Some of a Sheikh’s Treasures Find a Home in Paris

Top European and Saudi galleries such as Galerie Stoffels and Galerie Mandel have bought £1.4m worth of works by Sabiha Chaudhry, part of her private collection

Some of a Sheikh’s Treasures Find a Home in Paris

A handful of paintings by modern Arab artists sold off the paintings of a Middle Eastern cultural figure and philanthropist for around £1.4m at auction in Paris in May, buying London art galleries and some of her most valuable and sought-after paintings and sculptures.

After a gap of three years, a Stoffels gallery has now acquired a number of the works, including an early painting by Sabiha Chaudhry (1926-2002), known as The Artist Sheikh Sabiha.

The work sold for nearly £800,000, while a later painting by her named The Quiet Goddess, had been expected to sell for around £700,000 at auction.

Two years ago, Chaudhry had donated around 40 of her works to a public exhibition at the British Museum, which was a central feature of the British pavilion at the Paris exhibition.

The purchase of the paintings means that for the first time all of the artist’s early work will be on display in Europe.

One of the earliest paintings of her, made in 1982, has been sold to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in May saw works by many of the most recognised art figures in the world sell for record-breaking prices.

Leivi Hoffman’s Memories Day (1997) sold for £1.4m, about £500,000 more than its pre-sale estimate of £800,000 to £1m. The price was also the most ever paid for a large Chinese sculpture, said the auction house. It fetched £1.45m.

An aged man photographing the artist’s studio. Photograph: Nicholas Spangler/Sotheby’s

In 2015, Lady Mayoress of Harrisons Hall, in the Black Country, was fined £52,000 for stealing and possessing more than £100,000 worth of artworks and diamond jewellery when she was 47.

The offences occurred between 2010 and 2013 when Mayoress of Harrisons Hall was responsible for acquiring the collection from an aristocratic private family in England. Some of the items were sold to collectors after being sold in post-nuptial sales.

In April, Kim Jayasekera of Bhutan sold at auction a miniature of herself taken by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. The photo of her wearing a pair of earrings, earlobes and a briefcase sold for £36,280. Jayasekera recently moved into the Shard from the Old Kent Road, so she could study in London.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong said the sale of the Japanese Duchess of Gango’s painting was unusual in that she and the family who owned the artwork were paying in cash, which they hoped would be anonymous.

The work, a small landscape with a few men in beards and a swag of flowers, was offered for £25,000 but went for £45,890, proving that sometimes art does not fall into the hands of the usual auction houses and will not be advertised.

• This article was amended on 6 June to correct the spelling of Leivi Hoffman’s name.

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