- What’s On
London’s Islamic Sales Week, Washington’s textile exhibitions, New York’s Mughal jewellery, Ara Güler’s Turkey in black and white and the Biennial in Istanbul
THE TRAVEL SALE Mediterranean & Middle East, Sotheby’s October 17, 2001: Books, watercolours, maps, prints, photographs, even an illustration of the sandals of Afghanistan from 1774 – Sotheby’s Travel Sale is an eccentric highlight of Islamic Sales Week. Less for specialists than for social historians, designers, explorers and cultured bohemians, it is a revelation of the minutiae of Islamic life. *‘Un Prêtre grec et un turc’* (323 x 425mm), above, by Louis Dupré, a French take on the East, is one of a lot of three lithographs expected to sell for £800. ‘Café de Paris’, top (50 x 64 mm), an Eastern take on France, is by Fikret Moualla (1903–67), a tragic figure who left for Paris in 1940. Turkey’s best-loved 20th-century artist, he is now in vogue: this oil should fetch over £12,000. Also featured in this issue's Connoisseur is an attractive lithograph after Anton Ignace Melling (1763–1831) of Selim III’s Bayram procession. Made for a book first published in 1807, it is estimated at a more modest £3,000.
Osman Streater recounts a remarkable piece of unrecorded history: the wartime friendship between the future Pope John XXIII and his great-uncle Numan Menemencioğlu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister from 1942 to 1944. The most important area of their joint work is one that is not mentioned in histories official or unofficial: they saved about 100,000 Jews from the Nazis
Home to the world’s oldest settlements, land of biblical prophets – the Tigris and Euphrates basin is a fabled but forgotten frontier. In a 30-page celebration, Manuel Çitac captures its splendour in photographs, while Min Hogg keeps a wry diary on her sortie to this hard-baked corner of Anatolia
In the first of a series on the great wines of Turkey and its ancient dominions, Kevin Gould visits Gallipoli. A land of heroes from Homeric times to the First World War, the peninsula has also for 3,000 years prided itself on its wines.