Christie’s sale shows keen appetite for Islamic and Indian art


The results of last week’s Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds sale at Christie’s King Street saleroom in London demonstrate renewed strength in the market for Islamic and Indian art. That is the view of Sara Plumbly, head of Christie’s Islamic Art department, speaking after the sale which achieved a total of £5.1 million. Top lots included a rare early Iznik pottery bowl from Ottoman Turkey, which fetched £1.4 million, far in excess of its £300,000-£500,000 estimate.

“In a busy saleroom, with many bidding online and on the telephones, high prices were achieved across the category,” she said. “We were particularly delighted with the price achieved for a rare Iznik bowl which sold for £1.4 million breaking the world record for any piece of pottery from the modern Islamic world.”

Elsewhere in the sale strong results were achieved across a variety of media, notably manuscripts, where a Khamsa, copied for Muhammad Shah Bahadur, the son of Baysunghur (lot 5) sold for £266,500 (estimate £80,000-£120,000).

Mughal jade and gemset objects were also a highlight. A jade pendant which was also the earliest known dated Mughal jade, sold for £290,000 (estimate £15,000-£20,000).

“The quality of the jade and the extremely fine calligraphy suggested possibly royal patronage and excited the numerous bidders who competed in the room and on the telephones for the piece,” Said Plumbly. “We were also delighted to welcome a number of new buyers to the category.”