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Iznik tiles and Chinese porcelain in the European and Asian Works of Art auction on 18th November.

16th December 2020

Huon Mallalieu writes

I turned by chance to Matthew Barton's online sale of European and Asian Works of Art at Olympia Auctions on November 18th, where the colours were echoed in a panel made up of four late 16th century tiles from Ottoman Damascus.  This has long been a patchy market. When I first mentioned Ottoman tiles here, 1992, I said that, despite liking them, I had been unable to write about them earlier because so many of the best examples at auction failed to find to find buyers.  However, two framed together had made a strong price of £8,050, despite damage. 

I rather think that, in those days, all such tiles were labelled 'Iznik', wherever they had been made, and knowledgeable bidders must have done well.  The Barton sale included 41 lots of which 90% sold, with the Damascus panel of four as the most expensive at £10,000.  They had come from a European collector who had been active since 1996, buying at auction and from dealers in London and Paris.  Chinese porcelain, sculptures and jade works of art were also in demand, even when comparatively modern, with a top price of £62,500 paid for a pair of 20th century copper-red and blue-ground Sanduo bowls.