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Privately printed catalogue of a fine collection

Welch, Anthony Collection of Islamic Art. Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. Chateau de Bellerive, Geneva [privately printed] 1972-78
Four volumes 4to (30.8 x 24 cm), pp. 224, [4]; 224, [4]; 218, [2]; 220, [2]; with 5 maps (4 coloured) and 372 mounted photographs (145 in colour). A fine set in original green morocco, spines gilt, all edges gilt.

A pristine set describing one of the most important collections of Islamic art formed in the twentieth century, encompassing miniatures, manuscripts, metalwork, and ceramics. Assembled by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, whose interest in the field was sparked by Stuart Cary Welch, the Harvard art historian. Figurative illustration, from early Arab examples to Safavid and Qajar painting are a particular strength. Lavishly produced, the first two volumes document acquisitions by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan to 1967; the third and fourth volumes acquisitions made between 1967 and 1976. This catalogue was privately printed in a limited edition; sets were presented to major universities and museums at the time of publication, but it was never commercially distributed. Ours is no. 46 of an unknown number. The edition was most likely limited to a few hundred sets.