The sale saw competitive bidding from collectors in the MENA region and beyond, and established new auction records for three artists: Eugène Baugniès, Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ, and Georg Emanuel Opiz, whose exquisitely rendered early depiction of the Hajj pilgrimage led the sale.
Works of the German and Austrian schools – including by Deutsch, Ernst, and Bauernfeind – were in particularly strong demand, with a 100% sell-through rate. The market for Orientalist art continues to show strength, especially for evocative subjects that bring the region to life or shed light on its history.
The Orientalist Sale, launched as an annual event in 2012 and now in its sixth season, brings together paintings and sculpture representing the landscapes, people, and customs of North Africa, Egypt, the Levant, Arabia, and the Ottoman world during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The highlight of this year’s sale is Georg Emanuel Opiz’s The Arrival of the Mahmal at an Oasis en Route to Mecca, a lavish and wonderfully detailed rendition of the annual Hajj pilgrimage estimated at £800,000-1,200,000.
Along with scenes of worship, street life, and extensive desert views, as well as exquisitely worked costume bronzes, these works provide fascinating historical insights into the Arab, Ottoman, and Islamic worlds of the time.