Records broken at Sotheby’s £11.8 million Orientalist and Islamic Week auction

April 13, 2014 2:11 pm

Sotheby’s Orientalist and Islamic Week concluded on April 9, bringing a combined total of £11,806,075 against a pre-sale estimate of £9.3 million to £13.6m.

The week’s sales were led by the most important Persian royal portrait to appear on the market in decades. Depicting Fath ‘Ali Shah and dating from circa 1820, it sold for £3m on April 9 at Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World auction, establishing a new record for any Qajar portrait. Another record was broken when Au Bord du Nil (On the banks of the Nile) by Mahmoud Mokhtar sold for £458,500, soaring above its pre-sale estimate of £50,000 to £70,000, which is the highest achieved for any Egyptian sculptor at auction.

Other highlights from the sale include an imperial Ottoman penbox, which doubled its pre-sale estimate to sell for £314,500, and a manuscript of poems from the Khamsa of Nizami, which sold for £194,500. Overall, the sale achieved a total of £6,980,175 against a pre-sale estimate of £5.1m to £7.6m.


The Orientalist Sale on April 8 totaled £4,825,900 against its pre-sale estimate of £4.2m £6m. The top lot was Etienne Dinet’s Conciliabule dans la nuit (The Night Conspirators), which sold for £782,500.