Bronze royal tent support to star at Bonhams

A 12th century bronze royal tent support from central Asia will star in Bonhams’ Islamic and Indian art sale in London on April 12.

It’s valued at around £100,000-150,000 ($125,690-188,535).

The piece is half a metre in height and would have held up a tent of enormous proportions.  

Bronze royal tent

The tent support displays depictions of lions 

The auction house explains: “Formerly thought to be monumental candle-stands, 10 of these supports are currently shared between the State Hermitage Museum St.Petersburg, the State Museum of Oriental Arts Moscow, the Historical Museum in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Institute of Archaeology of the Kazakh Republic.

“Their Central Asian origin points to the possibility they were used by a powerful nomadic tribe.”

Bonhams suggests that the tribe in question may be the Karakhanids, who ruled over a sizeable section of modern Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The support features depictions of lions along with a repeating inscription in Arabic that translates as: “And perpetual Glory”.

An Ilkhanid silk robe from the 13th or 14th century is valued at £50,000-70,000 ($62,845-87,983).

The Ilkhanid empire spanned most of Iran, Iraq and Turkey and was founded in the 13th century by Mongol leader Hulagu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan.

Trade between central Asia and the Far East, where the Mongols originated, led to a distinctive fusion of styles.

Remarkably, the patterning on this robe is still visible well over 700 years after it was made.  

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