Under the hammer
TREASURES old and new went on sale at the capital’s historic Rüstem Bookshop, with its first Auction Day featuring an 81-year-old collection of antique books and ephemera.
The event last Saturday followed a launch of a young artists’ Art Days project in late December.
A nostalgic collection of 18th century Ottoman engravings, colonial documents, first editions of books on Cyprus and a 20th century collection of unique memorabilia went under the hammer, with 125 of the 150 lots finding eager buyers.
Lots included everything from vintage sets of Blue Box lead soldiers to 1920s sequined postcards, archive photos, antique and Ottoman maps and engravings and Nasalicensed photos of the moon.
Antique volumes included The Rubaiyat, War and Peace, Don Quixote and Robur Le Conquerant by Jules Verne, Cyprus in Colour and Goldfinger.
The trove included an original set of British Special Forces documents, ’70s Red Cross corrrespondence, vintage stamps, ’60s copies of the National Geographic and even a 1953 copy of the Daily Mail. Owner Ali Rüstem said sales would be repeated quarterly throughout the year to boost auction culture in North Cyprus. The thriving bookshop includes a coffee shop and traditional restaurant and now regularly hosts cultural events and book signings which Mr Rüstem said would continue in 2019. More contemporary art and objects had been on display one week earlier at the launch of Art Days to promote young and promising local artists.
The December 29 event, organised by Art Days curator and consultant Halil Durunay, showcased repurposed objects, collectibles and paintings by Fatma Nur Özogül, Diler Ertuğ, Refik Gökhun and Nermin Gündoğdü.
Mr Durunay said: “The Old City is in the grip of a new renaissance and young entrepreneurs and artists are flocking to the area, so we are hosting the talent for all to sample.”
Black and white art at the first Art Day at Rüstem Bookshop Consultant Halil Durunay (right) presented treasures old and new during the auction Repurposed wine bottles and wooden designs. Below, monochrome art work and contemporary art. Some unsold lots from auction