Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Habib Sabet Collection at Auction

Habib Sabet was a wealthy Canadian businessman who collected Asian art. He had a particular eye for ancient Persian metalwork, which my readers know I love. Now that he is dead, his family is selling everything. It may be completely unfair, but I have this delightful image of a sprawling brood of Iranians squabbling viciously over every rug and bowl, lawyers at their elbows. Like Habib's Heirs, the reality show.  So, anyway, some highlights from the Maynard's catalog. Above, Achaemenid dish, gilded ibex soldered to hammered ground, 550-330 BCE.

Achaemenid silver beakers, 550-330 BCE.

Achaemenid silver ibex, 15 inches (38.5 cm) long.

Dish showing a king hunting rams, silver with mercury gilding. No date given. The prices for this stuff seem low to me and there are notes on most of the pieces saying things like "The true age and origin of these pieces has been open to academic research and investigation," so I suspect that either the authenticity of this stuff is in question, or it was bought from tomb robbers. But, hey, it's lovely wherever it came from.

Bust of a Sassanian King, perhaps Shapur II (310-379 CE).

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