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Rare atlas worth Dh550,500 at Sharjah fair

Collectors eye some of the first prints from Muslim world

Image Credit:
Rare and old books displayed at Folio Limited stand, during the 35th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair, at Sharjah Expo, Sharjah, 2nd November 2016. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News
Gulf News

Sharjah: Rare books worth a fortune are on offer at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), including some of the first prints in the Arab and Muslim world.

London-based Folios Limited has carefully transported to SIBF its collection of books, manuscripts, and photographs from the Islamic world.

It includes a Dh110,000 book by T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, compiling postage stamps produced by the Survey of Egypt for King Hussain of Hejaz. It was published in 1918.

The book’s description in the Folios catalogue says the work “became the symbolic first shot fired in the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire”.

This is the first time the rare collection has come to SIBF. It includes books that weigh 30kg and date back to the 1490s, on topics such as literature, art, architecture, religion and photographs.

Badr Al Hage from Folios said most of the sales leads on the first day of SIBF, on Wednesday, have come from Emiratis.

Meanwhile, Eqtna for Rare Books & Manuscripts is showcasing what is describes as the first published atlas in the Muslim world, from 1803. Printed in Istanbul, its listed price at SIBF is $150,000 (around Dh550,000).

Both companies’ stands are located in Hall 5 of Expo Centre Sharjah.

SIBF ends on November 12. Entry to the venue is free to all visitors.

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