Postponed from 1 April and 31 March respectively, Sotheby’s sales of Arts of the Islamic World & India, and more than thirty further works from the legendary Najd Collection of Orientalist Paintings, are now scheduled to take place this June.
Important Works from the Najd Collection Part II is the second sale of important paintings from a collection that was assembled in the early to mid-1980s by one man driven by an informed passion to build a panoptic picture of society in North Africa and the Middle East a century or more ago. Open for bidding between 8 – 11 June, the sale will present a selection of stunningly observed historic scenes as experienced by intrepid explorers in the nineteenth-century, including works by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Gustav Bauernfeind and Ludwig Deutsch. It follows an auction on 22 October 2019 of thirty-six works from the collection which sold for a record total of £33.5 million. In the Part I sale, nine new artist auction records were achieved.
Comprising over 300 lots, Arts of the Islamic World & India on 10 June will feature sumptuous Mughal and Ottoman textiles from the collection of co-founder of New York’s Storm King Art Center, H. Peter Stern; a magnificent Diwan of Hafiz, the “Shakespeare of Persian Literature”, recovered to the heirs of Jafar Ghazi in January after thirteen years; and a rare 13th-century pottery Persian pitcher from the famed “Gurgan Hoard”.
An expanded calendar of dedicated online sales at Sotheby’s over the past couple of months has met with an enthusiastic response from a wide spectrum of consignors and buyers, with records and new benchmarks achieved across an extensive range of selling categories.
Recent Sales in these Categories
Converted from a live to an online auction, Sotheby’s Orientalist Sale (2-7 April) brought a total of £2.9 million / $3.6 million, and with over 50% of lots exceeding their high estimates. The auction was led by Henriette Browne’s A Visit: A Harem Interior, a rare and important painting by one of the few female Orientalist painters active in the nineteenth century, which climbed to more than fifteen times its low estimate, to reach £795,000 ($986,038) – an auction record for a female Orientalist painter.
Also converted from a live to an online auction, a sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art (27-31 March) totalled £2.2 million / $2.7 million, towards the high end of its pre-sale estimate, and with 60% of lots exceeding their pre-sale high estimates, often by multiple factors. The auction was led by a radical work from Morocco’s modernist master Mohamed Melehi, which soared to a record £399,000 / $487,339, nearly seven times its estimate, after 30 bids were placed on the piece.
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* Estimates do not include buyer's premium or overhead premium. Prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer's premium and overhead premium and are net of any fees paid to the purchaser where the purchaser provided an irrevocable bid.
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