Asian and Islamic Cultural Heritage

Chinese Buddhas, Moroccan miniatures and Islamic swords – at this Live Auction we can present a large selection of both Asian and Islamic artwork and decorative art from older Danish and international private collections.

Precious Buddhas

At this auction, we once again have the pleasure of presenting a large selection of both Asian and Islamic decorative art from older Danish and international private collections. We begin with art from South-east Asia, and sitting on its throne in all its divine tranquillity is a Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Buddha Amitayus from the Qianlong period. In Buddhism, Amitayus is regarded as the great saviour and is associated with health and eternal life. At the auction, we find him sitting in a meditation pose with a crown on his head and his characteristic ambrosia vase containing the magical elixir of immortality.

From another private collection comes an equally imposing Qianlong gilt Buddha figure. He is meditating on his lotus throne with the sacred mandorla around his head and his two faithful servants – so-called acolytes – by his side. The auction also offers the opportunity to explore Asian porcelain, bronzes and other decorative artwork dating back to the Song dynasty and up to the Republican era in the first half of the 20th century. 

The General’s Wooden Cabinet

The value of the items is one aspect of their appeal, their background another. When we journey to the Islamic parts of the world, we tend to linger a little longer on the history and the interesting provenances. This is the case, for example, with a large wooden cabinet with bone inlays made during the Mughal dynasty in 17th century India. A small silver plaque on the cabinet reveals that it was owned by the Englishman Garnet Wolseley, who was an influential general. He played a central role in modernising the British army and served in many places around the British Empire throughout his career, including Cairo in the early 1880s, where he purchased the beautiful cabinet.

A Mughal wooden cabinet with bone inlays of floral sprays and borders with stylised flowers. India 17th century. Estimate: DKK 40,000-60,000.

The Art Is in the Detail

From the Mughal dynasty, we also have a couple of beautiful miniatures depicting the nobility in an almost paradisical environment surrounded by musicians, waiters and fantastic creatures. The miniatures were at one point sold by Austro-Hungarian-born Max Fruchtermann, who made a career for himself in Istanbul in the late 1800s selling postcards with oriental motifs. These postcards soon became valuable collectibles and barter items for visitors to the city, ensuring Fruchtermann a golden livelihood.

The auction also features a collection of 14 miniature portraits from the 18th century, which are said to depict the Moroccan King Mohammed ben Abdallah and his predecessors with their wives. The portraits were once owned by the art-loving public servant Emanuel Rasmus Grove, who served for a number of years as the appointed Danish Secrétaire du Consul to Morocco.

A group of 14 miniature portraits. Gouache on ivory. 18th century. Estimate: DKK 250,000-350,000.
A fine and important Indian Mogul Tulwar with a blade by Muhammad Baqir. Estimate: DKK 15,000-20,000.

Beautiful Islamic Weaponry

Islamic weaponry is currently in focus in Copenhagen at the violently-themed yet wonderful “Fighting, Hunting Impressing. Arms and Armour from the Islamic World 1500–1850” exhibition at the David Collection. We’re chiming in with two Indian weapons – one is a beautiful Indo-Muslim temple sword that has been part of the Danish collector Peter Salomon’s art collection. The second weapon up for auction, also from a Danish private collection, is an Indian Tulwar sword. The curved blade of the sword was made and signed by the famous 18th century swordsmith Muhammad Baqir Mashhadi. A similar weapon by the same swordsmith is mentioned and depicted in the catalogue for the exhibition at the David Collection. Today, only eight weapons with blades made by him are known to still exist, including the sword up for auction, which makes it a quite rare object.

image
Live Auction

Asian and Islamic art

Wednesday 1 December at 2 pm

If you have any questions, please contact the department

Ralph Lexner Portrait

Ralph Lexner

Ralph Lexner

Head of Department / Havnen
Charlotte  Hviid Portrait

Charlotte Hviid

Charlotte Hviid

Specialist / Havnen
Alexandra  Nilsson Portrait

Alexandra Nilsson

Alexandra Nilsson

Specialist / Havnen
Torben  Friis Møller Portrait

Torben Friis Møller

Torben Friis Møller

Specialist / Havnen