Indian and Islamic Works of Art specialist Arthur Millner has joined forces with auction specialists Thomas Del Mar, Matthew Barton, Charles Miller and George Duckett at 25 Blythe Road
adding to their diverse range of sales.
Arthur will hold two online auctions each year, in April and November. The sales will include bronzes, sculpture, metalwork, textiles, ceramics and paintings. The bidding will be online, while the lots will be available to view in the gallery during the conventional series of viewing days and evenings beforehand.
Having studied classics at Queens College Cambridge, Indian and Islamic Works of Art specialist Arthur Millner started his career in the art world at Sotheby's in 1985. In 1989 he took a year out to do an MA at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), focusing on the Art and Architecture of India. He rejoined the Islamic department at Sotheby's, taking charge of their Indian, Himalayan and South East Asian auctions in London.
Since 2008, he has worked as an independent consultant. In recent years, a particular interest has been the ceramic tiles of Mamluk and Ottoman Syria, the subject of his forthcoming book, Flowers of Damascus.
Arthur lectures and writes widely on Indian and Islamic Art across the country, including the Victorian and Albert Museum and SOAS, and is chairman of the Indian and Islamic Vetting Committee at the Olympia Antiques Fairs, as well as being a member of the committee at the Masterpiece fair in London.
The first online auction of Islamic, Indian, Himalayan and South-east Asian art starts on Saturday 20th April, and finishes 6pm on Tuesday 23rd April 2013. The sale will include a wide range of objects, textiles, paintings and sculpture. Amongst the highlights is a large bronze figure of Padmapani, dating from the 11th century and made in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. Estimate: £8000-12000.
Another spectacular object is the mother of pearl inlaid powder flask, made in western India around the middle of the 19th century, probably for a local ruler, and although largely ceremonial, the original function was to store gunpowder for firearms. The scrolling shimmering form is rounded off with a lively carved ivory tiger head. Estimate: £800-1200.
Many of the British were captivated by India during the period of the East India Company, and later, the Victorian Raj. As the indigenous patronage of local artists and craftsmen declined, its place was taken by a ready market for paintings produced by British expatriates as mementoes of the country. Popular subjects were local flora and fauna, images of the multiplicity of tradesmen and views of local monuments. A particularly charming example is the silver gilt box with a miniature painting of the Taj Mahal on ivory set into the lid. Estimate: £600-800.