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Sotheby's Inaugural Dedicated Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art Achieves $1,838,597
Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991), The Minotaur. Estimate: 50,000—70,000 GBP. Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 85,250 GBP. Photo: Sotheby´s.
LONDON.- Today, Sotheby’s first-ever sale of Turkish Contemporary Art realised the strong total of £1,307,400 ($1,838,597) against a pre-sale estimate of £1.1-1.5 million and saw several works more than double their pre-sale high estimates. Over 60 clients registered to bid in the auction, which was 78.5% sold by value and 70.8% sold by lot, with buyers from Turkey, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. A notable 66% of buyers in the sale were new to Sotheby’s.

Discussing the results of the auction Ali Can Ertug, Sotheby’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Middle East, comments: "The result achieved for this inaugural London sale of Turkish Contemporary Art is true testament to the rich cultural history of Turkey, which has cultivated such talented contemporary artists. We are thrilled that this first test of the market with Turkish Contemporary Art as a separate category on the international auction scene was so well received and attracted such enthusiastic bidding."

Dalya Islam, Senior Specialist and Head of Sale, continued: "Today's auction met our pre-sale expectations and we are delighted to see such strong prices achieved, across both the Contemporary and Modern sections, particularly for artists such as Mübin Orhon - whose oil on canvas Untitled brought the top price in the auction - Fahrelnissa Zeid, Taner Ceylan and Erol Akyavas."

Auction Highlights
The top-selling lot in today’s sale was Mübin Orhon’s Untitled, 1961, oil on canvas which achieved £193,250, more than doubling its high estimate of £80,000. Two further works by this modern master achieved prices well within their pre-sale estimate - his 1957 Untitled achieved £61,250 against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-70,000 and his 1962 Untitled canvas brought £37,250, within the pre-sale estimate of £30,000-50,000.

The second-highest-selling lot was Fahrelnissa Zeid’s stunning oil on canvas Le Minautore which achieved £85,250, above its high estimate of £70,000. The painting is from a very specific period in the late 1950s when the artist’s focus moved away from practicing in her traditional geometric style to a more expressionist mode of depiction.

Another highlight of the sale was the cover lot Spiritual by hyperrealist artist Taner Ceylan, which achieved £70,850 ($99,636) above its high estimate of £40,000. This outstanding work by one of the foremost artists on the Istanbul contemporary art circuit is a technical masterpiece of patience and precision.

Further sale highlights include Erol Ekyavas’ The Kiss, which achieved the strong price of £70,850, doubling the pre-sale high estimate of £35,000, and Mehmet Güleryüz’s sculpture Crated Money, which sold for £46,850, within its pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000.

Sale Statistics
• Total: £1,307,400 ($1,838,597) (Estimate: £1,116,000-1,556,000)
• Sold by lot: 70.8%
• Sold by Value: 78.5%
• Of the sold lots, 45.1% achieved prices, including premium, in excess of their pre-sale high estimates
• 66% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s
• Sale attracted buyers from Turkey, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America

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