Christie’s Dubai March auctions of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art and important watches realised a total of $13.43 million, setting new records.
The Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art sale held during the evening of March 17 concluded Dubai Art Week and achieved a total of $8,079,375, setting new world auction records for 18 artists.
The artists included Marwan Sahmarani (Lebanese, b. 1970), Nazir Nabaa (Syrian, 1941-2016), Mahmoud Sabri (Iraqi, 1927-2012) and Koorosh Shishegaran (Iranian, b. 1945).
The Important Watches auction realised $5,358,313, the highest total for any watch auction in the Middle East and set a record for the most expensive watch sold at auction in the region.
The top lot of the sales were Mahmoud Saïd’s Assouan – ile et dunes oil painting, accompanied by its preparatory oil sketch, selling for $685,500 tripling its pre-sale estimate and for the watches the highest price of the evening was achieved for the Patek Philippe ref. 2499/100, manufactured in 1981, selling for just under $500,000. It is also the most expensive vintage watch sold at auction in the Middle East.
The Dubai auction attracted interest from collectors around the globe from 22 countries and the top lots from the picture sale were bought by clients from Lebanon, Canada, UAE and UK. Christie’s dynamic and packed Middle Eastern sale room welcomed a very large number of registrants in the room, on the phone and via Christies Live of which 12 per cent were new to Christie’s and 43 per cent transacted via its real time online bidding platform Christies LIVE over the past two evening sales.
Michael Jeha, managing director Christie’s Middle East, commented: “Christie’s reinforced its position as market leader in the region for the 12th consecutive year. The demand for top quality art remains extremely strong and the buyer base for Middle Eastern art continues to deepen and internationalise. There was fierce bidding in the room for the most established artists, with 18 new auction records being set in the process.”