A brief note on the last auctions – Islamic Art Week, Spring 2017, London

The Islamic Art Week that the Bonhams, Sotheby’s and Christie’s organize twice every year in London is a fixed appointment for me. This year, as always, I followed the auctions and checked what happened in one of the most important events of Islamic art market in the year. And now, I just want to share with you some notes.

Data are boring, but they are important to check the trend of the market. In any case this year I’ll keep it short, and to keep it even shorter, you can directly check this infographic.

Totally, the four auctions (Bonhams 25/4, Sotheby’s 26/4, Christie’s 27/4, and Christie’s 28/4) sold 623 lots, out of 1148 that were on sale.
In particular: Bonhams sold 103 lots out of 304 (34%), Sotheby’s sold 152 out of 240 (63%),  and Christie’s sold on Apr 27th 149 lots out of 221 (67%), and on Apr 28th 219 lots out of 383 (57%).

A rare and impressive calligraphic wooden beam, Spain or Morocco, 12th/13th century. Lot 46, Christie’s 27/4/2017.

The price realized, again, taking into consideration the four auctions, was an impressive £12,473,228 (Bonhams 25/4: £959,225; Sotheby’s 26/4: £6,078,375; Christie’s 27/4: £4,559,625; Christie’s 28/4: £876,003).
These results, generally speaking, match the general trend of the market and are not at all unexpected.

The same cannot be said for the highest realized prices. Lot 139 at Sotheby’s realized the highest price, £1,076,750. This stunning amount is more than three times higher than the highest realized price of the last year Spring edition of Islamic art auctions.

A large and exceptional Ottoman voided silk velvet and metal-thread panel (çatma), with çintamani and tiger-stripe design. Lot 139, auction L17220 Sotheby’s

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