Mahmoud Said painting second highest at Christie's in Dubai

Ahram Online, Friday 28 Oct 2011

During the two day Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art auction organised by Christie's in Dubai, a painting by Mahmoud Said sold for over half a million dollars

Jussi Pylkkänen, President of Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India selling Mahmoud Said’s, Petite fille d’Assiout for $650,000 / AED2,433,362 (photo courtesy: Christie's)

Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art sale in Dubai was divided into two sections: Part I, with 46 works, took place on 25 October; part II, with 155, on 26 October. The latter was intended to encourage a new, younger group of buyers through lower prices. Parts I and II totalled $7.3 million. With a pre-sale estimate of $4.5 million, Part I realised $4,998,850.

A painting by the father of modern Egyptian art, Mahmoud Said (1897-1964) was the second highest lot sold. A remarkable portrait of a young maidservant, Petite fille d’Assiout, painted in 1945, was sold to a private collector for $650,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000.

The highest lot was Untitled (from the Tree Trunk Series) by the Iranian artist Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1990) which sold for $662,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $250,000-300,000, setting a new world record for the artist.

The part II sale marked a significant change in the variety and value of the works without compromising on quality. In this part, success was reflected in the $2.3 million gained and the 83 percent selling rate. Works by Egyptian artists were also sold: Ahmed Askalany’s Kissing (2011) for $68,000 (estimate: $30-40 thousand) and Youssef Nabil’s Amani by Window (1993) for $56,250 (estimate: $30-40 thousand).

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