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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
American-born Carla Grissmann wrote Dinner of Herbs, her portrait of an isolated hamlet in central Anatolia, to assuage her loss when she was forced to leave at a few days’ notice. She talks to Maureen Freely of her love of remote places and people.
Soup, the most elementary form of cooking, was perhaps the starting point for man’s culinary adventure. Refined over time, evolving into consommés, veloutés and bisques, it has entered the rarified realms of haute cuisine.
More cookery features
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.
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