Art & Culture

Sotheby’s Dubai to Exhibit Showstopping Highlights from Worldwide Auctions 15 – 18 March

Including a Rare 12th-Century Zodiac Bowl Estimated at £1.5 Million Alongside Glittering Jewels led by a 41.50 Carat Flawless Diamond Pendant Necklace. Followed by ‘Beyond the Auction Room’ A Private Selling Exhibition of Jewellery, Watches & Contemporary Art 27 March – 3 April

This March, Sotheby’s Dubai will present two back-to-back exhibitions showcasing the spectrum of Sotheby's international sales and extensive client services – all from the heart of the DIFC.

The first, from 15 – 18 March, will present glittering jewels, historic objects from the Islamic world and Modern and Contemporary paintings by artists from the Middle East and beyond. The pieces will then travel to London, Geneva and New York to be auctioned. Among the highlights include a flawless white diamond pendant (est. $4.5 – 4.8 million) and a magnificent twelfth-century silver-inlaid scalloped basin adorned with astrological designs (est. £1 – 1.5 million).

The second exhibition, coinciding with the neighbouring Art Dubai fair, marks Sotheby’s first private selling exhibition in the Gulf. Watches, jewels, Fabergé, and Contemporary art will be available for immediate purchase.

Both of the views will take place at Level B2, Gate Village Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, UAE, open to the public from 10am – 7pm daily.


Jewellery will be travelling from the Magnificent Jewels auction in New York (15 April), highlighted by a 41.50 carat D Flawless pendant (illustrated on p.1), which represents perfection in a diamond. On top of its perfect colour and clarity, the stone has also received the coveted “Triple X” rating from the GIA, referring to its ideal cut, polish and symmetry. 

It will be presented alongside a pair of fancy vivid yellow and fancy deep yellow diamond earrings (est. $800,000 – 1.20 million), which together represent the pinnacle of yellow diamonds, and a beautiful example of a Kashmir sapphire (est. $400,000 – 600,000), which are considered the most desirable of blue sapphires.

Pieces from the most renowned jewellery houses in the world include an iconic Harry Winston ruby and diamond cluster necklace (est. $220,000 – 320,000), an emerald-cut diamond ring by Bulgari (est. $400,000 – 600,000) and a stunning emerald and diamond bracelet-watch by Cartier (est. $200,000-300,000). A further two panther-inspired jewels by Cartier and one by David Webb will be sold to benefit Panthera, a rescue and habitat conservancy organisation committed to ensuring a future for the world’s 40 species of wild cats and the landscapes on which they depend.

Among the Watches for private sale are sought-after pieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. The selection includes an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph in stainless steel, reference 26300ST. The blue ’tapisserie’ dial is a preferred colour amongst Audemars Piguet afficionados and the contrasting orange hands and digits on the inner bezel gives this rare timepiece a unique flair.


The exhibition will also present paintings and sculptures from Sotheby’s forthcoming 20th Century Art Middle East (20 – 30 March) and Contemporary Curated (6 – 13 April) and online auctions. Artworks featured will include a bold geometric creation by Egypt’s pioneering modern sculptor Adam Henein, a unique collaged photograph of supermodel Iman by the late Peter Beard, an example of Yoshimoto Nara’s cartoonish depictions of sullen children and animals and an evocative painting by Zeng Fanzhi. Illustrated here is Niki de Saint Phalle’s exuberant sculpture of a Sun God (est. £40,000 – 60,000). For private sale will be works by Alexander Calder (illustrated on p.1), George Condo, Nabil Nahas,  Marwan Kassab-Bachi and Paul Guiragossian, to name a few.


From Sotheby’s spring sale of Arts of the Islamic World & India (31 March) comes historic objects, paintings and manuscripts from across a multitude of continents and over ten centuries. These include beautiful textiles, including 17th century Ottoman silk panels, and bejewelled pieces, such as a gem-set gold eagle pendant from 18th-century Morocco. 

The selection is led by the courtly zodiac basin (illustrated on p.1), which measures fifty centimetres in diameter, and would have been made for a ruler in order to assert their power within both an earthly and cosmic sphere whilst also having a protective function. This is the first time it will ever be exhibited, having remained in the same private family collection for decades.

Further highlights include a unique 14th-century Astrolabe from Tudela, the only known version created by a Muslim artist in a Christian-ruled city (est. £600,000 – 800,000), and an exceptional Mamluk Qur’an dated 1514 AD (est. £300,000 – 500,000), which as a complete manuscript signed by a well-known master is a great rarity.


The exhibition will also include rare works by the house of Fabergé, the greatest of court jewellers, favoured by the Russian Imperial Family, British Royal Family and monarchs across Europe. Famous for its Imperial eggs, Fabergé also created a range of rare jewels and objects of vertu. Among the offering will be iconic Fabergé jewelled egg pendants, enamelled frames and precious gold boxes.