Premier Persian and Islamic art sold

Oct. 13, 2004 at 5:20 PM

LONDON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A top collection of Persian and Islamic art, including calligraphy, metalwork and early travel books, brought more than $7 million at a London auction.

Hashem Khosrovani, an Iranian oil magnate based in London, sold his 20-year collection Tuesday at Sotheby's, where a life-sized 19th century portrait of Persian emperor Fath Ali Shah earned $1.5 million, Britain's Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The collection, sold in the name of the Berkeley Trust, had been estimated to bring about $5 million.

Khosrovani, chairman of Switzerland's Chempetrol Group, reportedly sold his collection because it was becoming more difficult for him to find high quality works of art, the Telegraph said.

"Almost all the collection is being sold. It has really got to the stage when it is time to move on to fresh pastures. It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to find very fine pieces," said Marcus Fraser, a Sotheby's consultant.

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