Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque by Uskudarli Cevat

uskudarli cevat mihrimah sultan mosque

I picked Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, an oil on canvas, by Uskudarli Cevat (1870-1939) not for his value or superb brushwork of its painter, nor its value. The architect of the mosque was Sinan and he was madly in love with Mihrimah, an Ottoman princess. When he was commissioned for the job, he secretly set out to build two instead of one, facing each other albeit the distance.

Mihrimah is combination of two words in Persian: the Sun and the Moon. If you happen to be in Istanbul around spring equinox on March 21st and want to witness what love is capable of, just find a convenient spot between the mosques. You will notice while the sun is setting behind the first one in the west, a new moon will be rising behind the second in the east. His feelings for her, however, were not returned. C'est la vie!

Dimensions: 60x68 cm
Estimated value: $ 7,500

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hilye-i Serif by Mehmed Bahir El-Yesari

mehmed bahir el-yesari hilye-i serif
Although it is on the cheap side, this hilye-i serif by Mehmed Bahir El-Yesari is a good example of the coloring technique used by the artists of the time. It is almost next to impossible to match the colors with contemporary dyes and equipment. Calligraphic style is celi talik and talik with a ketebe plus names of the prophet and four caliphs complete the hilye-i serif as usual.

Dimensions: 80x52 cm
Estimated value: $ 7,500

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hochst Oriental Band

hochst oriental band players

Continuing with the light hearted spirit of new year celebration, here is another set of statuettes designed and made by Höchst porcelain factory especially for Middle East. The oriental band players wearing turbans with local and western instruments are from Leyla Akcaglilar collection again.

Estimated value: $1.000

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Sleeping Japanese

herend sleeping japanese figures

The sleeping Japanese figures are here because they are cute. I came across them at an auction where a considerable portion of Leyla Akcaglilar's collection was up for sale. 20th century, Herend porcelain, if I remember correctly. As it is uncommon to see Japanese art or items with a Japanese theme in the region, they had better take their due place in the Missing Culture.

Estimated value: $135

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Miners by Nedim Gunsur

miners by nedim gunsur, oil on plywood
Black gold, as it is called around here. Many a tragedy have taken place in the coal mines. Hundreds of feet below the surface, eyes closed, never to see again; leaving their loved ones also as victims.

I have a particular bias towards this oil on plywood by Nedim Gunsur (1924-1994), the miners. Simple, bold and striking colors. Despiration, helplessness, sorrow...

I have no idea how it manages to move me; but it just does that, and that's what art is all about.

Dimensions: 47x42 cm
Estimated value: $10,000