Rare Islamic Ewer Up for Auction

Rare Islamic ewer expected to fetch over $5 million

Yahoo! News
Wed Sep 10, 2008

“LONDON (Reuters Life!) – A 1,000-year-old carved rock crystal ewer, one of only seven known surviving examples, will be offered for auction next month at Christie’s Islamic art sale and is expected to fetch over 3 million pounds ($5.3 million).

The auctioneer said the ewer was made for the court of the Fatimid rulers of Cairo in the late 10th or early 11th century, and has been embellished in enameled gold mounts made in 1854 by a French silversmith.

…In April, rival auction house Sotheby’s sold a 12 century key to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest site in Islam, for 9.2 million pounds (US $16.2 million), setting a new record for an Islamic work of art at auction.”

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UPDATE: Oct. 7, 2008 – The carved rock crystal ewer was valued at 100 pounds in January prior to an auction in Somerset and fetched 220,000 pounds but the sale was later declared void.

The 1,000-year-old item was sold to an anonymous bidder for 3,177,250 pounds (US $5.49 millon).