The biannual Arts of the Islamic World auction from Sotheby’s is back, and the first item to be put on sale will be a lost-and-found early-16th century Ottoman box made in ivory and turquoise that has been set with rubies. The box, which is believed to have contained weighing scales for gemstones, is 17.3cm long, 8.8cm wide, and 3.2cm high. The interior is laced with ivory, has a bejeweled medallion in the center, and four gold and niello spandrels in the corner.
The floral designs, although true to the Ottoman fashion, the scrupulous nielloed gold work depicts the Safavid traditions. The rare box created by Persian goldsmiths is touted to fetch anything between £500,000 and 700,000 ($743,000 – $1,000,000).