The Love of Story-telling and A Scholar’s Treasury

2/10/2017     News Stories & Press Release, Islamic & Indian Art

Roseberys London are delighted to present their Islamic & Indian Arts Auction featuring Modern & Contemporary Art to be held on 23 October.

The 488 lot sale plays host to two important collections; the private collection of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala CBE and Cyrus Jhabvala and the Collection of Professor Rudolf Gelpke, A Scholar’s Treasury.

These collections along with other highlights from the auction are on view at The Clubhouse, 8 St James’s Square, SW1Y 4JU, Thursday 19 from 12pm-5pm and Friday 20 October from 10am-4pm

With a full viewing at Roseberys on Sunday 22 October 10-4pm and Monday 23 October from 9am.


The Private Collection of Ruth and Cyrus Jhabvala (Lots 10-65)

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala CBE (1927-2013) was an eminent writer, winner of the Booker Prize and two-time Oscar Award winner, perhaps best known for her long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions lead by director James Ivory and the late producer Ismail Merchant. Born in Germany, she studied and worked in London until meeting Cyrus S. H. Jhabvala, an Indian-Parsi architect. The couple moved to New Delhi, and subsequently New York and had three daughters. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala wrote novels and tales on Indian subjects, writing a dozen novels, 23 screenplays, and eight collections of short stories and was made a CBE in 1998 and granted a joint fellowship by BAFTA in 2002 with Ivory and Merchant. She is the only person to have won both a Booker Prize and an Oscar.


Cyrus Jhabvala (1920-2014) was born in Bombay and studied architecture at school, leaving for London in 1946 where he worked for the British Ministry of Works as well as private architecture firms. He moved back to Delhi and met R.G. Anand an architect from Lahore, the two of them setting up AAJ, which was amongst the first post-independence Indian architectural firms which rebuilt Delhi to suit a newly independent nation. The success of the firm’s vision of a modernist style for India saw it carry out over 400 residential, commercial, interior design and exhibition design projects. He was made a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Jhabvala was also an artist and painter. His sketches were incredibly detailed, prompting James Ivory to write his work was “as precise as the 19th century photographs… there is a tradition of Indian miniatures that Jhabvala has tapped; it is one of meticulous detail. Some of these paintings remind me of the Mewar School at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th“.


The Jhabvala collection comprises mainly Indian miniature paintings reflecting the couples combined love of story-telling and Indian visual culture.


Lot 27

A lady at her toilette, Bundi, 18th century, gouache on paper heightened with gilt, shown seated cross-legged and holding her veil while gazing into a mirror, gold vessels and a mirror at her feet, green grassy landscape behind with palm trees extending into the wide red border, line of devangari script to reverse, 29.2x21cm

(lot 27) Estimate £2000 – £3000 (+27.6% BP*)


A Scholar’s Treasury, The Collection of Professor Rudolf Gelpke (Lots 250-298)


These lots come from the collection of Professor Rudolf Gelpke (1928-1972), a Swiss scholar and lover of Persian literature. Gelpke’s collection is that of a true scholar. He was obviously interested in manuscripts on a wide variety of subjects. From a rare Jalayrid illustrated historical manuscript, to a handsomely illuminated Qajar Qur’an or a copies of works by Ibn Sina, the collection touches on all subjects. Each individual manuscript seems to have intrigued him. Gelpke was a scholar through and through, and the opening fly-leaves of each of his manuscripts have copious notes – some typewritten and pasted in, others furiously scribbled in pencil – all going into a meticulous level of detail on the book in question. From suggested dates and attributions, to lists of interesting page numbers, a transcription of seals or little sums where he converted dates from the Hijri calendar, working through them, one really feels the love and the keen scholarly interest that Gelpke had in each and every one of his manuscripts.


The other part of this scholarly collection will be included in the Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds auction at Christie’s King Street, which will take place on 26 October 2017.

Lot 174

A Mughal khinjal (dagger) with Koftgari work hilt, India, 19th century, the steel blade of slightly curved form with central raised ridge, the hilt in the form of a horse head decorated with flower heads and scolling stylized vine, 35.2cm. long

(lot 174) Estimate £300-£400 (+27.6% BP*)


Lot 179

An illustration from the Ramayana, the battle between Rama and Ravana, Kangra or Guler, 18th century mounted, glazed and framed, miniature 29 x 36cm.

(Lot 179) Estimate £7000-£9000 (+27.6% BP*)


Modern & Contemporary Art, a selection of 38 works of Indian and Middle Eastern Art


Lot 467

Gobardhan Ash, Indian 1907-1996- “Vasanta”, 1950; gouache on paper, 28.6×28.4cm

Provenance: Purchased by the present owner from the family of the artist

Exhibited: Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, “Tangential Traverse: Modern to Modernism in Bengal Art”, 2014, p.20: Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, “Art of Bengal”, 2012, p.17: Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, “Birth Centenary Show of Gobardhan Ash (1907-2007)”, 22 July-5 August 2007

(lot 467) Estimate £1000-£1500 (+27.6% BP*)

Gobardhan Ash was born in India in 1907, and studied at the Government School of Fine Art, Calcutta between 1926 and 1930. He was appointed Chief Artist at the Indian Institute of Art and Industry, Calcutta in 1946. After working as a teacher to young artists in Calcutta, he became an independent artist in 1953, painting his observations and recollections over the course of his life, until his death in 1996. Regarded as a pioneer of modern Indian art, Gobardhan Ash was active at a time when India was witnessing the advent of Western modernism. His contributions to the field of socio-realist painting are significant and colossal, influencing generations of artists to follow.

Lot 472

Ram Kumar, Indian b.1924- Untitled; ink on paper, signed, 19.7×15.6cm

Provenance: Purchased by the present owner directly from the artist

Exhibited: Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, “Lines and Colours”, 2016 A Certificate of Authenticity from the artist accompanies this lot

(lot 472) Estimate £1500-£2000 (+27.6% BP*)

Born in Simla in 1924 Ram Kumar did his Masters in Economics from Delhi University. A student at the Sarada Ukil School of Art, Delhi he began to participate in group exhibitions when he was spotted by Raza who becomes a close friend. Ram Kumar left for Paris by boat and studied painting under Andre Lhote and Fernand Leger in Paris between 1949-52. He has held several solo exhibitions like the International Biennales in Tokyo in 1957 and 1970, the Venice Biennale 1958 and in Sao Paulo in 1961, 1965 and 1972. He has also participated in the Festival of India shows in the then USSR and Japan in 1987 and 1988. Rarn Kumar received the Padma Shri in 1971. He also writes short stories in Hindi and four collections of his works have been published. He has received the Prem Chand Puraskar from the U.P. Government for Meri Priya Kahaniyan, a collection of short stories.


Lot 481

Ahmet Oran, Turkish b. 1957- Untitled, 2007; oil and acrylic on canvas, 250x190cm

(lot 481) Estimate £3000-£5000 (+27.6% BP*)

Born in Çanakkale in 1957, Ahmet Oran studied painting in İstanbul and Vienna. From 1977 to 1980, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in İstanbul with Professor Adnan Çoker. Between 1980 and 1986 he studied

painting, glass painting and graphic arts under Prof. Carl Unger at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts. Afterwards, Oran continued his studies with Prof. Adolf Frohner from 1986 to 1987. For over twenty years, Ahmet Oran opened numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions both in Turkey and abroad. His works have been exhibited in contemporary art museums including İstanbul Modern, Kunsthalle Bonn and Lentos Kunstmuseum.

Ahmet Oran lives and works in İstanbul and Vienna.


Head of Sale, Alice Bailey



Prices include Buyers Premium of 23%.

For further information please contact Charlotte Meddings +44 (0) 20 8761 2522


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