News: Middle Eastern Delights

11/10/2018     News Stories & Press Release, Islamic & Indian Art

The Bi-annual Islamic & Indian Art auction (held in April and October) offers a wide range of art and artefacts celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Islamic world.

From lot 69, A Kufic Qur’an folio, from near East or North Africa, 9th/10th century (pictured above) to lot 478, by Sonia Khurana (b. 1968) SOMNAMBULISTS – IV (DIPTYCH), 2010, edition 1/6. Digital print lightbox.

The auction includes, paintings, manuscripts, works of art, pottery, metalwork, textiles and in contrast some of the rising stars of the contemporary Middle Eastern Art world.

In the first section of the sale is Lot 15:

An Egyptian bronze plaque for Amenirdis I, dating from the late Dynastic Period, 25th Dynasty. Reign of Shabako -Shebitku, c.714-700 BC., 28 x 7.3 cm

Provenance of the piece: Found in Memphis c.1900-01. Private collection Switzerland, acquired 1960s; The plaque engraved with a standing female figure identified by the cartouche below the was-scepter as Amenirdis I. The inscription reading ‘The God’s wife, the divine votaress, the God’s hand Amenirdis, may she live.’ The priestess, wearing a double plumed headdress with uraeus on her forehead, holds offerings in her outstretched arms.

Amenirdis I, a Kushite princess, ruled as high priestess during the reigns of Shabako and Shebitku. On her death she was buried in a tomb in the grounds of Medinet Habu. This plaque was part of the hoard of bronze objects discovered by Daninos Pacha (excavations in Memphis, 1900-1901) and other ‘diggers’ before him. They were, however, originally from Thebes as Osiris “who resides in Thebes” and the God’s wives of Amun are mentioned on some of them. According to G. Daressy, they were probably looted during the Persian invasion (525 B.C). The panels were probably set in offering stands or similar pieces of temple furniture. After the discovery, some of these objects went to the Cairo museum and some were sold on the art market with examples eventually acquired by a number of museums including Baltimore, Boston and the Louvre. Literature: For discussion of the group and illustrations of other examples see G. Daressy, ‘Une trouvaille de bronze à Mit Rahineh’, Annales du Service des Antiquités 3, 1902, p.142. Also Laurent Coulon, ‘Les Plaques de Bronze Trouvées à Memphis par Daninos’ in ‘Egypte, Afrique and Orient’, no.56, pp.53-64. An image of Amenirdis I can be seen on the walls of her chapel in the south of the enclosure at Medinet Habu.

Estimate £900-1,100*

In the manuscript section Lot 69 a wonderful Kufic Qur’an folio, from near East or North Africa, 9th/10th century, Qur’an II, sura al-baqara, Arabic manuscript on vellum, double-sided, with 6ll. of sepia Kufic, red, yellow and green dots marking vocalisation, folio 19 x 26.5cm. approx.

Estimate £2,000-3,000*

From the antiquities section is lot 39, A stone Cuneiform tablet, Sumerian, Third Dynasty of Ur, c.2100-2000 B.C – the small piece measuring just 5.4 x 4cm is a very early record of human writing.

Provenance is from a Private collection in Buckinghamshire.

Estimate 300-400*

Highlights of pottery include lot 219:


A Mamluk pottery tile with ewers, Egypt, 14th century, of square form, decorated in cobalt and manganese under a clear glaze, the ewers depicted on a tall foot or stand amongst wavy vegetation, 20.5 x 20.5cm.

Estimate £2,000-3,000*

On offer in metal work is lot 165: An inscribed Mamluk silver inlaid brass candlestick, Egypt or Syria, 14th century, cast with truncated waisted conical body and wide drip tray, the mouthpiece following the form of the base, base section with a large band of thuluth calligraphy against a vegetal ground separated by two circular inscription roundels, neck with various repeating designs and smaller band of calligraphy, around the body, in large thuluth : al-maqarr al-‘ali al-mawlaw[i] al-amiri al-kabiri al-maliki (High Authority, the Lordly, The Princely, The Great, The Possesor’), in the circular roudels, in radiating thuluth: al-maqarr al-‘ali al-mawlawi, al-amiri al-kabiri al-‘alami al-nasir (High Authority, The Princely, The Great, The Learned, the Victorious’), with later owner’s name engraved on the shoulder: al-amir harith (?) al-mahdi , 23cm. high Provenance: Purchased by the current vendor at Christie’s 11 June 1986, Lot 370.

Estimate £3,000-5,000*

Included in the Modern & Contemporary Art section is Lot 439:


Leila Shawa, Palestinian, b. 1940, ‘Lady of the Lilies’, 1989, oil and acrylic on canvas, signed and dated “LRS ’89” and in Arabic below, lower right, 71 x 91cm.

Shawa was born in Gaza, 1940. She is a Palestinian artist whose work has been described as a personal reflection concerning the politics of her country, particularly highlighting perceived injustices and persecution. She is one of the most prominent and prolific artists of the Arabic revolutionary contemporary art scene. As a Palestinian living in the Gaza Strip for her formative years and the daughter of Rashad al-Shawa, activist and mayor of Gaza 1971-82, Shawa’s revolutionary mindset was inculcated at a young age. Often her artwork, which includes paintings, sculptures, and installations, works with photographs that serve as the base for silkscreen printing. Her work has been internationally exhibited and is displayed in many public (The British Museum, The Barjeel Art Foundation) and private collections.

Estimate: £6,000-8,000*



A selection of highlights from the auction will be on view at: The Clubhouse, 8 St James’ Square, London, SW1Y 4JU

Monday 15 October 12pm-5pm

Tuesday 16 October 10am-4pm


Full viewing Times at Roseberys:

Thursday 18 October 1-5pm

Friday 19 October 9.30am-5.30pm

Sunday 21 October 10am-2pm

Monday 22 October 9.30-10.30am


Head of Department: Alice Bailey



*Prices include Buyers Premium of 25%.

For further information please contact the Press Office +44 (0) 20 8761 2522


Roseberys is a privately owned auction house operating at the heart of the fine art market for 30 years.

With offices in London’s Mayfair and Lambeth Roseberys offer a calendar of more than twelve specialist fine art, antiques and collectibles auctions each year.

Specialist sales include a wide range of Asian and Islamic Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, Decorative Art, Fine Silver and Jewellery, Ceramics, Paintings, Prints, Photography, Antique Textiles, Vintage Fashion and Fine Wine and Whisky.

Roseberys team of world-renowned specialists also provide a wide range of art market services to professional clients, including valuations for insurance and probate.

Roseberys is a member of SOFAA – The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers.



Select your interests to receive news and catalogue updates.



More News