist to use a European painting style. In this captivating work, a man lies in an elaborately decorated corner of a mosque reading a book (estimate: £3 million-£5 million).

Another top lot will be Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky’s breathtaking “View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus” (1856), estimated at £1.2 million-£1.8 million. Fascinated by the Orient, the Russian artist of Armenian descent became a court painter to Ottoman sultans.

Sotheby’s general sale will also have a superb weapons section, headed by a 17th-century Ottoman dagger of gold and jade, estimated at £400,000-£600,000.

Christie’s will hold a number of sales during the week. On Thursday, a private collection of works on paper, donated to benefit the University of Oxford, will be spearheaded by a 13th-century example of “mufradat” by Islam’s most famous calligrapher, Yaqut Al-Musta’simi. (Mufradat demonstrate the perfect way to combine letters). “It is absolutely gorgeous,” says Christie’s specialist William Robinson (estimate: £800,000-£1.2 million). Another gem will be a 16th-century Quran, written entirely in gold (estimate: £200,000-£300,000).

On the same day, Christie’s general 373-lot sale will include highlights such as a 13th-century glass bottle from Syria, decorated with Arabic and Greek Byzantine inscriptions and small animals (estimate: £600,000-£800,000).

Bron: The Wall Street Journal

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