Ottoman atlas smashes auction estimate
A rare Islamic atlas discovered in the attic of a historic home has sold for more than four times its estimate at auction, BBC News has reported.
The atlas was one of only 50 produced and it was discovered at Weston Hall in Northamptonshire, home of the Sitwell family for more than 300 years.
Dreweatts auction house said the Ottoman atlas was the first printed in the Islamic World.
The “exceptionally rare” atlas was sold to a U.K. buyer for £86,250.
The Ottoman folio atlas by Mahmoud Raif Efendi was found in one of nine attics at Weston Hall, stamped and dated 1804, and featured a hand-colored pictorial title with the monogram of Sultan Selim III.
Written in Ottoman Turkish with 24 hand-colored terrestrial maps, the atlas included two twin-hemispheres and one world, with a plain celestial chart.
Denise Kelly, book specialist at Dreweatts, said: “This is a wonderful atlas. The condition of the binding, terrestrial maps and celestial chart are extraordinary. A fascinating object to come to the market.”
It was thought the atlas was brought to Britain by Sitwell family member General Lord Hely-Hutchinson.
Joe Robinson, head of Dreweatts house sales department, said, “Selling to a UK buyer, is one of several wonderful discoveries made at Weston Hall.”
The auction of the hall’s contents, called Weston Hall and the Sitwells: A Family Legacy, has been taking place over two days at Donnington Priory in Berkshire.