Sotheby’s Dubai Opens New Space with Worldwide Highlights Exhibition

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Launch Slideshow

Highly sought-after masterpieces and extraordinary jewellery and watches will be among the highlights on display at the official opening exhibition of Sotheby’s Dubai. The exhibition, which will be open to the public from 14 March, will be led by a preview of Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian artworks from the London 20th Century/Middle East sale. The view will take place at Level 1, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE from Tuesday 14 to Sunday 19 March 2017 and is open to the public from 10am–8pm (please note an early closing time of 5pm on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 and a late opening time of 2pm on Friday 17) with events ranging from gallery tours to a book launch with Rose Issa and Juliet Cestar. Sotheby's Dubai will present an expanded programme of year-round events, including selling and non-selling exhibitions, events and talks, reflecting the spectrum of Sotheby's international sales and extensive client services. Click ahead to see highlights from the exhibition.

Sotheby’s Dubai Opens New Space with Worldwide Highlights Exhibition

  • Fahrelnissa Zeid, Towards a Sky, 1953. Estimate £550,000–650,000.
    One of the most influential female Turkish artists, Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid’s dynamic works embody a fusion of influences from Islamic, Byzantine, Arab and Persian art combined with stylistic elements from post-war Europe such as Fauvism and Cubism. Best known for her large-scale abstract paintings, Towards a Sky is the second largest of her works to appear at auction and its sheer size achieves a kind of painterly tour de force. Painted in 1953 in London while Zeid was living there with her husband H.R. Prince Emir bin Zeid, who was assigned to the UK as the first Iraqi ambassador, the work was exhibited at a ground-breaking solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London – making Zeid one of the first and few female artists to exhibit there.

    20th Century Art/ Middle East

    London | 25 April

  • Bahman Mohasses, Requiem Omnibus (Death of Martin Luther King), 1968. Estimate £280,000–380,000.
    Many of Mohasses’ most important works were painted in the wake of world conflict, and Requiem Omnibus (Death of Martin Luther King) is a personal response to the assassination of Martin Luther King that penetrates to the essence of tragedy which transcends the event. In his surrealist style combined with a sophisticated palette of Tuscan tones, he depicts a form of aesthetic that was removed from beauty but intimate with existential questions.

    20th Century Art/ Middle East

    London | 25 April

  • Monir Farmanfarmaian, Triangle of Hope, 2008. Estimate 100,000–120,000.
    Monir Farmanfarmaian’s timeless yet contemporary works have long been met with international acclaim, most recently with her recent retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2015. Farmanfarmain’s oeuvre brings together the decorative elements of Iranian traditional craft with Western abstraction – in playful yet poignant homage to Islamic geometry and the ancient roots of Iranian culture.

    20th Century Art/ Middle East

    London | 25 April

  • A gem-set and enamelled gold necklace, North India, 19th century. Estimate £30,000–40,000.
    Commissioned by a wealthy patron, this finely executed necklace was set with clear gemstones, which were cut and foil-backed to bring out their maximum brilliance as was the custom in 19th-century India. It is entirely covered with fine polychrome enamel on the reverse and miniature seed pearl necklaces with a hanging spinel.

    Arts of the Islamic World

    London | 26 April

  • An Arabian saif with gold hilt and mounted scabbard, Arabian Peninsula, 19th century. Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    The exhibition will present a selection of weapons from the Arabian Peninsula, led by a silver and gilt-overlaid Indo-Arab matchlock gun – featuring both Indian and Ottoman designs, constructed with a Spanish-style barrel. This Arabian ‘saif’, or curved sword, was covered entirely in gold and likely to have been intended as a presentation gift.

    Arts of the Islamic World

    London | 26 April

  • A large Ottoman silk and metal-thread brocade (Kemha), Turkey, late 16th/17th century. Estimate £40,000–60,000. Property from the Collection of Argine Benaki Salvago.
    One of the most renowned collecting families of the 19th century, the affluent Benaki Salvago family was an important part of the Greek community in Egypt and the founders of the Benaki Museum in Athens. Argine herself was a leading figure in Alexandrian society, and this sale showcases seventeen spectacular textiles from her collection. Appearing at auction for the first time, the exquisite selection of Ottoman textiles comprises important velvets, brocades and silks. Characterised by iconic Ottoman designs, these works are decorated with çintamani patterns and entwined with tulips, hyacinths, roses and carnations – the motifs associated with the Ottoman Empire. These rare, museum-quality works epitomise Ottoman taste from the 16th century onwards, as influenced by Venetian textile production during the same period. Whilst the pieces attest to the taste of these Imperial Ottoman ateliers, they are also testament to the skill and inventiveness of their craftsman.

    Arts of the Islamic World

    London | 26 April

  • Eugène Girardet, A desert caravan. Estimate £100,000–150,000.
    Girardet's luminous, cinematic view of the nomadic life depicts a Berber tribe crossing the desert, following the course of a wadi or dried-up riverbed towards its next camp and watering place. The painting is as much a celebration of the stoicism and dignity of the self-sufficient tribesmen and women, shepherding their herd as they travel, as it is of the Saharan light and the intensity of the desert sun. Girardet hailed from an artistic Swiss Huguenot family, and had long been inspired to travel by his uncles Karl and Edouard, who had journeyed to and painted Egypt; and from his father Paul, who had engraved episodes of the colonial war in Algeria after Horace Vernet. In 1874, Girardet embarked for Morocco, then travelled to Tunisia and Algeria, for which he developed a particular fondness.

    The Orientalist Sale

    London | 25 April

  • Rudolf Ernst, The Fortune Teller, Cairo. Estimate £80,000–120,000.
    Appearing at auction for the first time, The Fortune Teller, Cairo was acquired by the great grandparents of the current owner in New York between 1888 and 1898. In the setting, Ernst has taken inspiration from the portal of the Sultan Hasan Mosque in Cairo, regarded as the greatest mosque of the medieval Islamic world.. Ernst depicts a side gate to the mosque, with its great copper doors and niche with muqarnas decoration, in whose entrance a fortune teller or sufi mystic dispenses his wisdom to a man wearing a Turco-Egyptian hat known as a tarboosh. Men queue up in their dozens in the the blazing afternoon heat to await their turn to be blessed or enlightened. Ernst's fascination with Islamic culture was sparked by his journeys to Andalusia, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt in the 1880s, and his paintings reflect not only his skills as an artist but the breadth of his knowledge of the cultures he visited. His meticulous finished paintings are worked up from the sketches, photographs, and props and costumes brought back to Paris from his travels. The close cropping of this work, particularly of the figure on the right, is clearly indebted to photography, and gives it the sense of a snap shot of everyday life.

    The Orientalist Sale

    London | 25 April

  • Eugène Baugniès, The Dhikr. Estimate £80,000–120,000.
    Dhikr, meaning 'remembrance', is a form of devotion, associated chiefly with Sufism, in which the worshippers are absorbed in the rhythmic repetition of the name of God or his attributes, often to the accompaniment of music. Baugniès depicts a Sufi ceremony in great detail: a group of men, seated in a semi-circle on straw mats in a mosque courtyard, practice dhikr, entranced by a Sufi mystic and the mesmerizing sound of flute and tambourine.

    The Orientalist Sale

    London | 25 April

  • Magnificent Jewels
    Fancy Vivid Green Diamond Ring, 1.64 carats. Estimate $1,000,000–1,500,000.

    Fancy Gray-Blue Diamond Ring, circa 1930, 5.07 carats. Estimate $750,000–1,000,000.

    Magnificent Jewels
    New York | 25 April

  • Magnificent Jewels
    The Magnificent and Legendary Stotesbury Emerald
    Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Ring, Harry Winston

    Set with a hexagon-shaped emerald weighing approximately 34.40 carats, framed by pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 6.00 carats, size 5½, signed Winston.

    Estimate $800,000–1.2 million

    Magnificent Jewels
    New York | 25 April

  • Magnificent Jewels
    Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, Cartier, Paris

    Of foliate design, set with two emerald-cut sapphires weighing approximately 10.40 and 7.75 carats, accented by round, baguette, old European-cut, pear and marquise-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 13.95 carats, signed Cartier Paris, numbered 07529, with French assay and maker’s marks.

    Estimate $200,000–300,000

    Magnificent Jewels
    New York | 25 April

  • Watches
    Patek Philippe, A perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with registers, moon-phases and leap year indication, circa 2010. Estimate £70,000–100,000.

    George Daniels, A white gold automatic centre seconds wristwatch with date and Daniels slim co-axial escapement, Millennium 1999. Estimate £80,000–120,000.

    Rolex, A stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with registrars and bracelet, circa 1971. Estimate £80,000–120,000.

    Watches

    London | 25 April

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