Page from 'greatest illustrated manuscript ever produced' set for $5m Sotheby's sale

A 500-year-old illustrated page from a Persian manuscript is expected to make close to £3m at a Sotheby's auction in London on April 6.

The 47.2 by 32 cm page is one of 258 that once formed the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp of Iran manuscript, also known as the Book of Kings.

The manuscript was produced by leading artist of his day Aqa Mirak between 1525 and 1535 for Shah Tahmasp. It recounts the history of Iran from prehistoric times to the 7th century AD.

The page features ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper and is the first such piece to come to market since 2005.

The work has a high end estimate of £3m

Persian art is a growing area for investment, helped in part by the former Shah of Iran Mohammad Pahlavi's notable collection in the 1970s.

The item comes from the estate of renowned collector Stuart Cary Welch.


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