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Calouste Gulbenkian, His Mīnāʾī Ware, and the Changing Islamic Art Market in the Early Twentieth Century

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JournalMuqarnas. An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture
DateAccepted/In press - 20 Mar 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 6 Oct 2020
Issue number1
Volume37
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)325-343
Early online date6/10/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article aims to provide a clearer understanding of the
emerging market for Islamic art in the early decades of the
twentieth century through a study of the changing purchasing
habits of one European collector, Calouste Gulbenkian, and
specifically his acquisition of mīnāʾī ware. Such an approach
allows for a coherent, focused study that engages with the
leading dealers, agents, and auction houses of the time. These
were located primarily in Paris and, to lesser extent, New York
and London, in the key period during which the Islamic art
market became a major part of the broader art and antiquities
business. The main focus is on the shift from buying newly
excavated fragmentary material from Armenian dealers to
purchasing seemingly complete, but heavily restored, bowls
from established collections sold at the leading auction
houses. Each of the pieces in Gulbenkian’s collection of mīnāʾī
ware is examined in detail, and a new taxonomic classification
is presented for this well known, but still poorly understood,
class of Islamic ceramics.

Bibliographical note

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Gulbenkian – Armenian – mīnāʾī – collecting – auctions – dealers – Seljuq – repairs – provenance – Persian – ceramics – Islamic

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