Al Qamar (1966), by Kadhim Hayder (Iraq, 1932-1985), sold for £635,400
Al Qamar (1966), by Kadhim Hayder (Iraq, 1932-1985), sold for £635,400

Monumental Hayder Work Smashes Estimate At Bonhams Middle Eastern Art Sale


London – Al Qamar (1966), an exceptional oil painting by Iraqi artist Kadhim Hayder (1932-1985), was the top lot at Bonhams’ sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art Sale in London yesterday (Wednesday 24 May). It achieved an impressive £635,400 against a pre-sale estimate of £180,000 – £250,000. The sale also achieved a new world record at auction for Faeq Hassan (Iraq, 1914-1992), with the sale of his work Baghdadiyat (circa 1950s), which sold for £190,000.

The 82-lot sale made a total of £3,297,242 with 87% sold by lot and 99% sold by value.

Nima Sagharchi, Bonhams Group Head of Islamic, Middle Eastern and South Asian Art, commented: “We are delighted with the results of the sale and to have achieved such a fantastic price for a monumental work by Kadhim Hayder from his Martyrs Epic series. Painted in 1966, Al Qamar powerfully depicts the moment of Imam Hussain’s death. It is a poignant and emotionally charged work, and testament to Hayder’s importance in the history of Iraqi art and his enduring legacy as an artist who captured the essence of one of the most important events in Islamic history. It is no surprise that this painting sparked such excitement among bidders, and ultimately sold for more than double its high estimate.”

Other highlights included:

  • Blue Abstract by Saliba Douaihy (Lebanon, 1915 -1994). Sold for £203,600 against a pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000.
  • Baghdadiyat, circa 1950s, by Faeq Hassan (Iraq, 1914-1992). Sold for £190,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £60,000-100,000. This is a world record at auction for the artist.
  • Red Composition (1970)by Dia Azzawi (Iraq, born 1939). Sold for £178,200 against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-80,000.
  • Still Life by Manoucher Yektai (Iran, born 1922). Sold for £165,500 against a pre-sale estimate of £25,000-50,000.
  • Donkey by Adam Henein (Egypt, 1929-2020). Sold for £152,800 against a pre-sale estimate of £70,000-100,000.

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