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Sotheby's to Exhibit in Doha Treasures from Its Forthcoming "Arts of the Islamic World" Sale
Diamond and Ruby-set Gold Anklet (Ta’zim), India, 19th century. Estimate: £300,000-500,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

DOHA.- Sotheby's will stage an exhibition in Qatar of highlights from its bi-annual London sale of Arts of the Islamic World. The highlights will be on view to the public at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha from 11am to 8pm on Sunday, March 14, 2010. The exhibition will showcase an exceptional array of around 35 fine and rare works of art that will be available for collectors and connoisseurs to acquire at the Sotheby’s London auction on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The ancient manuscripts, ceramics, metalwork, weaponry, textiles and paintings on view span from the rise of Islam in the 7th century through to the 19th century and represent artistic cultures from the broad geographical area stretching from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Islamic Spain to South Asia.

From Part II of ‘The Tipu Sultan Collection’ to be on view
The ‘Tipu Sultan collection’ will feature outstanding weaponry and other rarities captured after the British stormed the autonomous Muslim Ruler, Tipu Sultan's palace at Seringapatam in May 1799. From the collection, the exhibition will showcase an important and very rare sword and scabbard with Tiger-Form Hilt, from the Palace Armoury of Tipu Sultan, India, circa 1782-99 (est. £50,000-70,000), which was formerly in the collection of Viscount Strathallan and an appliqué and gilt metal-thread embroidered Shamiana (Tent Canopy) from the cloth of gold suite of fabric used by Tipu Sultan in the Royal Toshkana (Hall) of public audience, Seringapatam, circa 1790, which is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Further highlights from the sale to be exhibited in Doha
One of the items to be shown is a Safavid Brocaded Silk and Metal-Thread Textile Panel, Persia, Safavid, 16th or 17th Century. The velvet textiles of Safavid Persia have long been revered for their sophistication of design, their lavish use of materials (silk, often wrapped with silver and gilt foil strips) and extremely complex
structure. Here the two-plane lattice design is punctuated by pairs of exotic birds. This previously unpublished velvet appears to be from the same textile as fragments that are now in the the Bargello Museum, Florence, the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon and the M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, and is estimated at £300,000-500,000.

Highlighting the remarkable artistic traditions of the Ottoman Empire included for sale is a Magnificent and Exceptionally Rare 17th century Ottoman Silver-Gilt Cantaloupe Melon-Form Hanging Ornament, decorated with vivid Peridot gems (est. £150,000-200,000). Intended to hang above the throne of a royal figure, its luxurious elegance is reminiscent of the wealth of an empire that, at its zenith, stretched across three continents.

The splendour of Ottoman metalwork is further represented by a Rare Large Pair of 18th century Ottoman Tombak Stirrups, Turkey (est. 30,000-40,000). Extraordinarily large in comparison to standard 18th century Ottoman tombak examples, these stirrups were produced on special commission, and their size and high artistic quality heightens their rarity.

A Pair of Ottoman Silver Candlesticks Bearing the Khedival Crest of King Fou’ad and the Tughra of Abdülmecid, Turkey, 19th century (est. £60,000-80,000), is included in the sale. Produced under the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid (r.1839-1861), these two magnificent silver candlesticks were presented to King Fou’ad, (r.1917-36), the sultan and later ruler of Egypt and Sudan. Sharing both Ottoman and Egyptian royal background, the candlesticks are of great importance in terms of their history and artistic originality, and no similar pair has been recorded in any famous public or private collection of Islamic art.

Also featured in the sale is a Diamond and Ruby-set Gold Anklet (Ta’zim), India, 19th century, (est. £300,000-500,000), that was once worn by the Maharajah of Morvi from North West India in the late 19th century. Consisting of 18 gold-wrapped twirling links, each encrusted with an oval finelycut diamond and four lateral cabochon rubies, the anklet is inscribed on the reverse in devanagari with the maker’s name. Worn by noblemen on their right foot, these anklets were presented at Court as a sign of honour and status. A photograph accompanying this lot illustrates HH Thakur Sahib Waghji II Ravaji, the Maharajah of Morvi, wearing the anklet on his right ankle, probably taken on the occasion of his becoming a Knight Grand Commander of Order of the Indian Empire G.C.I.E.

An additional highlight is a 17th century Mughal Gold Inlaid and Gem-Set Jade from India, later set as a Brooch by the Parisian jeweller Cartier (est. £200,000-300,000). Thought to have been a bazuband or armband originally, the quality of the chiseled gold inlay and the gem-settings of the brooch indicate that it was almost certainly a courtly piece. On the reverse, the brooch is inscribed with Cartier Paris.

Doha | Sotheby's | Arts of the Islamic World |

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