The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha, Qatar, expected to open early next year, continued to build its collection at the latest round of Islamic sales in London last month.
In an email to The Art Newspaper, Yasmine El-Rashidi of the MIA revealed the purchase of a seven-metre Ottoman textile from the Holy Ka’ba at Sotheby’s for £311,200 ($622,400). This was bought by paddle number 403 which purchased another 18 items at the same sale.
Paddle numbers 400, 401 and 402, which collectively purchased 84 objects at Sotheby’s, are also believed to have been buying for the MIA. Acquisitions included a late 15th-century Mamluk steel helmet from Egypt, a 13th-century brass astrolabe and a selection of 19th-century Persian-style enamelled glassware.
As the opening of the MIA approaches and Abu Dhabi begins its ambitious museum building programme on Saadiyat Island, institutions in the Gulf are likely to become an ever more dominant force in the market.
o For report, pp63,72