How the Autumn auctions in London went

As always, also this year the Islamic Art Week took place in London. The Autumn series of auctions dedicated to Islamic and Middle Eastern art is now over and it’s time to draw some conclusions. No deep analysis, only a few thoughts. The main difference between this edition of the Islamic Art week and the…

Vikings and Square Kufic?

On the 3rd of October, the University of Uppsala published an article that was to generate much discussion on the social media. The title of the article was pretty sensationalistic, as it claimed that the words Allah and ‘Ali were written in Square Kufic on woven bands of silk in burial costumes found in Viking Age…

The light at the end of the tunnel – Islamic Art Market

Every year in London two Islamic Art Weeks are held in October and April, in which the three major auction houses (Bonhams, Sotheby’s and Christie’s) organize their four traditional sales of Islamic Art. The last Islamic Art Week, Spring 2016, took place in mid-April. The sales can be analyzed in different ways: the objects sold,…

The biased interpretation of pre-Islamic inscriptions by Haaretz

Today I decided to take the tram to go to work. Sitting there I started to have a look at Twitter, as most of the people around me were doing. It was then when my attention was caught by a title: “Before Islam: When Saudi Arabia was a Jewish Kingdom“. Saudi Arabia was…what? When? Am…

#IslamicForgeries – Episode 1 | The ‘Sicilian’ Council

Sicily is both famous and notorious. The splendour of its past is recognised worldwide: Greeks, Byzantines, Fatimids, Normans and on and on. If you flip the coin you have mafia, corruptions, omertà (code of silence). The story of the Council of Egypt combines in part these two aspects of the island. The historical and artistic legacy…

#IslamicForgeries – Intro | Why are they fascinating?

Forgeries are bad. They are fake reproductions of an original object, made on purpose, to fool people. Museums, collectors and scholars feel sort of ashamed when they realise they have displayed, bought or studied a forgery they believed authentic.

Islamic Art & Art Market: how Fall 2015 auctions went

Exactly one month ago the Islamic Art Week started in London, with the traditional auctions at Bonhams (Oct 6th), Sotheby’s (Oct 7th) and Christie’s (Oct 8th and 9th). Coming from a strictly academic background, I have never been much interested in the auction world as a whole but as I have already said and repeat…