Highlights on View Ahead of Inaugural Boundless: Dubai Sale

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Visitors to Sotheby’s Dubai this month will have the opportunity to see a selection of worldwide highlights from the international auction calendar. The exhibition will star highly sought-after masterpieces by celebrated artists from the region alongside pieces of historical importance and a selection of extraordinary jewellery from the November Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Geneva sale. There will also be the opportunity to view highlights from the London Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of an Artist, Arts of the Islamic World and 20th Century Arts/Middle East sale alongside top lots from the Boundless: Dubai sale, which takes place on 13 November. Click ahead to see highlights. The view will take place at Level 1, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE from 9–12 October 2017 with public events including a gallery tour and talk by artist Nadim Karam.

Opening times:

Monday October 9 – 10am–3pm  
Tuesday October 10 - 10am–1pm and 6–8pm 
Wednesday October 11 – 10am-5.30pm
Thursday October 12 – 10am-8pm (NB: Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels will not be on view at this time)

Highlights on View Ahead of Inaugural Boundless: Dubai Sale

  • Bahman Mohasses, Untitled, 1965. Estimate £80,000-120,000$103,000–154,000). From 20th Century Art / Middle East sale
    The 20th Century Art / Middle East Sale presents a rare and daring work by painter and poet Bahman Mohasses, a pioneer in the Iranian art world who revelled in satire and drama. The psychological and political component of Mohasses’ work has striking similarities to that of his fellow modern painter Francis Bacon. Indeed, an exhibition earlier this year at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art brought together a selection of surviving artworks by these two artists.

  • Sohrab Sepehri, Untitled (From the Tree Trunk series), 1972. Estimate £220,000–280,000/$281,600–358,400. From 20th Century Art / Middle East sale
    Poet and painter Sohrab Sepehri, born in 1928 in the desert town of Kashan, is one of the most recognizable and treasured of all the Iranian modern masters. His work is testament to a desire to return to the solace of his homeland, imbuing his paintings with the Zen-like ambiance of the desert. This lofty and beautifully textured work is an exceptional example from his rhythmic and masterful Tree Series

  • A fine diamond-set gold presentation cigarette case gifted by Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1909), Istanbul, inscribed 1890. Estimate £15,000–20,000. From Arts of the Islamic World sale
    This fine cigarette case carries an inscription, noting that it was offered by Sultan Abdulhamid to Pierre Loti (1850–1923),  at the Yildiz Palace in May 1890. Loti was a naval officer who spent much of his time based in the Middle East, where he allegedly fell in love with a beautiful Turkish woman named Aziyadé. This affair inspired his first novel, which was published in 1879. Subsequently he became a renowned author, known as much for his exoticism as that which is written in his novels.

  • A turquoise-set and enamelled gold necklace, North India, 19th century. Estimate £7,000–10,000. From Arts of the Islamic World sale
    Sumptuous yet restrained in colour and design, this necklace exemplifies the elegance of nineteenth-century Indian jewellery. Passed down through the Cecil family since the nineteenth century, it is known as the ‘Palmerston’ necklace as according to family tradition it was gifted by the 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865) to an ancestor.

  • A pair of Ottoman gilt-copper (tombak) candlesticks, Turkey, 19th century. Estimate £10,000–15,000. From Arts of the Islamic World sale
    The Arts of the Islamic World sale includes eighteen lots from the collection of Serge Brunst, one of the most renowned and respected interior designers in Beirut. Fusing his own rich multicultural background, Serge’s interiors are aesthetically varied and he has been entrusted with the renovation of many of the city’s grand Ottoman houses. This selection of pieces recognises the luxurious aesthetic of the Ottoman Empire, including this highly-decorative tombak piece .

  • Bhupen Khakhar, De-Luxe Tailors, oil on canvas, 1972. Estimate £250,000–350,000. From Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of the Artist sale
    The presence of two works by Bhupen Khakhar in the Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of the Artist sale is the result of a long and storied friendship between the two artists. Hodgkin was in many ways Khakhar’s mentor and in some ways his liberator. Given as a gift from Khakhar to Hodgkin, De-Luxe Tailors , which featured prominently in the recent Tate retrospective of Khakhar’s work, epitomises the artist’s early style and is a signature work from this period. It is one of the most important works by the artist to ever come to the market and the only painting from his seminal ‘Tradesmen series’ to be offered at auction.

  • Palmette and Cloudband Carpet Fragment, Central Persia, (probably Isphahan), mid 17th century. Estimate £8,000–15,000. From Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of the Artist sale
    A thought-provoking and imaginative work, this offered carpet fragment is enticing and leaves the viewer in wonder at how magnificent it would have been in its complete state. The intensity and richness of the crimson ground is beguiling and the beautiful drawing of the ‘C’ scrolls, palmettes and cloudbands, remarkable. The main production centre for these prized and expensive commodities was the imperial city of Isphahan where Shah Abbas moved his court in 1643.

  • A large caparisoned elephant, North India, Rajasthan, Kota, 20th century. Estimate £3,000–5,000. From Howard Hodgkin: Portrait of the Artist sale
    This late lively painting of a running elephant is executed in the same vein as Kotah elephant paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The elephant is shown caparisoned with a brightly coloured saddlecloth, secured by trappings and bells that were not only decorative but were used "to warn passers-by and give them time to get out of the way; for when an elephant runs, or merely walks, he does not stop like a horse would." The elephant in is shown in his mast ('intoxicated') season, where he would have been at the peak of his strength.

  • Important Burmese sapphire and diamond ring, Weighing 45.74 carats, Van Cleef & Arpels.
    Estimate: US$ 700,000–900,000 / CHF 680,000–870,000. From Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels
    The most sought-after grading for white diamonds, D-Colour, is matched only by the exceptional clarity of this remarkable 22.76-carat stone: it may be classed as Internally Flawless after polishing.

  • Diamond ring weighing 22.76 carats, D Colour, VS1 Clarity, Potential.
    Estimate: US$ 1,235,000–1,855,000 / CHF 1,200,000–1,800,000.
    The most sought-after grading for white diamonds, D-Colour, is matched only by the exceptional clarity of this remarkable 22.76-carat stone: it may be classed as Internally Flawless after polishing.

  • Pair of diamond earrings weighing 10.50 and 10.51 carats respectively, D Colour, Flawless, Type IIa. Estimate: US$ 2,100,000–3,100,000 / CHF 2,050,000–3,050,000. From Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels
    Timeless and elegant, these ravishing diamond earrings are D-Colour and Internally Flawless. What’s more, they could hardly be closer to a perfect match, weighing 10.50 and 10.51 carats respectively. 

  • Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ring, weighing 7.41 carats, Moussaieff, Internally Flawless.
    Estimate: US$ 14,000,000–18,000,000/ CHF 13,450,000–17,300,000. From Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels
    A striking creating by Moussaieff: the oval modified brilliant cut of this exceptional 7.41-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond is beautifully offset by a frame of marquise-shaped diamonds of pink tint. 

  • Manouchehr Yektai, Untitled (Still Life), 1971-74. Estimate $60,000–80,000. From Boundless: Dubai sale
    Yektai established himself among the leading artistic lights of New York in the 1950s, mingling with renowned Abstract Expressionists such as Rothko, De Kooning and Pollock. The movement of Action Painting left a strong impression on the artist, reinforcing his Sufi-like appreciation of colour. A gifted poet with little concern for convention, he had a pioneering spirit and was determined to forge his own path. Yektai’s paintings are testament to this power of colour, visual brilliance and use of paint –in fact, he was the first Iranian to use layered paint and impasto in this way. His paintings have been described as ‘sculptured poems’, with a profound lyricism running through his bold body of work.

  • Samia Halaby, Untitled (Big Michelangelo Perspective No. 162), 1965. Estimate $30,000–40,000. From Boundless: Dubai sale
    Dating from Samia Halaby’s earliest period, Michelangelo Perspective is the only figurative work by the artist to have ever appeared at auction. Synthesising her unique use of line and colour with a study of fresco-inspired drawings, the painting is telling of Halaby’s dual identities and evokes the religious hybridity that make up the Palestinian landscape and culture – with all three Abrahamic religions brought together.

  • First edition of Hermann Schlegel and A.H. Verster de Wulverhorst’s Traité de fauconnerie, 1844-53. Estimate £10,000–15,000. From The Library of a European Gentleman sale
    Regarded as the finest work on falconry that has ever been produced, these beautiful hand-coloured plates are prized for their life-size depictions of hawks with natural and precise colouring. 

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