Auction Atrium Indian and Islamic Art Sale

Auction Atrium, the London online auction house, is pleased to announce its inaugural auction devoted to works of art from the Indian and Islamic worlds, which will be held 1 – 7 October. It will feature over 140 lots and also include objects from the Himalayas and South-East Asia.

The highlight of the sale is a superb, monumental bronze figure of Buddha, from eighteenth century Thailand, which comes from a London private collection, estimated at £6000-8000.

Buddhism originated in India, but quickly spread to neighbouring countries. Ironically the religion became absorbed by Hinduism in its homeland and by the thirteenth century its most numerous adherents were in South-East Asia. Buddha images from Thailand are notable for their stylised elongated features and strong sense of inner calm. The figure retains traces of black lacquer which was applied on the metal surface prior to gilding. In view of this, the quality of the casting and modelled detail evident today is surprising in view of the fact that it was all to be covered by a coat of gilded lacquer!

From India’s central heartland comes an impressive sculpture of a female bust, dating from the 8th century A.D., probably depicting a Jain mother goddess, her ample proportions giving an aura of prosperity and well-being, and her face is lit with an enigmatic smile. Estimated at £800-1200, this sandstone image originally formed part of an extensive and diverse Swiss art collection formed during the three decades which followed the second world war. Also connected with the Jain religion are two illustrated pages of the Kalpasutra, dating from 15th century Gujarat in western India, making them amongst the earliest examples of Indian miniature painting. Using a restricted palette of blue, red, black and gold and painted in a highly stylised and symbolic style, these diminutive jewel-like paintings have a directness which recalls orthodox icons. Other Indian miniatures including Pahari paintings from the Punjab Hills and Rajput painting from Rajasthan and Central India are included.

British involvement with India from the seventeenth century onwards produced a hybrid style of painting, known as “Company School” after the East India Company; the British were fascinated by the diversity of humanity in India and demand soon grew for depictions of the characters and castes in a western influenced style. Included in the sale are a group of watercolours on paper from Trichinopoly (modern Tiruchirapalli) in South India. This interest in observation of surroundings meant that India saw some of the most exciting examples of early photography and images by figures such as Samuel Bourne, Orr and Barton and Raja Lala Deen Dayal are now eagerly sought by collectors. Examples of each of these are included in a small group of photographs in the sale.

Islamic art takes a wide range of forms, with the Ottoman Empire producing some of the fines artefacts. Some of the most sumptuous textiles ever produced came from Western Turkey during the period. Included in the sale is a velvet cushion cover (yastik) from Scutari, near Istanbul, with an elegant and luxurious vine and star design dating from the mid-19th century and estimated at £800-1200. Another field in which the Islamic world excelled is that of ceramics, and the Ottoman and Qajar Persian tiles in the auction typify the brilliance of colour and design in underglaze painting, which was never quite matched elsewhere.

The auction is on view on the internet from 24 September and all of the lots can also be viewed in our galleries at 101B Kensington Church Street. Our specialist, Arthur Millner will be available during viewing times to answer questions about the objects.

About Auction Atrium

Auction Atrium is a London based auction house that sells fine art, antiques and collectables online. We aim to combine the integrity, expertise and customer care of the established auction houses with the dynamism, low transaction costs and versatility of the internet.

We are traditional auctioneers, with a gallery located in Kensington where sellers can take objects to be valued by our experts, and where interested buyers can inspect items for sale. We are also online auctioneers: All our lots are viewable on our website, and are bought and sold securely by online auction.

For further information or photographic material, please contact:
Alison Payne
T: +44 (0)20 7792 9020