Mihr Ali's royal portrait valued at $4.1m ahead of sale at Sotheby's

A large royal portrait of Qajar king Fath 'Ali Shah painted by Mihr 'Ali around 1820 carries a £1.5m-2.5m ($2.4m-4.1m) estimate ahead of a sale of Islamic art at Sotheby's.

The auction will take place on April 9 in London.

The Qajar dynasty controlled Persia between 1785-1925, with 'Ali Shah taking the throne from 1797 until he died in 1834.

Islamic royal painting
Fath ���Ali Shah ruled Persia between 1785 and 1925

He was highly intellectual and presided over an unprecedented flourishing of art and culture in the region.

When presented with an edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica following his coronation he read the whole book cover to cover.

He then added "Most Formidable Lord and Master of the Encyclop?�dia Britannica" to his list of official titles.

Mihr 'Ali painted the Shah on a number of occasions, with many of his works housed in some of the world's greatest museums.

A manuscript of poems by the Khamsa of Nizami (circa 1141-1209), transcribed by the Persian calligraphist Mir Khalil Padishah-Qalam in the 17th century, is valued at £150,000-200,000 ($248,760-331,680).

The work comprises elaborate illuminations and is thought to have been presented to the Shah of Safavid Persia.

Mir Khalil was one of the most celebrated calligraphers of his era and held an honoured position in the Safavid court. He was granted the title Padishah-Qalam (King of the Pen) in 1617.

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