Dubai Sale Brings in $16.9 million Against $32 million Low Estimate
Bloomberg reports on the two-day sale of jewelry and art in Dubai:
“This is our best collection of Arab and Iranian art ever,” said Michael Jeha, Managing Director of Christie’s Middle East, in an Oct. 28 interview in Dubai. “The jewelry team lowered its estimates slightly, but for picture sales we left estimates as they are because paintings over time retain their value.” London-based Christie’s has held two sales of jewelry and art a year in Dubai since 2006. Dubai’s first auction of this year raised $40 million, the same as its total sales in 2007.
Before we follow the financial press in calling this a crash, look closely at those numbers. This sale went back to slightly below the average sale volume of 2007 ($20 million) but represents 40% year-over-year growth instead of the expected 80-100% YoY growth. Christie’s probably isn’t happy with the miss but the collectors don’t seem to be complaining:
“The sale has done well considering it is during a financial crisis,” said Edward el-Shaer, a Syrian art collector. [ . . . ]
“It’s a bargain for the buyers,” said Tariq al-Jaidah, a collector from Qatar, at yesterday’s art auction. He spent more than $300,000 on three works including $170,500 on an untitled piece by Lebanese artist Nabil Nahas that was estimated to be worth $150,000 to $200,000.