International Art Market: Islamic candlestick sets record: Discovery of medieval Turkish artefact at bank 'like finding a lost Rembrandt'

A blue and white pottery candlestick which had been left with the Regent Street branch of the TSB as collateral for a loan set a new auction record for an Islamic work of art at Sotheby's last week when it made pounds 617,500.

The bank had sent it for sale expecting to collect about pounds 200,000. It has turned out to be one of the very earliest products of the Turkish potteries established at Isnik, 60 miles south- east of Istanbul, in about 1480.

The existence of such a candlestick had been known to scholars from a 1903 publication when it was in a French collection. Since then it had not been sighted. 'To walk into a local bank and get shown the piece was like finding a lost Rembrandt,' Dr John Carswell, Sotheby's Islamic expert, said. It was bought on behalf of a Middle East collector.

The price underlined the recovery of prices for Islamic works of art, recorded across all Sotheby's and Christie's 'Islamic week' sales, for pottery, metalwork, manuscripts and textiles. Recession and the Gulf war had greatly discouraged bidders last year.

The second major highlight of the week was the pounds 441,500, or double estimate, paid at Christie's for a 17th-century silk and metal thread carpet of the type known as a 'Polonaise' - these richly ornamental carpets were popular in Poland. The price sets a new auction record for a Persian carpet.

Purse strings seem to have been loosened across the Middle East. Sotheby's sales in Tel Aviv on 14 and 15 April, timed to coincide with the Passover celebrations, which attract foreign Jewry to Israel on a large scale, were an unprecedented success.

The modern picture sale ran 65 per cent above estimate with an early Chagall, Return from the Synagogue, reaching pounds 1,073,051, or double expectations. The Judaica sale made twice as much as the equivalent auction last year and included a ravishing illuminated manuscript of the Machzor Rome, a compilation of festival prayers and biblical readings completed in 1480, at pounds 756,536. It was made in Pesaro, Italy, for Elijah ben Shlomo of Ravenna and had been on loan at the British Museum for years.

In more mainstream fields, the market recovery was less obvious. Buying was still selective at the sales of British and foreign silver mounted in New York. Christie's had attracted two collections of silver by Paul de Lamerie, the most famous British silversmith. While 20 pieces out of the 25 on offer sold, the star turn was not among them - a rococo two-handled cup and cover made for the 6th Earl of Mountrath in 1742. Christie's estimate of dollars 500,000 ( pounds 320,000) to dollars 800,000 ( pounds 512,000) was apparently too high. The top sale price was pounds 285,484, below estimate, for a pair of Lamerie soup tureens and covers.

The spring Old Master picture sales in London contained very little of interest and scored somewhat depressed prices. The exception was Sotheby's group of seven paintings commissioned by the Queen of France, Marie de Medici, in 1623 for the Luxembourg Palace, which depict Medici family history; they sold for pounds 1,651,500 or three times the saleroom estimate.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Assessor

£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

HR Advisor (Employee Relations) - Kentish Town, NW London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor (Employee Rela...

Derivatives Risk Commodities Business Analyst /Market Risk

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...

Power & Gas Business Analyst / Subject Matter Expert - Contract

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering