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Marbled Nag for Auction at Sotheby's

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  • Jake Benson
    Hello again everyone, I wanted to let all of you know that a previously unknown example of 17th century Deccani marbled painting has appeared for sale at
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2002
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      Hello again everyone,

      I wanted to let all of you know that a previously unknown example of 17th
      century Deccani marbled painting has appeared for sale at Sotheby's. It is
      yet another example of a marbled "nag" or emaciated horse, made using a
      stencil in the marbling process a technique referred to as 'aks in the
      Persian language (from the Arabic word for "opposite" "reflection" or
      "contrast").. Too bad I don't have $20,000 to bid on it! Should we have a
      group bake sale to raise money? Just kidding! It will be interesting to
      follow this auction and see if it could be the most ever paid for marbling
      at auction.

      http://search.sothebys.com/jsps/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?lot_id=PXPQ

      If you click on the image, you can see it more clearly. I'd like to add
      this image to our group photo album on the web, as Sotheby's may remove it
      once it's sold. I hope that whoever gets it will be friendly to marblers.


      One 16th century Persian manuscript from the Khuda Baksh Library in Patna,
      entitled Mer'at ul Istilah, describes certain paper works as 'aksi, meaning
      "stencilled" paper. I have wondered if the term abri, (also used in the
      Mer'at) which refers to marbling may be considered a companion to this term
      'aksi, and that together they describe a pair of decorative paper
      techniques. It is very common to find artistic descriptive terms grouped in
      rhyming pairs in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, such as the terms wassali and
      fassali (Arabic terms used in Islamic bookinding and Illumination),
      referring respectively to laminating paper to make cartonnage, and
      "compartmentalizing" or "recessing" areas in the covers for panel stamping.
      Perhaps the terms abri and 'aksi is another example of such a pairing? It
      seems that in the case of the marbled paintings, these two techniques are
      combined into the same process.


      Jake Benson


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