Middle East jewellery sector shining, says Christie’s

DUBAI - The Middle East jewellery sector ranks among the world’s best and it is expected that it will contribute to the region’s overall development a top official of art business and auction house Christie’s said.

By Alvin R. Cabral

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Published: Tue 26 Oct 2010, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:12 PM

“The Middle East is one of the biggest jewellery centres in the world,” David Warren, Christie’s’ International Director for Jewellery, told Khaleej Times at the sidelines of its preview for this week’s International Modern and Contemporary Art and Jewels and Watches sales, which will be held on today and tomorrow.

“We know that everybody here [in the region] has to have jewellery, unlike in the US or Europe,” he added.

Christie’s is back in Dubai following the success of its April 2010 sales that totalled $23.7 million — way above its then-projection of $15 million, and 113 per cent higher than itsOctober 2009 sales.

Some of the pieces on sale — including rare gemstones and top-quality diamonds — are from Middle East designers. The London-headquartered company is optimistic that the trend will continue into this week’s edition.

“The depth and size of the collection [jewellery] owners have in the Middle East is one of the many reasons Christie’s is being drawn here,” Warren said.

He pointed out that this week’s jewellery sale is from the Middle East’s Dr Mohammed Farsi Collection — a very important private single-ownership collection — featuring 40 Parures (jewellery suites) that will be sold without reserve, and 42 collector’s watches. The combined low estimate for the this week’s two-day auction is at $20.3 million.

“The owner probably wants to sell his Parures so that he could upgrade and buy even more fantastic pieces of jewellery,” Warren said.

He said that Christie’s hopes that “other collectors in the region will see what this collector is doing,” stressing that Christie’s market capabilities can fetch high prices.

“Give it to us, and we’ll do everything,” he said.

Warren added that in the last six months, Christie’s had the second most successful six-month period in its history in all of its categories, and very often, prices were at record highs.

He said that this shows that Dubai is at par with other jewellery hubs such as London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and New York, and that it also shows that the art and jewellery market is very strong.

“If people invest in top-quality art and jewellery pieces, it will always hold its value,” Warren said.


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