March 5th 2008 - Bonhams, the UK-headquartered international fine art auction house established since 1793, broke three world records at its inaugural Middle East art auction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The auction achieved total sales of over US$13 million - almost three times the expected result, with a phenomenal 94% of lots sold.
The auction witnessed the first Middle East artist to achieve an auction sale of over US$1 million with Iranian Farhad Moshiri's stunning Swarovski crystals and glitter on canvas 'Eshgh' (Love) - a sale which also wrote Moshiri into record books as the highest achieving Iranian artist at auction.
Breaking the world record for an auctioned Pakistani work of art, Gulgee's 'Polo Player' sold for US$336,000 - more than four times the reserve.
"This is an unbelievable result for our first auction in this market, and proves beyond doubt that the United Arab Emirates is an emerging commercial hub for modern contemporary art from the region," said Matthew Girling, Bonhams; Chief Executive Europe & Middle East.
"We're firmly committed to the region and Bonhams is now here to stay - we feel this is definitely the start of something big. With the support of our partners, the Al Tajir family, we now look forward to further building our business in the Middle East."
Bonhams' Top Ten
Lot 62, Farhad Moshiri (Iran, b.1963) Eshgh (Love)
Lot 61, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, b.1937) Untitled
Lot 63, Parviz Tanavoli (Iran, b.1937) Poet and the Bird
Lot 24, Francis Newton Souza (India, b.1924-2002) The Elder
Lot 76, Ahmed Moustafa (Egypt, b. 1943) The Transcendental Mansions of the Moon
Lot 68, Ahmed Moustafa (Egypt, b.1943) The Attributes of Divine Perfection
Lot 14, Gulgee (Pakistan, b.1926-2007) Polo Player
Lot 44, Jewad Selim (Iraq, b.1919-1961) Young Man and his Wife
Lot 71, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, b.1937) Untitled
Lot 75, Mohammed Ehsai (Iran, b. 1939) Zekre Allah (15)