The strength of the Islamic art sales would seem to have come from the single owner collection at Sotheby’s sold under the title of A Princely Collection. But closer examination of the results shows that the strength in the market came in Sotheby’s various owner sale which paradoxically had the lowest sell-through rate of all three auctions.
Christie’s performed nicely with 71% of the lots sold and an average price of $62k. But Sotheby’s various owners sale was propelled by the topmost lots, many of which sold for multiples of the high estimates. Only two of the top ten lots in that sale ultimately priced in the estimate range — or any where near it. So the average price of the day sale lots actually exceeded the single-owner sale by 25% even though the Princely Collection was nearly a sell-out.