Do you have an old watch? It may be worth millions

By Sheena Amos

Wanna buy Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’… it’s going cheap

DUBAI 26 March 2018: Inspired by Dutch painter and the current Van Gogh Alive Art Exhibition at d3, Samovar Carpets, 6IX Degrees Entertainment and Wool & Silk Rugs have teamed up to create a hand-knotted carpet, inspired by one of his most famed paintings – Starry Night..

The original oil canvas depicts the view from the east-facing window of Gogh’s asylum room, located in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941.

Showing at Van Gogh Alive – The Experience in d3, Dubai, The Starry Night Carpet was woven using with the finest Tibetan wool & Chinese silk and handmade by Nepal’s most skilful weavers using traditional techniques of Tibetan carpet weaving. Taking over three months to create by multi award winning designer, Erbil Tezcan, the masterpiece will be auctioned off and all the proceeds will be donated to Dubai Cares, to be used towards education programs in developing countries in a silent auction.

“It’s fascinating to see that Van Gogh’s legacy still lives on as he continues to inspire creatives around the world. Bringing such a unique piece to the region is a real honour and we’re proud to be partnering with Samovar and Dubai Cares” Jessica Zuell, Operations Director at 6ix Degrees Entertainment.

With a starting price of Dh35,000 the silent auction ends on 23rd April, 2018 and bids can be placed by visiting In the remaining four weeks, Van Gogh Alive – The Experience visitors have the unique opportunity to experience his artistry and truly venture into his world.

Prices: Adults: Dh70 Kids: Dh65 (up to 16 years)

Student discount: Dh65 (any age, with student card)

When: Dubai, 11th March to 23rd April

Where: Dubai Design District

Watches in prominence

Meanwhile, Christie’s 25th auction season in the region concluded with combined sale total of $10.12 million (Dh37,164,312) and combined sell through rates of 80.5% by lot and 80.5% by value.

Buyers from 47 countries participated in the auctions and the top lot of the Spring 2018 sale week was a Patek Philippe, reference 1518 made for King Farouk of Egypt in 1944. The watch sold after nearly 5 minutes of intense bidding. The gavel went down at $912,500 (Dh3,350,700 – including premium) to a successful bidder on the phone, setting a new auction record price for any wristwatch sold the Middle East as well as for the reference in yellow gold. The sale total of $7,147,374 (Dh26,245,161) is the highest ever in the region.

The important Swiss collection of 63 timepieces exceeded expectations when selling for $1,062,875 (Dh3,902,877) and 95% by lot. The sales in the category are now 4 times as big as they were when Christie’s first launched stand- alone watches auctions in the region back in October 2013.

Today, collectors from the region are looking into buying unique pieces as well as exceptional vintage watches with important provenance. International collectors and consignors are equally engaging with this local watch market as anywhere else in the world.

“Watches are now firmly established as an independent category in our sale seasons, offering exceptional pieces, underlined by the Patek Philippe ref 1518, the top lot of the season and the Rolex GMT-master Ref 1675. The Post- War and Contemporary auction established 5 new world auction records for Middle Eastern artists and the growing interest for the arts in the Middle East region has been reaffirmed over the last view days, with the auctions and Dubai Art Week”, commented Michael Jeha, Managing Director Christie’s Middle East.

The 13th year of Christie’s holding Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art auctions in the region has seen strong demand for the Modern Masters, led by artists from Egypt, including Mahmoud Said and Abdul Hadi El Gazzar and Zeinab Abd El Jamid, Quartier Populaire of 1958, establishing a new world auction record for the artist.

Abdul Hadi El Gazzar’s Married Couple, who during his career painted only around 100 oils was appreciated by national and international bidders and sold over its pre-sale estimate for $200,000. The top lot of the auction was Sohrab Sepehri’s Untitled painted in the 1970s, which sold for $287,500. Over 40% of the lots offered sold above estimate and five new world auction records were set for artists from the region:

Lot 03 Hussein Madi, Baghdad Landscape, 1998, selling for $ 75,000
Lot 11 Naziha Selim, Untitled, 1980, selling for $11,250
Lot 42 Zeinab Abd El Hamid, Quartier Populaire, 1958, selling for $58,750
Lot 55 Huguette Caland, Good Luck, 2009, selling for $162,500
Lot 69 Sassan Benham-Bakhitiar, Oneness Wholeness, Tree of Life, selling for $15,000