The first "Olympia Timed Spring 2024' online auction offers an amalgam of affordable treasures

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, May 29, 2024


The first "Olympia Timed Spring 2024' online auction offers an amalgam of affordable treasures
Richard Bentley, Life in Bombay and the Neighbouring Out Stations. London 1852. Estimate: £400 - £500.



LONDON.- Olympia Auctions announced a Timed Online Auction of over 600 lots including a large distinguished group of Indian and South-East Asian Art reference books, European and Japanese antique arms and armour and thirty works by talented Iraqi artist Nadira Azzouz.

Estimates start as low as £10, with many in the £100s.

The auction opened on Friday 12th April at 9:00am, and closes on Sunday 21st April, at 2:00pm. A major part of the auction - over 400 lots - include Fine Art Books, including Books from Three Specialist Libraries of Indian and South-East Asian Art Reference Books.

Such a large group of reference books on Indian and South East Asian art, history and culture offer a unique opportunity to collectors, dealers, academics and students to acquire such quality and quantity of books in this field. The majority come from the Devon home of the late Peter Curnow Millett, whose collection of Indian works of art was sold at Olympia Auctions in 2022.

As well as numerous volumes on Indian sculpture, bronzes and decorative arts, there are volumes on subjects such as Hinduism and yoga. A smaller group of books comes from the library of the late Tom White, OBE, whose career with the British Council took him to South East Asia, and he spent a large part of his working life in Indonesia, Burma and South Korea. His collection of books and catalogues includes Pierre Richard’s seminal Inventory of Monuments of Pagan, published in the 1990s. The third group comes from the library of a deceased estate in the West Country, demonstrating the late owner’s passion for Indian art fostered during her time working for the British Council in New Delhi.

The sale also includes a broad range of arms and armour, including Japanese edged weapons, European armour, militaria, firearms and miscellanea. Highlights include 16th/17th composite armour, a 19th century Arab silver mounted sword for a child and an 18th/19th century pair of leather coachman’s boots

In the region of thirty works by talented Iraqi artist Nadira Azzouz (1927-2020) will also feature in the timed auction. Estimates are mainly at a modest £200 - £300.

Nadira Azzouz (1927 – 2020) studied art at the School of Domestic Fine Arts in Baghdad (1944-49) and followed with further studies at the Central School of Art in London (1957-60) where she achieved a BA in Painting. Her work is informed by the canon of 20th century international art yet at the same time displays its own distinctive, Iraqi, identity as found in Sumerian and Assyrian sculptures, medieval Arab manuscript illumination and the folk motifs of handicrafts and rugs, as well as local popular themes.

Her work is also poetic and distinctly feminine; ‘explicable in the context of an Iraqi woman’s passions. Things akin to burning coals suddenly glow and let off sparks through a brazier full of ashes’ wrote the Iraqi novelist, critic and artist, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra of Azzouz’s work in 1983.

In 1988, she participated in the exhibition Arab Women Artists in the UK at the influential Kufa Gallery in London, which was active in showing the works of leading Arab artists.

Her works can be found in the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, as well as prominent private international collections.

In April 2022, Myrna Ayad, Dubai-based Cultural Art Advisor, Strategist and Commentator, featured Nadira as the posthumous subject of her monthly “Remembering the Artist” column in The National – the UAE’s leading news publication.










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