Coming up on Tuesday 16 June, we have our Fine Japanese, Islamic and Indian Works of Art auction. Ahead of the auction, Mark Newstead, Head of Asian Ceramics and Works of Art, picks out some of the highlights.
To start the auction we have a wonderful array of Japanese works of art. A particular highlight is Lot 83, two Japanese Parcel Gilt Bronze Figures of Warriors.
From the Meiji period, each one wears elaborately decorated robes over his armour, with one sporting a kabuto on his head and wielding a naginata, while his companion lunges with a yari. Each figure bears a gilt plaque bearing Gyokko.
Another highlight is Lot 87, a Japanese lacquer box and cover from the late Edo-Meiji Period. It is beautifully decorated on the mural-nashiji ground in tones of gold hiramakie and takamakie with a view of the torii at Itsukushima temple, with details in kirigane. The sides are decorated with extensive landscape views in the same techniques, and the interior is a rich nashiji with fundame rims, and the inside cover with Taira no Koremochi about to defend himself from a demon. This wonderful piece comes from the property of an English gentleman.
Continuing through the sale, we have an exquisite selection of Islamic Works of Art, including silk hangings. One particular highlight is Lot 110, an Ottoman metal thread embroidered silk hanging with the tughra of Mahmud II.
From a private collection, it showcases beautiful designs. It is heavily embroidered in silver and silver-gilt threads on a predominantly black silk background. It consists of an upper section with a rectangular panel on a yellow ground bearing the inscription, 'Salutations and Peace be upon, o the one, who is the adornement of God', above oral and laurel wreaths, and a small cartouche in red with the inscription, 'the Bismallah'. The lower section has an oral swag topped with inscription-filled cartouches in the form of pineapples which shows 'the Shahadah'. There is a tughra below that, along three sides a narrow inscription-filled border within two borders with continuous repeat vegetal decorative motifs.
The richly decorated panel with its garlands, swags and oral wreaths, typifies the rococo fashion during the reign of Sultan Mahmud II. It might have hung in a prestigious position such as the north facing door of the tomb.
From the Indian works of art section there is Lot 131, an illustration to the Sur Sagar of Surdas, circa 1700.
The Sursagar is a devotional poem dedicated to Lord Krishna, written by the blind poet Surdas who is seen in this painting seated in front of a hut clapping cymbals. The composite scenes include Krishna dancing with the Gopis.
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