The Flowering Desert: Textiles from Sindh (Paul Holberton, November 2019) is a forthcoming publication on the rich textile legacy of the Sindh region in Pakistan. Through vivid photographs and in-depth essays, the book explores the history, techniques, stitches and motifs of these craft traditions, which are among the oldest in South Asia.
As the online bids for our Design Sale start pouring in, we present a quick and last look at some of the significant lots in this auction, along with Living Traditions, the concurrent online auction of folk and tribal art. Put together, they form an unusual and charming style of art and decor for the eclectic collector.
Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart New York covers the results of the popular Elegant Design 24 hour sale.
A MAGNIFICENT AND RARE ART DECO CHANDELIER http://www.saffronart.com/customauctions/AuctionResults.aspx?eid=3658
New York: Tuesday March 25th marked the opening of Elegant Design, Saffronart’s premier vintage interior design sale. The sale was immediately followed by its twin auction, Works on Paper, opening on March 26th. Elegant Design featured 109 important vintage items in interior and decorative art including rugs, silver, and various furniture pieces. Each lot was carefully selected to represent the most pivotal periods in the decorative arts both in India and worldwide. An example of this can be seen in the campaign furniture, depicting the specific needs of the British army in the 18th and 19th century.
A CAMPAIGN WRITING TABLE http://www.saffronart.com/customauctions/AuctionResults.aspx?eid=3658
Spanning the most pivotal eras in interior design history, each lot also featured a variety of exquisite mediums and materials. The sale featured pieces made from a variety of rare woods such as rosewood, teakwood, mahogany and padauk wood. Graceful, small items such as A Rare Matched Pair of Kutch Silver Tea Cups (Lot 68) and large statement pieces such as An Indian Mother Of Pearl Door (Lot 105) all displayed a variety of excellent aesthetic detail appropriate for any space. Exhibiting equal parts beauty and function, each lot was an exceptional addition for any collection and home.
A STUNNING AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT EBONY HEADBOARD http://www.saffronart.com/customauctions/AuctionResults.aspx?eid=3658
Due to the wide range of beautiful vintage pieces the sale received extremely positive media coverage from a variety of media publications including Elle India, ArtDaily and DNA India. The top ten valued items from the sale ranged from furniture to silver flatware to lighting fixtures. The highest winning lots included A Magnificent and Rare Art Deco Chandelier (Lot 25) coming in at $18,772 and A Stunning and Highly Important Ebony Sideboard (Lot 33) with a winning value of $9,447. Overall the most popular and sought after items varied greatly in materials, geography and design history. The sale concluded with sixty-six lots sold and a total winning value of $176,469. It is clear from the warm reception and enthusiasm for these beautiful items that vintage design and décor is still a lovely and timeless edition to any buyer’s collection.
Ipshita Sen of Saffronart explores some of the mysticism attached to the ruby fruit.
New York: The pomegranate is very often associated with the term “ Fruit of Paradise” or “The Fruit of the Underworld”, or more simply, “The Seeded Apple”. Enveloped in mystery and years of folklore, the pomegranate is one of the most admired fruits. Tales of the fruit, whether in Christianity, Judaism or Greek mythology are spread across diverse cultures throughout the world. Every culture seems to have evolved with a passing reference to the vitality of this rich fruit.
Madonna of the Pomegranate, 1487, Sandro Botticelli. Image Credit: http://www.arilsystem.com/the-pomegranate-throughout-history
A walk through history, uncovers the significance of the pomegranate across diverse cultures and religions. Ancestors were aware of the health benefits and the juicy fruit is depicted on several paintings and historic writings.
In Christianity, the fruit is symbolic of Christ’s resurrection and defines immortality. Baby Jesus holding a pomegranate is a common sight and is seen depicted in both paintings and devotional statues. In medieval legends, the pomegranate tree is a symbol of fertility and a vital aspect in the hunt of the magical creature, the unicorn. Tapestries from the period depict images of wounded unicorn’s bleeding pomegranate arils.
Pomegranate flowers and fruits in an Ottoman Kaftan. Image Credit: http://www.arastan.com/journey/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PomegrKaftan.jpg
The pomegranate is also a significant fruit in Judaism. The seeds are meant to signify sanctity, fertility and abundance. The fruit is one of the seven sacred fruits mentioned in the Holy Bible. Illustrations of this popular fruit are also seen in Judaic architecture and couture design for the Jewish kings and priests. In China and Japan, the fruit invokes fertility and prosperity.
Based on early excavations of the Bronze Age, it is studied that the pomegranate was the first ever fruit to be excavated. The fruit is believed to be native to Iran and the Himalayan region of Northern India and then later cultivated across Asia, Africa and Europe.
A pomegranate in a Roman mosaic from the 4th century AD. Image Credit: http://art-history-images.com/photo/7569
An icon of the Silk Route, the rich color and elegance of the fruit has influenced the cultural and artistic imaginations of several in the Far East and India.