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Christie's Dubai Auction of Modern and Contemporary Art Realises 3 Times Its Estimate
A woman takes a picture of the painting 'Sunset on the Nile at Luxor' by Egyptian Mahmoud Said (1897-1964) sold for $902,500, well above its pre-sale estimate of $80,000 - 120,000. EPA/ALI HAIDER.

DUBAI.- Christie’s, the world’s leading art business is delighted to announce that its eighth auction of International Modern and Contemporary Art, estimated at $4.8 million, realized $15,122,125 / AED55,528,443, selling 96% by value and 86% by lot. This is an extraordinary result which reflects the quality of the sale and the passion of the collectors that Christie’s has helped to bring to this fascinating market during the past 3 years. It is extremely rare for a sale in any market to triple its pre-sale estimate.

At this evening’s auction, Christie’s saw competitive and international bidding taking place in a vibrant, animated and packed saleroom, where 26 works of art sold for over $100,000. Buyer activity (by lot / by origin) was 64.5% Middle East, 16.5% Europe, 28% Americas and 1% Asia. A 100% increase in online bidding via Christies LIVE was recorded, coming from a record number of 16 countries registering in the sale.

The top price of the sale was paid for Mahmoud Said’s (Egyptian 1897-1964) Les Chadoufs, of 1934, setting a record for any modern painting by any Middle Eastern artist, selling for an extraordinary $2,434,500 / AED8,939,484.

Mahmoud Said’s Les Chadoufs, was the highlight of 25 works from the Collection of Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi, which was a 100% sold, realizing $8,705,250 / AED 31,965,678. Twenty-one out of the twenty-five paintings sold above estimate and eight new world auction records for Egyptian artists were established (lots 21, 22, 26, 27, 32, 33, 34 and 36).

William Lawrie, Director Contemporary Middle Eastern Art and head of sale: “We were honoured to be entrusted with the masterpieces of Egyptian art collected by one of the greatest patrons of Middle Eastern art Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi. It is a tribute to his taste and the strength of the market that these works achieved such spectacular prices tonight. These provided the platform for outstanding prices for many other leading artists of the region including Parviz Tanavoli, breaking for the second time the $1 million mark, Afshin Pirashemi, achieving a new world auction record and Farhad Moshiri achieving a world record auction price for one of his installations. The energy in the sale room was palpable and it will be a night that everybody at Christie’s and in the Middle Eastern collecting community will remember for some years.”

Jussi Pylkkänen, President of Christie's Middle East and Europe: “Tonight was a landmark sale which perfectly illustrates what can be achieved when Middle Eastern masterpieces are offered to the international art market. I am sure that the sale will give Middle Eastern collectors around the world the confidence required to continue to sell their major works of art here at Christie’s in Dubai. Where we had seen Iranian works steal the limelight in recent seasons, tonight it was the turn of the great Egyptian artists such as Mahmoud Said, Mahmoud Mokhtar, Hamed Nada and Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar. We now fully understand what can happen in our Dubai sale room when we offer the very best from the significant artistic communities in the region.”

Christie's | William Lawrie | Modern and Contemporary Art |

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April 28, 2010

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