Friday 26 April 2024

Lot 246

A monumental bronze bowl signed ‘Abu Bakr Muhamad Ibn Hasan Al-Herati’, Herat, Iran, 13th...

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Lot 246

A monumental bronze bowl signed ‘Abu Bakr Muhamad Ibn Hasan Al-Herati’, Herat, Iran, 13th...

Starting Bid: £6,000

Estimate: £20,000 - £30,000

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Lot 246


A monumental bronze bowl signed ‘Abu Bakr Muhamad Ibn Hasan Al-Herati’,

Herat, Iran, 13th century,

of hemispherical form on a short foot, with wide flaring rim, the rim with six inscription cartouches, four comprising thuluth inscriptions and rabbits on a vegetal ground and two with naskh inscriptions, alternating with roundels, area of loss to rim, 71.3cm. diam. 

Published: Christie’s Arts of the Islamic and Indian Worlds, Including works from the Simon Digby Collection, Thursday 7 April 2011, lot 46 (£70,000-100,000 estimate). 

Provenance: Acquired by the vendor from a UK Private Collection, where it had reputedly been acquired in the 1960’s.


In thuluth to the rim: al'izz wa'l-iqbal wa'l-dawla wa'l salama wa'l-shafa'a wa'l-... wa'l-shukr wa'l-shakira wa'l-'afiya wa'l-tama wa'l-rahma wa'l-rahima, "Glory and fortune and wealth and well-being and happiness and intercession and ... and gratitude and gratefulness and health and entirety and mercy and compassion."

In naskh to the rim: Owner's inscription haji hasan (?) khalvati, "Haji Hasan (?) Khalvati"

Maker's inscription 'amal abi bakr muhammad ibn hasan (?) al-herati, "made by 'Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Herati"


Intact with dented areas on rim, natural patination to the surface. 

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This large bowl is a very rare example of large scale Khorassan metalwork, the quality of which is confirmed by the engraved inscriptions; the maker's signature to the rim, the owner's inscription, and the benedictory inscriptions in thuluth wishing good health and compassion on the owner. The bowl stands on a wide, circular foot and is larger in diameter than any of the published Khorassan bronze cauldrons, the largest comparable vessels datable to this period. 

The presence of a maker's signature is particularly remarkable and is paralleled in the aforementioned caudrons indicating the casting large bronze vessels was something of a technical feat. A cauldron in the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg has a maker's signature of Abu Bakr Mahmud Saffra and a further example in the Victoria and Albert Museum is signed Abu Bakr (see A.S. Melikian Chirvani, Islamic Metalwork from the Iranian World, London, 1982, pl. 10, p. 48). The signature on our bowl is also interesting as it places the vessel's manufacture in Herat, which was formerly eastern Khorassan. 

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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