• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 100

    A LARGE FINE SAFAVID BINDING WITH FLAP

    IRAN, PROBABLY TABRIZ, 16TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A LARGE FINE SAFAVID BINDING WITH FLAP
    IRAN, PROBABLY TABRIZ, 16TH CENTURY
    Each board of the brown morocco binding with large rectangular panel of stamped and tooled gilded decoration containing landscapes where wolves, deer and rabbits exist amongst leafy foliage and birds fly amongst stylised Chinese clouds, surrounded by minor border with similarly executed floral vine and a wider border with alternating large and small cusped cartouches containing further vine, the doublures decorated with gilded decoupé arabesque lattice over green, yellow, cream and black panels within minor border of stamped and tooled floral vine and wider border with alternating large and small decoupé cartouches, worn in places, spine replaced
    Each board 14¼ x 9½in. (36.1 x 24cm.)


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    The central panel of the binding of the Akbar-namah in the Chester Beatty Library shares a very similar aesthetic to the present one, from the depiction of the birds and clouds to the sensitive treatment of the serrated edges of the leaves and the prunus flowers. That is attributed, probably erroneously, to 17th century India and is signed by Muhammad Zaman 'Abbasi (MS.3., Berthe Van Regemorter, Some Oriental Bindings in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 1961, pl. 51, p. 24). Two figural bindings published in Jon Thompson and Sheila R. Canby (eds.), (Hunt for Paradise. Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501-1576, exhibition catalogue, London, 2003, nos. 1.3 and 6.3, p. 15 and 158), indicate that stamped figural bindings of this style were being produced in Safavid Iran from as early as circa 1505-1510. This precise date is discernable from the early version of the Safavid taj worn by multiple figures depicted on the binding, which is shorter and thicker to those depicted after around 1510 (Thompson and Canby, op. cit., no. 6.3, p. 158). Haldane writes that new introductions implemented in Tabriz in the first half of the 16th century meant that naturalistic designs were produced on one large stamp, as in the present example (Duncan Haldane, Islamic Bookbindings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1983, pp.104-105).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.