The October 30th Antiquities, Islamic and Indian Arts sale presents a wonderful opportunity for new and experienced collectors alike to make an affordable acquisition in their area of interest. The sale is led by a large and extraordinary scholar’s library, a private London collection of Qajar lacquer, works on paper and manuscripts, five fine Indian paintings with 19th century provenance in addition to metalwork, arms and armour and modern and contemporary paintings.
The private library of Professor Michael Rogers, a renown and respected scholar, former lecturer at SOAS and honorary curator of the world renown Khalili collection of Islamic art, is to be sold as a single lot consisting of over 900 tomes, journals and magazines focusing on Islamic art and archaeology of the Islamic world. Some of the books on offer date to the early 19th century and are rare, out of press or document archaeological sites which are inaccessible.
Outstanding Antiquities works of art include a 4th century B.C. Greek Campanian pottery fish dish attributed to the Heligoland painter which depicts sea bream swimming around a central well designed for dipping sauces. The plate has been published and comes from the estate of costume designer and Bafta winner Anthony Powell (1935-2021).
A group of six pottery vessels circa circa 1400 B.C. -2nd century AD contains two pots with 19th inscriptions confirming the vessels were brought back by Captain Charles Schomberg (1815-1874), an officer of the Royal British Navy, who fought in the battle of the Nile with Horatio Nelson in 1798 and carried out a number of campaigns in the Mediterranean and North African Coast.
The sale presents over 100 lots of manuscripts including a Sudanese 19th century unbound collection of prayers and excerpts from the Qur’an copied by Omar ibn Hassan. It is written in Sudanese script and comes wrapped in an animal skin as is typical of this type. A small 19th century calling card states the book was given to the Hastings Museum by the late Henry Eeles Dresser (1838-1915) the eminent ornithologist and was said to have been taken from the body of a dead soldier at the battle of Omdurman. The battle Omdurman was fought during the Anglo-Egyptian conquest of the Sudan in 1898.
A bronze ewer dating to the 8th-9th century and to Iran has a documented exhibition provenance dating to 1971. Formerly in the collection of the Private Collection of Monsieur H., Brussels, the engraved ewer was exhibited at Persepolis Gallery, Brussels from 28th October – 13th November 1971. It is to be sold with no reserve.
Many of the works in the sale have layers of significance as many are everyday use objects and were very personal to their owner. They were handled by individuals with a wide variety of social ranks, such a 12th century turquoise glazed jug used to hold wine or water (Lot 450), a manuscript on poetry or religion, and a sword with an older blade which has survived many encounters to be remounted in the 20th century for ceremonial purposes.
Of further interest to those seeking inspiration in Islamic and Indian art are the recent exhibition at The British Museum, Artists Making Books, highlights the influence of classical and celebrated Persian poets such as Jalal al-Din Rumi and Hafiz on current writing. The Offbeat Sari at the Design Museum presents a window into this beloved garment and its uses in history in India.