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Sotheby’s to offer Stuart Cary Welch collection for sale
Will offer the collection in two parts
By: Diamond World News Service
Nov 11 2010 9:23PM
Reference: 5480  


Sotheby’s is organising a sale in 2011 with the outstanding and scholarly collection of Islamic and Indian Art assembled by the late Stuart Cary Welch. The collection is estimated to realise in excess of £6 million*, and will be offered in London in two parts: Part I. The Stuart Cary Welch Collection: Arts of the Islamic World in April 2011, and Part II. The Stuart Cary Welch Collection: Arts of India in May 2011.

Edward Gibbs, Senior Director and Head of Sotheby’s Middle East Department, commented: “This remarkable collection reflects the passion and taste of a true scholar-connoisseur: the special nature and quality of each object captures some aspect of the dedication and aesthetic sensibility of this gifted and renowned collector, Stuart Cary Welch. The rarity, quality and historical importance of the objects in the collection, coupled with the fine provenance, create an irresistible opportunity for collectors of Islamic and Indian Art.” Stuart Cary Welch (1928-2008) was reputed as a celebrated connoisseur and collector, a curator, scholar and gifted teacher, with the edge of having lent to the study of the art and aesthetics of India and the Middle East for over half a century. His career as a lecturer at Harvard (1960-1995) was complemented by his role as curator of Islamic and Indian Art at Harvard Art Museums spanning over 40 years. These ground-breaking exhibitions revealed the exotic world of art to the public in the USA and Europe, including “India: Art and Culture 1300-1900”, exhibitions devoted to royal Persian painting of the Safavid era: “Wonders of the Age”; Mughal and Rajput painting: “The Art of Mughal India”, “Gods, Thrones and Peacocks”, “A Flower From Every Meadow” and “Indian Drawings and Painted Sketches”; the art of British India: “Room for Wonder”; and painting from the court of Kotah: “Gods, Kings and Tigers”.

The star lot in the sale is an illustrated leaf depicting the story of King Faridun transforming himself into a dragon to test the courage of his three sons, from one of the most famous illustrated Persian manuscripts ever produced, the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, also known as the “Houghton Shahnameh”. The leaf from the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp is one of the most important ever to appear on the open market and is one of the finest miniatures from the book attributable to Aqa Mirak. It is estimated at £2-3 million.

Further highlights from The Stuart Cary Welch Collection: Part I Sale

Five Holy Men at Dal Lake Attributed to the Mughal artist Govardhan. India, circa 1625-30 (estimate: £200,000-300,000).

Part II Sale Bhairavi Raga: Lord Krishna Enthroned and Adored Deccan or Rajasthan, India, circa 1650 (estimate: £30,000-50,000). A South American Monkey named Hussein by an anonymous artist (estimate: £70,000-90,000).

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