$79,000 14th century beam will have Bonhams packed to the rafters


Wooden beams don't usually get our hearts racing here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, but a wooden beam with a difference is coming to auction next month that we thought you should know about.

A 14th century wooden roof beam from modern day Granada, Spain, carved with calligraphy, is estimated to attract bids of £30,000 to £50,000 at Bonhams' sale of Indian and Islamic art on October 4 in London.

The 14th century beam has a £30,000 to £50,000 estimate

The 298cm beam is accompanied by a carbon dating test, which pinpoints it to a period when the Muslim Nasrid dynasty was in power in the region.

The inscription carved into the beam includes the words "al-mulk li'llah", "sovereignty is God's", and covers the wooden surface in a rhythmic movement alongside a vine carving, making this magnificent piece a work of art.

The collectible beam would most likely have come from a palatial private home.

Carved wooden beams were used throughout the architecture of the Nasrids, who ruled Granada from 1238 to 1492.

The decorative style and carving technique found in this specimen are typical of Nasrid carving from Granada, particularly that of the 14th century.

During the time of Muhammad V - who ruled between 1354 and 1391 - the inscriptions began to be intertwined with plant motifs known as ataurique for the first time.

Several distinguishing features, including the knotted motif on one of the horizontal shafts and the cartouche motif at the far right end of the beam, contribute to the attribution of this piece to 14th century Granada.

Check back here next month to see how the beam gets on at auction.


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