An auction of almost 100 works of Middle Eastern art from Abdulrahman Al-Zayani, one of the region’s leading collectors sold for nearly $2.9 million at Sotheby’s London.
Titled “Testimony of a Journey: The Al-Zayani Collection,” the collection featured an eclectic mix of themes, mediums, and aesthetics produced over the last century by artists from Egypt, Turkiye, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and North Africa. In a statement, the Al-Zayani family said: “As we open the doors to our collection, the overarching sense is that these pieces were acquired with love, and we are excited for them to go to new homes where they will be discovered and appreciated anew.”
Prior to the live auction, the entire collection was showcased by Sotheby’s from April 20 to 25 at London galleries as part of its Islamic, South Asian, and Middle Eastern week.The pieces had been expected to fetch around $1.4 million in the auction but were sold for more than double the pre-auction estimates. The five-day exhibition also presented highlights from four auctions of sought-after works from across centuries and continents.
However, the Al-Zayani collection shined brightly both as individual pieces as well as a cohesive ensemble assembled on the gallery walls. It is further amplified by works from the 20th-century art, Middle East auction in the room next door.