Sotheby’s Orientalist Sale in London Offers Important Works Depicting Turkey, The Middle East and North Africa

Sotheby’s Orientalist Sale in London on 24 April 2012 presents important works depicting Turkey, The Middle East and North Africa, the auction will be led by masterpieces by the Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky and the Turkish painter and polymath Osman Hamdy Bey.

The Scholar by Osman Hamdy Bey, oil on canvas, 1878, estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000. Photo: Sotheby’s

Comprising 33 lots, the sale is estimated to bring in excess of £6 million.* Claude Piening, Head of Sotheby’s Orientalist Paintings Department, said: “Sotheby’s stand-alone Orientalist Sale will present some thirty works of the highest quality. We are committed to this important sector in the nineteenth-century market which has enjoyed robust growth over the last ten years, not least because of new interest from North Africa and the Middle East. We have therefore decided to create a ‘Masterpiece’ Orientalist Sale to coincide with a three-day series of related sales at Sotheby’s with the theme of Turkish and Islamic Week: Classical to Contemporary.** We are particularly fortunate to be offering two highly important and extremely rare works by Aivazovsky and Hamdy Bey, which represent a unique opportunity for private and institutional collectors alike. Great works by Hamdy Bey are exceptionally rare, with the added fascination that they provide a Turk’s – rather than an outsider’s – interpretation of life in the region.”

**The three related sales comprise: An Eye for Opulence, Art of the Ottoman Empire, Tuesday 24 April Arts of the Islamic World, Wednesday 25 April Contemporary Art / Turkish, Thursday 26 April

*Pre-sale estimates do not include buyer’s premium