We are thrilled to have surpassed the £1 million mark (including buyers premium) with our April 28th Antiquities, Islamic and Indian Arts sale. This was a terrific sale with buyers from across the globe competing in all three areas of the sale. Roseberys' Islamic and Indian Arts Department put their mark on the Indian contemporary scene with the impressive £312,000 sale of a S.H. Raza (1922-2016) Bindu work from 1995. Contemporary art works did very well and we are excited to continue our journey into this field. The sale’s top 10 works included four manuscripts and three Qur’an bifolios proof that the market is very strong for text and calligraphy. We were particularly delighted to see a rare Mamluk astronomical treatise take pride of place securing a winning bid of £182,000. Alice Bailey Head of Antiquities, Islamic and Indian Arts commented, “I can’t expressed how delighted we are that the hard work paid off and we had such brilliant results for our clients. We had high hopes for our Raza which were exceeded and the strong focus we placed on manuscripts and fine Indian miniatures was appreciated and rewarded by our buyers. We look forward to our Arts of India sale on June 14th.”
Our top lot and standout result was the wonderful Bindu by contemporary Indian master S.H. Raza. This was a UK record sale price for the artist. The beautiful work combined with the current retrospective of the artist’s work at the Pompidou Centre, Paris fuelled bidding from across the globe. Bought by a private art collector it was a competitive fight right until the hammer went down. Achieve £312,000 (including buyers premium) the work is proof of Roseberys ability to sell high value works.
Continuing our success with offering well provenanced medieval Islamic manuscripts a very rare Mamluk astronomical treatise based on Al-Sufi’s Book of the Fixed Stars dated to the end of the 13th century flew to achieve £182,000 (including buyers premium). The rare manuscript from a private UK collection was fiercely driven up from its pre-auction estimate of £600 by several clients on the phone and internet.
Continuing the success of astronomical manuscripts in the sale, an Ottoman copy of the Marifetname of Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumlu (d.1780) dated to 1709 smashed its pre-auction estimate of £800-1200 to achieve £20,800 (including buyers premium). Containing numerous gold and polychrome illustrations and diagrams the richly illustrated manuscript sold to a private collector.
A rare and wonderful 12th century Italo-Islamic marble roundel captured the desire of bidders with a Fatimid style scene of bird and rabbit. The roundel which featured a border of beading relates to ceiling paintings in Palermo dating to the mid-12th century and carved ivory caskets and oliphants of the same period. The final price achieved after two telephone bidders battled it out was and impressive £57,200 (including buyers premium).
An Armenian early copy of the Book of Gospels containing beautiful marginal decorations and depictions of three of the four evangelists in its original wood and leather binding reached £19,500 (including buyers premium) with bidders in Europe, the US and the UK competing. Gospel books were the most treasured and lavish of Armenian books, often revered as sacred relics.
A very rare Iberian carved limestone head of a woman secured a place in the top five lots with a price of £20,800 (incl. buyers premium). Iberian works are extremely rare and do not come on the market often. The present work was part of a deceased estate and sat in a garden shed, used as a source of inspiration for its former artist owner. The striking head features rodete to either side of the head, coils of hair entwined with fabric, iconography which can be found of other female busts of the period and was part of the worship of Tanit the goddess of Carthage.
A miniature Ottoman qur’an signed by ‘Abd al-Fakir Muhamaddun dated 1501AD with a 19th century binding and decoration from a private UK collection thrilled its owner to achieve £19,500 (incl. buyers premium) going to a buyer in the room. The richly decorated Qur’an which had nearly 500 pages of fine miniature script was much admired.
A wonderful small bifolio and folio in gold Kufic script on vellum were part of four lots of early calligraphic folios which sold far above estimate for £16,900. The folios had a rare combination of excellent provenance and beautiful script.