News ID: 202902
Published: 0338 GMT October 22, 2017

Avicenna's book to take center stage at London auction

Avicenna's book to take center stage at London auction

A copy of a book by the famous 11th century Muslim physician, astronomer and philosopher, Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna in the West, will take the center stage in a London exhibition by Sotheby's — one of the world's largest art brokers.

The annual Arts of the Islamic World sale on October 25 will auction items from Persian, Indian and Ottoman cultures.

The third volume of Avicenna's book 'The Canon of Medicine' on pathology and diseases which dates back to 1143-1144 AD is expected to be sold for as high as £120,000 ($158,299.8).

Benedict Carter, the Sotheby's auction director of the Middle East department, says the piece is one of the earliest copies of Avicenna's famous work.

"It is a complete volume and a very rare piece … recently, medical manuscripts have been doing quite well, there is a consistent demand by private collectors and museums," Carter told Anadolu Agency.

A traveler's talisman is one of the most unusual items on the sale, Carter said, adding that it may fetch a buyer for up to £30,000 ($39,574.95).

The item has various layers with chapters from the Qur'an, and information about Islam's holy places, such as Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, written on them.

In addition, a series of rare Ottoman artifacts will be displayed in a London exhibition by Sotheby's.

The personal collection of Serge Brunst, a renowned decorator from Beirut, includes samples of rare hand-written books including the Holy Qur'an, palace carpets, porcelain, tombac artifacts and trays from the Ottoman era.

A large Ottoman voided silk velvet and metal-thread panel with carnations, made in Bursa or Istanbul in the late 16th century, is one of the most valuable items at the auction.

Alexandra Roy, an Islamic art expert in Sotheby's describes the carpet as one of her "favorite pieces in the sale...because it is the royal textile from the Ottoman Imperial court...it has four of the favorite flowers of the Ottoman court — tulip, carnation, little rosette and pomegranate."

Roy told Anadolu Agency she values the piece at £80,000-£120,000 ($105,000-158,000) but it could be sold at a higher price.

An Ottoman-Turkish prayer book written in 1789 by Ali Sukru Efendi is another item that attracts attention in the exhibition. The book with diagrams of Islam's holy cities is regarded as a good example of Ottoman calligraphy art. It is expected to fetch a buyer for £20,000 ($26,383.3).

Sotheby's has been bringing together art lovers and collectors since 1744 and became the world's first international auction house after opening its New York branch in 1955. It also has an office in Istanbul.

   
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