Antiquities, Islamic and Indian Arts sale at Roseberys

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On October  28th, Roseberys is pleased to be presenting a sale of Antiquities, Islamic, and Indian Arts. The sale will feature over 550 lots from a number of private collections, including an important hoard of Anglo-Saxon burial finds from Ozengell. Other highlights include shabtis and Hellenistic glass from a private Edinburgh property.

Alice Bailey, the head of the department said of the sale: “Our Islamic manuscripts section is very strong this sale with a US private collection featuring Ottoman, Safavid and North African manuscripts, qur’ans and texts. We also are pleased to present an illustrated folio from the “Freer Small” Shahnamah datable to 1300-40, other folios of which are in the Freer Gallery, Washington and the Aga Khan collection. We also have wonderful Ottoman and Greek textiles from the collection of Neville Kingston (1955-2019), a Mamluk tunic fragment from the collection of Leopold Iklé (1838-1922). Our Indian art section features paintings and the library of former Indian art scholar and Keeper of Indian Visual Materials at the British Library, J.P. Losty (1945-2021), we also have contemporary paintings and drawings from the private collection of Mrs Ute Rettberg.”

The standout lot of the sale is Lot 434,a Sikh Amlikar Rumal – an embroidered square pashmina – depicting scenes from the Iskandernama (the Book of Alexander the Great). The elaborately embroidered shawl replicates the shawl of Maharaja Gulab Singh from Jammu and Kashmir, which is dated 1852, and is now in the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh. The style in which the shawl is embroidered was first used to decorate Sikh robes and sashes, and the most elaborate would illustrate themes from Persian mythology and maps. It comes with an estimate of £2000-£2500.

Our next highlight lot is Lot 6, a collection of three Egyptian glazed faience shabtis from a Scottish private collection of Antiquities. The shabtis each hold a pick, hoe, and have a frontal column of hieroglyphic script. The set dates to the Late Dynastic Period (c. 664 – 332 BC) and comes with an estimate of £700 to £1000.

Lot 84 is part of the selection of works Roseberys has to offer from the private collection of Oscar-winning costume designer Anthony Powell (1935-2021). This lot is a particularly rare, early 16th Century illustration to a mid-13th Century explicit poem from Bukhara, Iran. This single folio was part of a manuscript of the collected works (Kulliyāt) of the renowned 13th-Century Persian poet and mystic, Saʿdī of Shiraz. Illustrations after Saʿdī‘s verses made before the 17th Century are extremely rare. Lot 84 comes with an estimate of £3000 to £5000.

The next highlight – Lot 100 – is an Epirus silk embroidered bocha panel dating from the 18th Century. It is one of 6 embroideries Roseberys has on offer from the collection of renowned textile collector Neville Kingston. Known for his collection of Central Asian carpets and textiles, Neville travelled widely (visiting Central Asia and Istanbul frequently) and fastidiously attended auctions to build his collections. This bocha is available for an estimate of £5000 to £7000.

Lot 124 is a 14th Century Mamluk wool tunic fragment – likely the front panel of the tunic – from North Africa (potentially Egypt). The piece is from the collection of renowned 19th Century collector, industrialist, and connoisseur Leopold Iklé, from whose collection many of the fine examples in Switzerland’s Textile Museum come. According to Iklé, , this fragment was found in an archaeological dig in Egypt and was originally dated to the Fatimid period (however similar embroideries in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford suggest a later dating). This Mamluk tunic comes with an estimate of £2000 to £3000.

Another highlight is Lot 210, an early Ottoman manuscript from the private collection of Michel Abemayor. It is one of 27 manuscripts from Abemayor’s collection which includes Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman manuscripts and calligraphies. This lot comes with an estimate of £1000 to £1500.

Lot 253 is an illustrated folio from the Freer Small Shahnameh, showing Sawa Shah being slain in battle by Bahram Chubina. The folio is Iranian and dates from the early 14th Century. The Shahnameh was first composed around the turn of the 11th Century, and is made up of 50,000 rhyming couplets documenting the live of 50 Iranian kings before the arrival of Islam in Iran. The ‘Freer Small’ references the fact that the manuscript has been kept in the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington DC for the majority of the 20th Century. This work is estimated at £3000 to £5000.

Estimated at £400 to £600, Lot 319 is a 19th Century Iranian inscribed pear-wood qashaq (sherbet spoon) featuring a portrait of Nasir Al-Din Shah and nasta’liq Persian inscriptions. In the 19th Century, the town of Abadeh (where this spoon was made) was famous for its elaborate qashuq spoons made of pear- and box-wood. These spoons were made in varying sizes, some for drinking sherbet, others for soup, rice, or pickles.

From our Indian painting section comes Lot 351, depicting the wedding of Krishna and Rukmani in a late Kangra style. The piece comes from the Punjab Hills in North India and dates around 1840-50. Krishna can be seen mounted on horseback with his brother Balabhadra within the palace walls, with Rukmani hidden in a palanquin above with an embroidered purple and gold cover. The painting has been enhanced with gold and silver pigments and has an estimate of £1500 to £2000.

Our last highlight is Lot 473, a 20th Century watercolour entitled ‘At the Feet of Their Master’ by Indian artist Devayani Krishna. The piece comes from the collection of Mrs Ute Rettberg and is offered at £800 to £1200. A further 21 works from Mrs Rettberg’s collection – including works from Laxma Goud, Laxman Pai, Sunil Das, and B Prabha – round out the auction.

The auction will take place on Friday 28 October, at 10.00 am


Preview of Selected Highlights at 12 Hayhill, W1J 8NR

Thursday 20 October: 12 pm – 8 pm
Friday 21 October: 10 am – 4 pm

RSVP is required. To request certain lots are brought please email

Viewing at Roseberys:

Sunday 23 October: 10 am –  2 pm
Monday 24 October: 9.30 am – 5 pm
Tuesday 25 October: 9.30 am – 5 pm
Wednesday 26 October:  9.30 am – 5 pm
Thursday 27 October: 9.30 am – 5 pm