Bonham’s Dubai sale was 70% sold and brought in $1.8m which was above the house’s expectations. Bonham’s has been more dour about sales in the Gulf States than other auctioneers. So the solid sale is good news for everyone. The National reports:
Hanging on walls in the heart of this Dubai hotel are about 80 pieces of art from the Middle East and South Asia that have come out for auction, and they have caught the attention of an equal number of prospective buyers. The seemingly well-heeled and unquestionably elegant crowd of Emiratis, Western expatriates and South Asian collectors pause, nod appreciatively at each work and discuss the pre-auction estimates.
An untitled painting by the modern Indian master Francis Newton Souza, which is estimated to sell for between US$15,000 (Dh55,100) and $25,000, garners the most interest. […] Barely 10 minutes into the evening, a watercolour by Gaganendranath Tagore (1867-1938), one of India’s first modern artists, whose influences ranged from Far Eastern styles to cubism, sells for nearly 10 times its pre-auction estimate. The Illumination of the Shadow, which depicts a scene from the Hindu festival Diwali, is purchased by an anonymous phone bidder for $58,800.
The Souza painting eventually sells, after one of the evening’s many energetic bidding wars, for $86,400. Mr Bagash, who has a collection of more than 1,000 paintings from South Asian, South East Asian and Middle Eastern artists, did, however, not place the winning bid.
The Business of Art Beckons (The National)