A page from a 16th-century manuscript sold today for 7.4 million pounds ($12 million), an auction record for any Islamic work of art.
The illuminated sheet was one of the 258 illustrations to the “Shahnameh” and offered by Sotheby’s (BID) in its sale of works from the collection of the late Harvard lecturer Stuart Cary Welch. There were five telephone bidders.
“It’s one of the supreme examples of the art of the book,” the London-based dealer Brendan Lynch said.
The sale gave Middle Eastern buyers the chance to acquire one of the last illustrations from the book, showing King Faridun transformed into a dragon to test his sons’ courage.