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Sotheby's to present second offering of Indian miniature paintings from the Estate of Dr. Claus Virch
An Illustrated Folio from the Garshaspnameh: Nariman Lassoes the Khaqan of Chin in Battle. Ascribed to Bishandas. India, Imperial Mughal, circa 1610. Image: 8 ¼ by 4 ¼ inches. Estimate $12/18,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced the second offering of works from the Estate of Dr. Claus Virch in the Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art auction on 16 March. Dr. Virch, former curator of European Old Master paintings and drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was a renaissance man with refined taste and varied interests. Assembled during the ‘Golden Age’ of Indian art collecting in the 1960s and 1970s, the collection spans 500 years of painting in the subcontinent and is completely fresh to the market, creating an exciting opportunity for institutional and private collectors alike. Noteworthy for its breadth and depth, this group of works is a testament to Dr. Virch’s trained eye and his affinity for beauty and cross-cultural connections in art.

Amongst the many delights from this collection are several significant Imperial Mughal works of the early 17th century. One of these, a folio from the Shah Jahan album portraying Sheikh Amudi Envoy of His Excellency Zayd, Sharif of Mecca (estimate $20,000/30,000), is a fantastic first edition-rendering of this illustrious envoy to the Mughal court and includes an inscription almost certainly by the hand of Emperor Shah Jahan himself, confirming the attribution of the painting to the artist Hashim. Many of the illustrated leaves from the Shah Jahan album were dispersed in the 20th century, being acquired by museums or important private collections. The present folio was neither known nor recorded making it an important discovery and a rare collecting opportunity to connoisseurs of Mughal Art.

The sale also includes a folio from the Persian Epic Garhaspnameh, depicting the hero Nariman engaging in battle with the Khaqan of Chin (estimate $12,000/18,000). The illustration carries the name of the artist Bishandas, who is significant as the only artist to have traveled from the Mughal court to Persia and having lived and worked there, presenting another unique chance to collectors.

Rounding out the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art Works of Art sale are a selection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, religious paintings and decorative works of art from Nepal, Tibet and India, all sourced from private collections and fresh to the market. These works will go on view as part of Sotheby’s Asia Week exhibitions opening on 10 March 2016.

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