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Auction: Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History
was auctioned on: 10 May 2011
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Dar al-Kiswah, the Egyptian Mahmal, the Hajj, Makkah and Madinah.

Estimate: £60,000 - £80,000
ca. US$98,063 - US$130,751
Price realised:  £73,250
ca. US$119,719
Lot number 124, Views: 11

Dar al-Kiswah, the Egyptian Mahmal, the Hajj, Makkah and Madinah. A LARGE AND EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL EMBROIDERY TEMPLATES AND ARTWORK FROM THE WORKSHOPS OF DAR AL-KISWAH IN CAIRO, TOGETHER WITH MANUSCRIPT LEDGERS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND RARE BOOKS RELATING TO THE MAHMAL, THE HAJJ, MAKKAH AND MADINAH. [LATE NINETEENTH TO LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY] DAR AL-KISWAH 1. Sixteen templates and watercolour designs, including embroidery stencils for the Kiswah and the bag for the Ka'bah keys, from the reigns of Sultan Hussein Kamel of Egypt (1914-1917), Fuad I (1917-1922) and Farouk I (1922-1952), many designs officially stamped or sealed and on official paper (various sizes from 353 x 249mm. to 328 x 1007mm.), some tears and stains 2. Album of 34 photographs by royal court photographer Riad Chehata showing the fine embroidery of Dar al-Kiswah, exhibited at the Agricultural Industrial Exhibition of 1931, oblong folio (310 x 430mm.), silver prints, mounted on card, original grey half cloth, over faux crocodile skin, upper cover lettered in Arabic in gilt, some guards torn, binding rubbed; with a medal awarded to Dar al-Kiswah at the 1931 exhibition 3. Four ledgers or log books from Dar al-Kiswah, recording in manuscript ink or pencil, in Arabic, the materials used in manufacture (cotton, silks, silver and gold thread), accessories for the camels, tents, iron chains and tools, plus details of work carried out by the artisans and timekeeping (c.1920s) 4. Photographs of the artisans of Dar al-Kiswah (1920s-1930s), 27 passport photographs mounted on card (357 x 250mm.), nearly all identified in ink on the mount, many being members of the Nada family, including Hag Kamel Ameen Nada who trained young Saudi artisans in the craft and who oversaw the 1975 and 1976 Kiswahs made in Saudi Arabia, some gaps where photographs were previously mounted 5. Photograph of Al Zohdi, the renowned calligrapher of Makkah and Madinah, mounted on card (290 x 230mm.), with an original stencil embroidery template of Al Zohdi's signature 6. Two templates relating to the granting of titles, (700 x 850mm. and 570 x 400mm.) 7. Two albums of photographs relating to the Mahmal (15 photographs) and Dar al-Kiswah (29 photographs); loosely inserted in each album is a list of the photographs 8. Collection of tools and items from the workshops of Dar al-Kiswah, including a cutting tool, weaving instruments, samples of cloth, rolls of silver thread, 3 tassels, a cloth bag (with the arms of the Egyptian government stamped in black) and a calligraphic pen 9. Two framed photographs of embroidered work produced by Dar al-Kiswah, including one of the Kiswah curtain (c.1931) 10. Two Certificates of Gold medals awarded to Dar al-Kiswah at International Exhibitions: the first in Liège in 1930 (435 x 495mm.), the second in Paris in 1937 (380 x 355mm.); each mounted on card, some slight wear and stains to both 11. Printed Books: Sourdel-Tomine, J. Clefs et Serrures de la Ka'ba, notes d'Épigraphie Arabe. Paris, 1971, photographic illustrations of locks and keys of the Ka'bah at Makkah from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul--Ahmed Youssef. Al Mahmal wal Hajj. Cairo, 1937, vol.1 (all published), inscribed by the author to the explorer and scholar Prince Youssef Kamal--Helmy, I. Kiswat Al Ka'bah Al Musharrafah, wa founoun Al Hajj. Cairo, 1991, modern cloth, title slightly worn--Abdel Mo'ty, H. Al 'Elaqat Al Masreyah Al Hegazieh fi Al Qarn Al Thamen 'Ashr. Cairo, 1999--Al Halwani, S.B. Al 'Elaqat bayna Masr wal Hegaz wa Najd, fi Al Qarn Al Tase' Ashr [Relations between Egypt and the Hegaz and Najd in the 19th century], first edition--Ahmed, Y. Al Khat Al Kufi. Cairo, 1934, first edition, inscribed by the author; [bound with:] Ibid. Al Khat Al Kufi. Cairo, 1933, first edition, 2 works bound in one; all 8vo, various bindings 12. Collection of 35 printed newspapers, periodicals and magazines, with articles on the Kiswah and Mahmal, various formats, (1880 to 2010) THE MAHMAL, THE PILGRIM AND THE HAJ

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Sotheby's
Title: Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History
Date of the auction: 10 May 2011
Address: Sotheby's