Sun, Oct 23, 2016

Art & Auctions
Middle East Week art sales fetch $18m

Sotheby’s Arts of The Middle East and India Week enjoyed strong results over four sales, offering a diverse range of property from a fast-growing area of the market. 

Held between October 18 and 20 in London, UK, the sales comprised Arts of the Islamic World, celebrating interwoven artistic traditions Art of the Middle East and India; the bi-annual sale of 20th Century Art: Middle East; Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art; and the prestigious Khosrovani-Diba Collection, which comprised a selection of important Indian miniature paintings.

The combined sales totalled £14.7 million ($17.9 million), exceeding the pre-sale expectations.

From ancient artefacts to works in neon, paintings and photography, the week started with the Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art sale, in which the top lot was Francis Newton Souza’s The Deposition, 1963, achieving £1.6 million ($1.96 million), more than double its high estimate.

The Arts of the Islamic World auction was led by rare manuscripts and calligraphies, with the exquisite Timurid manuscript of Sa’adi’s Kulliyat selling for £473,000 ($578,500).

The Khosravani-Diba Sale allowed a glimpse in to this fascinating single-owner collection, with A study of a Stork – a work previously owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - reaching £245,000 ($299,600), well above the £80,000 pre-sale estimate.

The week concluded with the 20th Century Art: Middle East sale in which Mahmoud Mokhtar’s elegant marble, El Amira, 1925-30, sold for £545,000 ($666,500). In a further display of strength for this category, records were achieved for both Etel Adnan and Hossein Valamanesh.

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