Suleiman the Magnificent’s oil painting Roxelana to be auctioned in London


Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers in fine art and decorative arts, jewelry and collectibles, will hold an auction in London on October 27 titled “Arts of the Islamic World; India.”

The UK-founded company’s auction will celebrate the achievements of artists and craftspeople from the Islamic world for more than 1,000 years.

One of the highlights is an oil portrait of Hurrem Sultan, the famous wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, known in the West as Roxelana. The painting dates from the end of the 16th-beginning of the 17th century.

“We are delighted to have this painting of Roxelana who was the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. She started as a concubine in her harem and rose through the ranks to become one of the most powerful women in the court, so she is incredibly inspiring, ”Sotheby’s Deputy Director Alexandra Yasmina Roy told the agency. Anadolu.

Hailing from what is now western Ukraine, Roxelana entered Suleyman’s harem and quickly became his favorite.

He broke convention by allowing him to bear not just one son, but four. He then broke convention again by marrying her.

She was influential not only as a wife, but was also central to helping him rule the empire. While Suleyman was on the campaign trail, she wrote to him and kept him posted on developments in the capital.

She was also one of the main patrons of architecture and charitable foundations, especially in Jerusalem.

Roy said the painting was estimated to be between £ 100,000 and £ 250,000 ($ 137,000 to $ 343,000).

She joined Sotheby’s in 2011 and has since been in charge of researching and cataloging works of art in the Arts of the Islamic World series, which is held every two years in April and October.

Roy is of Egyptian and French descent and grew up in Oman and Yemen. She has traveled extensively across North Africa and the Middle East.

She also spoke about a pair of items that had never been available on the market before.

These are two extraordinary pairs of 17th century Mughal glasses – one with emerald lenses and the other with diamond lenses.

They were originally made from gemstones that would have weighed over 300 and 200 carats, respectively.

The origin goes back to the mines of Muzo in Colombia.

“These are the most famous emerald mines of the 17th century,” Roy said.

The diamond glasses most likely came from the famous Golconda mines in southern India.

“It’s inconceivable today to do something like that,” Roy said. “To me, they are invaluable in a certain sense.”

Nonetheless, she said they are estimated to be between £ 1.5million and £ 2.5million ($ 2million to $ 3.4million) each.

Other highlights include a silver and gilded brass candlestick attributed to Mosul dating from around 1275; a richly decorated 13th century section of the Koran; a large Polish carpet in Safavid silk and metal thread; the largest known Iznik pottery “grape” dish, circa 1530, as well as scientific instruments, including an astrolabe signed by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Battuti and a 17th century Mughal engraved brass celestial globe.


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