Sotheby’s 20th Century Art / Middle East sale brought £2,048,875 (est. £1,040,500-1,439,500) - marking the return of a vibrant and exciting international platform for modern and contemporary arts from North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and Iran in London. The sale achieved a record for Mahmoud Mokhtar, the first Egyptian sculptor to follow the pharaonic tradition of sculpting, as On the Banks of the Nile sold for £725,000 (est. £120,000-180,000) - an elegant and determined depiction of the struggle for political independence and the emancipation of women in Egypt in the first decades of the 20th-century.
The Bull, a unique and striking sculpture by the most renowned post-war Egyptian sculptor Salah Abdel Kerim, sold for more than four times its estimate at a record £173,000. Other world records for artists at auction included Iranian artists Leyly Matine Daftary, Maliheh Afnan and Taher Pour Heidari, Jordanian artist Mona Saudi and Iraqi artist Zeid Saleh.
In April 2016 Sotheby’s will relaunch its vibrant and exciting international platform for modern and contemporary arts from North Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and Iran in London with the 20th Century Art – Middle East sale. The auction will include a number of important and rare works by renowned artists, such as Mahmoud Mokthar, Mahmoud Said, Sohrab Sepehri, Fahrelnissa Zeid and Monir Farmanfarmaian.
Our section in the 20th Century Art – A Different Perspective sale in December 2015 achieved stellar results, with seven artists records and participation from an international client base. The sale was led by Mahmoud Mokhtar's On the Banks of the Nile (Nahw Ma'a Elnil), which sold for £317,000, far above its pre-sale estimate of £30,000-40,000, Mahmoud Said's Nu aux Bracelets d'Or (£161,000) and Behjat Sadr’s Untitled (£56,250).