DUBAI: British auction house Christie’s will hold its first live sale on Thursday since the containment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which will be dedicated to Islamic and Indian art.
The auction, which will take place in the company’s King Street auction room in London, will also include oriental rugs and rugs and follows three months of online sales.
Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam, Islamic Art Specialist at Christie’s, told Arab News: âThe sale offers collectors a unique opportunity to view beautiful artifacts from hard-to-reach areas.
“The sale will be conducted with all social distancing measures in place to protect our staff and customers and therefore we will welcome a smaller group of customers into the auction room than usual, but online and telephone auctions guarantees collectors every opportunity to participate We look forward to being back in the auction room.
The auction will feature a range of manuscripts, objects and paintings from across the Middle East, India and Europe.
One of the highlights will be the collection of the late Dr Mohammed Said Farsi. Born in Mecca in 1935, he grew up near the Great Mosque where he learned to recite the Quran and also drank water from Zamzam’s well.
In 1956, he left Saudi Arabia to study in Egypt, where he was one of 35 students from the Kingdom sent abroad to continue their studies that year.
He then obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning from the University of Alexandria and returned to Saudi Arabia to work in urban planning for 10 years. Farsi went on to become the first mayor of Jeddah and during this period, in 1982, he also obtained a master’s degree from the University of Alexandria for his thesis on the architecture and town planning of Mecca.
When he resigned from the civil service in 1986, Farsi focused his energies on research. He got a doctorate. in Urban Planning, still from the University of Alexandria, and wrote a series of essays on the history of art and architecture which were collected in 1989 and published under the title ‘The History of art in Jeddah â.
One of the great modern patrons of the Middle East, Farsi passed away in March 2019. He was a driving force behind the region’s Egyptian art scene, providing advice and support to many young artists.
Highlights of her collection in Christie’s upcoming sale include a number of ancient Islamic artefacts, Korans, and pottery, including a large molded cobalt blue ewer from Kashan in central Iran, dating to ‘approximately 1,200 and estimated to be priced between $ 25,080 and $ 37,620. The body of the ewer is decorated with a vine wrapped around a band of dancing figures with linked arms.
âThey created these designs using a mold. You are easily fascinated by the figures dancing around the body of the ewer, âMoghaddam said.
The sale starts with the first lot, also from the Farsi collection, of a section of the Kufic Qur’an from North Africa or the Near East, dated around the 9th century, with an estimated selling price between $ 376,200 and $ 627. $ 000.
One of the highlights of the sale is a rare Mamluk ewer finely decorated with silver and gold. It is believed to date from the period of Sultan Al-Malik Al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun (13th-14th century) and is expected to fetch between $ 200,000 and $ 300,000.
Another flagship lot is a Timurid Quran or Aqquyunlu written on a vast array of colorful Chinese papers dating back to the 15th century. It is richly decorated with mountainous landscapes, Chinese buildings, flowers, plants and fruit trees. It highlights the rich artistic exchange between Iran and China and is valued at $ 752,400 to $ 1,128,600.
Another aspect of the sale will be a rich line of oriental rugs spanning 300 years across the Silk Road. Highlights of this section will include a rare azure blue Agra rug woven in the first half of the 19th century and estimated to be priced between $ 50,000 and $ 75,000. Also on sale is a Yarkand East Turkestan silk rug in the iconic pomegranate design, which is expected to sell for between $ 62,491 and $ 87,488.
Auction will also take place on a selection of intricate Iznik tiles and Seljuk style pottery.