On 22 October, Sotheby’s set the spotlight on its annual Paris Orientalist and Islamic sale.
The voluptuousness of the nudes charmed connoisseurs and enthusiasts of the subject. Guillaume Seignac’s Odalisque à l’éventail (lot 127) achieved €47,500 and François-Léon Comerre’s oil on canvas, Le manteau légendaire (lot 128), sold for €41,250. Colourful landscapes also received much attention. Le Sirocco, ou un coup de vent dans l’oasis de Bou-Saâda (lot 145) by Etienne Dinet soared to €57,000, and Jacques Majorelle’s Souks de Marrakech (lot 146) sold for €41,250.
Sculptures were highly sought-after during the sale, with works by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier particularly well received. La Vénus Africaine (lot 121) won hearts for €75,000 and La Mauresque noire (lot 118) for €60,000.
The annual Regards sur L’Orient sale will delight all lovers of Orientalist works. It will contain quality works with an emphasis on those executed in North Africa. One of the highlights will be a large triptych by Lecomte du Nouÿ representing Ramsès dans son harem. A sketch by Gérôme made for his painting Femme au Bain will appeal in its serenity. Finally, a revisited view of the surroundings of Constantinople by Tournemine will charm the audience and transport them to an imaginary Orient.
The Islamic Art section includes an exceptional collection of works on paper, including a rare illuminated Qur’an by Ahmad al-Nayrizi, Safavid Persia, dated AH 1121/ 1709-10 AD, with an estimate of €40,000-€60,000, a set of calligraphies mounted on the pages of an album, signed by the greatest Persian and Mughal masters, illustrating the art of calligraphy in Turkey, Iran and India, from the 14th to the 19th century. The other part of the Islamic section will present a special collection comprising Iznik ceramics, including a wide flat scalloped platter, about 1575, with an estimate of €25,000-€35,000.
A fine set of polychrome Viennese bronzes and a magnificent bust, La Mauresque, by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier will complete the sale.