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Christie's announces results of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art part I sale
Two women look at the artwork 'The Table' by Turkish artist Seda Hepsev during the Christie's exhibition held at Jumairah Emirates Twin Towers in Gulf Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. EPA/ALI HAIDER.

DUBAI.- Christie’s established Dubai’s place as a truly international sale centre with the introduction of a two part sale format, in line with the major auctions in London, New York and Hong Kong. The most important works of the season were offered at this evening’s auction of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art Part I, with a second session (150 lots) to follow offering works at a more accessible price level, encouraging a new, younger group of collectors to participate. With a pre-sale estimate of $4.5million, this evening’s auction (Part I) realised $4,998,850 / AED18,360,776.

Buyers for the 38 sold lots came from 10 different countries. The buyer breakdown was 35% international and 65% Middle Eastern. Three of the top ten lots were contemporary works, a pattern which mirrors the results of our April sale, a clear sign of the developing taste for contemporary works among collectors. This season is the first time that Christie’s Dubai has divided the sale into a part I and part II format, allowing for the introduction in tomorrow’s sale of a more diverse group of contemporary works offered at estimates from $1,500.

Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East, said: “Tonight, with the introduction of our first part I and II auctions, Dubai truly takes its place alongside our other international sale centres and, as the results of this first session demonstrate, the market has shown it is ready for this next step. We are delighted with tonight’s sale and we look forward to tomorrow evening and the results of our part II sale to add to this total.”

The saleroom in Dubai was packed with a glamorous crowd, many of whom successfully participated in the bidding. Highlights include Sohrab Sepehri’s (Iranian, 1928-1990) Untitled (from the Tree Trunk Series), which sold for $662,500 / AED2,433,362 against a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000, to a Middle Eastern Private collector bidding in the room against fierce competition. This set a new world auction record for the artist. The second highest lot was by the father of modern Egyptian art, Mahmoud Said (1897-1964), a remarkable portrait Petite fille d’Assiout, painted in 1945 of a young maid servant. It sold for $650,000 / AED2,389,287 and was bought by another Middle Eastern private collector over the telephone (estimate: $250,000-300,000).

It was particularly pleasing that the five Turkish lots all sold for a total of $353,000, breaking four world auction records including for the cover lot, Azade Köker’s, The Apple which sold for $122,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $70,000-90,000.

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