ARTnewsletter Archive

Slimmer Volume, Smaller Prices at Bonhams Dubai

Bonhams’s auction of modern and contemporary middle Eastern and South Asian art in Dubai on Oct. 12, the house’s fourth sale in the emirate, realized $1.8 million. Bonhams inaugural Dubai sale in March of last year realized $13 million (ANL, 3/18/08).

NEW YORK—Bonhams’s auction of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern and South Asian art in Dubai on Oct. 12, the house’s fourth sale in the emirate, realized $1.8million. Bonhams’s inaugural Dubai sale in March of last year realized $13million (ANL, 3/18/08).

The top lot was an untitled oil by Iranian artist Mohammad Ehsai (b. 1939), which sold for $132,000, at the top of the estimate of $110,000/130,000. Ehsai’s calligraphic interpretations of Arabic script have frequently figured among the top lots in auctions of Middle Eastern art, and have sold for more than $1million.

The second-highest lot was by another Iranian artist, Afshin Pirhashemi (b. 1974). BMW Series #7, a photorealist painting, sold for $126,000. Parviz Tanavoli’s sculpture Horizontal Heech Lovers, 2008, sold for $84,000 against an estimate of $70,000/90,000. Work by Indian artist Francis Newton Souza (1924–2002) also figured among the top lots. An untitled oil, 1961, sold for $86,400, more than five times its $10,000/15,000 estimate.

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