By Maha Obeid on Monday, March 3 , 2008
Her repertoire included more than 300 songs with themes ranging from love to nationalism to religion. The majority were sung in colloquial Arabic; although some were in classical Arabic, written by famous poets.
She was born in 1904 and died on
This will be
The interest in art and jewellery is almost equal in the region – at the
The significance of the Um Kulthum sale centres around her as “one of the most famous Arab women in history”,
“We expect it to exceed its estimate. The provenance of the piece can affect its value, people love to buy provenance, they love to buy into history. It adds to the piece and increases its value.”
“There are more people now looking at art as a form of investment. People see it as a way of diversifying their assets. We have such an extensive international base of clients, so the weakening of the dollar is not affecting sales.”
The combined fame of Um Kulthum and the fact that the late
The necklace boasts approximately 1,888 pearls. It is an antique nine-row pearl necklace with multi-coloured enamel and white stone details, in the style of a traditional Indian Satlada necklace, and was created circa 1880.
“She used to treat the pearl necklace with absolute care and it was one of her favourites because it was given to her by the late
The heirloom will be one of 33 lots of pearls in a special pearl collection. In addition to the pearls, there will be 180 to 200 lots of jewels and watches.
“For the first time in the
"Through this auction, we want to help make
“They source them from around the world – from private sources as well as from the trade, from a huge base of clients. They spend three to four months flying around the world sourcing these. It is very much a global collection,” Jeha said.
The top lots include an exceedingly rare pearl, valued at $600,000 to $800,000. According to Christie’s, it is almost certainly the largest example of its colour in the world – a yellow to pinkish-orange natural pearl, 241.44 grains (60.36 carats).
It is the second largest round pearl ever recorded, and the fourteenth largest natural pearl. There is also a natural pearl and diamond pendent necklace, valued at $120,000 to $150,000.
According to Jeha,
In addition to that,
Highlights include a work by Syrian artist
The sale also features a strong Western section, with a sculpture from
The trend of celebrities showing off the most precious and beautiful jewellery has continued since Um Kulthum’s era and now the favourite place to show-off the latest designs is the red carpet.
At the 80th Annual Academy Awards in
The spectacular sautoir, worn with a long, black dress, contains a total of 7,645 diamonds including rough, faceted, and polished diamonds, which total nearly 1,400 carats.
The sautoir was produced and manufactured by Uni-Design Limited in
It uses a wide range of shapes and cuts of diamonds.
Each diamond was individually selected by
The intricate design was handcrafted and required more than 6,200 hours to create.
During her career in fashion she has established many loyal fans and she is one of the preferred stylists to celebrities and the fashion world alike.
Magnificent Necklace Gifted To Um Kulthum By His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan The Late President Of The United Arab Emirates To Be Sold By Family Descendents
Christie’s is proud to announce the sale of a magnificent natural pearl necklace that belonged to Um Kulthum (1904-1975). Unquestionably the greatest Arab singer of the 20th century, Um Kulthum was known as ‘The Shining Star of the Middle East’ (Kawkab El Sharq), and her importance in the Arab countries was so great that she was received with the same ceremony as heads of state. The necklace, which was gifted to Um Kulthum by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of the UAE, is being sold by family descendents. It is expected to fetch $80,000-120,000 when it is sold as a star lot in the forthcoming auction of Contemporary Jewels and Watches to be staged by Christie’s in Dubai on 29 April 2008.
“Christie’s is thrilled to be offering this historic jewel from one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century”, said David Warren, Director of Jewellery Middle East.
The antique nine-row pearl necklace with multi-coloured enamel and white stone details, in the style of a traditional Indian Satlada necklace, was created circa 1880 (estimate: $80,000-120,000), and consists of approximately 1,888 pearls. It was gifted to Um Kulthum by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of the UAE and is being offered for sale at Christie’s by family descendents. “She used to treat the pearl necklace with absolute care and it was one of her favourites because it was given to her by the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan, the founder of the UAE”, remembers a family member of the late star. This magnificent necklace is one of the highlights of a 33 lot strong selection of natural pearls to be offered in the forthcoming sale of Contemporary Jewels and Watches, one of the most significant offerings of natural pearls to the market for decades, and expected to fetch in the region of $7 million (please see separate press release).
Um Kulthum’s repertoire included more than 300 songs with themes ranging from love to nationalism to religion. The majority were sung in colloquial Arabic; although some were in classical Arabic, written by famous poets. She was extremely selective in the choice of verses and frequently had the authors change words if their resonance for her was not perfect.
Um Kulthum was relentless in her charitable work and was the spokeswoman for numerous good causes. She advocated governmental support of Arabic music and musicians, she endowed a charitable foundation and, most importantly, after the Egyptian defeat in the 1967 war, she began a series of domestic and international concerts for Egypt. She traveled throughout the Arab world, collecting contributions and donating the proceeds of her performances to the government of Egypt. Um Kulthum was entertained by heads of state, she toured cultural monuments, and, in interviews, repeated her views concerning the importance of support for indigenous Arab culture.
When on February 4th, 1975, Egyptian radio aired the chanting of the Qur’an, it was the sign that someone important has died. Um Kulthum’s funeral drew more than four million people to the streets of Cairo to publicly mourn her passing. In her honour the Egyptian government opened the Kawkab al-Sharq Museum at the Manesterli Palace (Star of the East), dedicated to the life and work of Um Kulthum. The museum contains many of her personal items as well as her dresses and even her famous eye glasses.
Almost 33 years to the day after her death, she is still heard daily on the radio and her albums are top sellers. Described as ‘The Incomparable Voice’ by Maria Callas, Um Kulthum was more than a musician - she became the voice and face of Egypt. Today Um Kulthum’s memory and image is widely celebrated; Egyptian artist Chant Avedissian, whose works regularly feature in Christie’s auctions of International Modern and Contemporary Art, is represented in the current ‘Word into Art’ Exhibition at the DIFC, Dubai with his homage to Um Kulthum
“Christie’s is proud to be offering for sale Um Kulthum’s necklace, one of the most famous Arab women in history, and we look forward with great excitement to our 29th April sale which will contain some of the finest natural pearls in the world” concluded Michael Jeha, Managing Director, Middle East.