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.