Islamic Works of Art

Arts of the Islamic world cover artefacts from countries in North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and the Indian sub-Continent.

These works take a variety of forms. They include manuscripts with fine calligraphy; early medieval pottery such as Kashan ware, colourful glazed Isnik pieces or decorative tiles from Safavid dynasty in Iran; metalwares like bronzes from Mamluk Egypt or Timurid Persia; astrolabes which pre-date most of their Western counterparts; and early Silk Road textiles such as Sogdian weavings.


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Sex appeal: Iranian erotic poem

21 November 2022

Sixteenth century single folio manuscript displays orgiastic spree in graphic detail

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Iranian incense burner helps to fuel ‘white glove’ sale

21 November 2022

Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) was another of the London salerooms that held a designated sale in Islamic week.

Ottoman çintamani tile

Top-selling 16th century Ottoman tile stars in our pick of six auction highlights

04 November 2022

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes features a selection of highlights from the UK's week of Indian and Islamic art sales. It includes a rare 16th century tile from Ottoman Syria that made over 22-times estimate.

Persian erotic illustration

Asian Art in London’s Indian & Islamic award winners announced

21 October 2022

Asian Art in London has announced the winners of the first group of its annual awards.

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Baron Headley: A life less ordinary

10 October 2022

Rowland George Allanson Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley (1855-1935) led an extraordinary life.

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Celestial inspiration at Chiswick Auctions

10 October 2022

This pair of Indian gem-encrusted gold and champlevé enamel arm bracelets or bazubands are expected to bring £5000-7000 at Chiswick Auctions’ Islamic Art – Property of a European Collector sale in London on October 28.

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Portrait of much portrayed Qajar monarch offered at Roseberys

10 October 2022

More images survive depicting Fath ‘Ali Shah (r.1797-1834) than of any other Qajar monarch, the result of an enormous effort to replicate images of the ruler for display throughout his realm.

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Curtain covered shrine of the prophet

10 October 2022

This 19th century Ottoman silver thread and black silk curtain is embroidered with the tugra of Sultan Mahmud II (1808-39).

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Autumn delights in busy season for Asian art

10 October 2022

Asian Art in London celebrates its twenty-fifth edition with the annual festival, first held in autumn 1998, running from late October to early November.

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Eastern promise: Asian Art in London awards 2022

10 October 2022

The awards shortlist for Asian Art in London’s Indian & Islamic section has been announced. The Antiques Trade Gazette Award for An Outstanding Indian & Islamic Work of Art from an Auction House and the Apollo Award for An Outstanding Indian & Islamic Work of Art from a Dealer each have three finalists. Winners will be announced on October 20

Isnik tile

Isnik tile makes second spectacular sale appearance

04 April 2022

An Isnik fritware tile familiar to ATG readers made its second visit to the saleroom last week.

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Previews: Islamic & Indian works of art

21 March 2022

The spring and autumn traditionally turn the London spotlight on Islamic and Indian works of art. This year there are specialist sales at five auction houses in March and April: Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams, Chiswick Auctions and Roseberys. Pictured here are some highlights together with associated works of art from mixed-discipline sales.

‘The Newbattle Turks’

Pick of the week: ‘Newbattle Turks’ take a huge £1.1m

31 January 2022

A set of six 17th century portraits depicting Ottoman sultans sparked an extraordinary bidding contest at a Sotheby’s online sale.

Ilkhanid gold and silver-inlaid brass candlestick

Candlestick becomes most expensive Islamic metalwork

01 November 2021

This exceptional Ilkhanid gold and silver-inlaid brass candlestick has become the most expensive Islamic metalwork sold at auction.

Mughal spectacles

Asian Art in London Indian and Islamic award winners announced

21 October 2021

As its annual festival of exhibitions and sales gets under way, Asian Art in London has announced the winners of its Indian and Islamic awards.

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Asian art dealer previews: Best practice

11 October 2021

One of Persian scholar Imam Ghazali’s (1058-1111AD) best-known works, Kimiya-yi Sa’ādat (The Alchemy of Happiness), was compiled late in his lifetime during a period of unrest between Sufi mystics and Islamic scholars – the former accused of overphilosophising Islam and neglecting the importance of ritual practices.

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Asian art auction previews: Gone fishing

11 October 2021

This 9in (23cm) Iznik jug from Ottoman Turkey, c.1580, has an estimate of £40,000-60,000 at Christie’s Art of the Islamic & Indian Worlds sale on October 28.

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Asian art auction previews: Stars and swirls

11 October 2021

Among the Middle Eastern works of art in Woolley & Wallis’ Asian Art Part II sale taking place in Salisbury on November 24 are these two 17th century Safavid Gombroon ware bowls.

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Pick of the week: The 'earliest known portrait of an African in Persian art’

05 April 2021

Among the highlights of last week’s Islamic and Indian art sales in London was this late Safavid portrait of a mercenary in the Persian army painted in the cosmopolitan city of Isfahan c.1680-90.

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Illuminating an African royal dynasty in India

02 November 2020

An early 19th century royal manuscript produced for the Nawab of Sachin, c.1830, was given the Antiques Trade Gazette prize for Outstanding Indian or Islamic Work of Art from an Auction House when the annual Asian Art in London awards were announced last week.

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