• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7893

    International Modern & Contemporary Art, Including Masterpieces from The Collection of Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi

    27 April 2010, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 21

    Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (Egyptian, 1925 - 1965)

    The Cosmorama (Sandouk El-Dounia)

    Price Realised  


    Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (Egyptian, 1925 - 1965)
    The Cosmorama (Sandouk El-Dounia)
    signed and dated 'Elgazzar 1951' and signed in Arabic (lower left)
    signed and titled in Arabic (on the reverse)
    oil on cardboard
    25 x 19in. (63.5 x 48.5cm.)
    Painted in 1951

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The Cosomorama ('World in a Box', or Sandouk El-Donia in Arabic) is a peep show through which pictures in perspective illusionistically depict different places or scenes by means of lenses and controlled illumination.
    The Cosmorama occupies the centre of the composition, surrounded by a bare-chested acrobat, a performing monkey and a young girl from one of Egypt's poorer districts. Circus figures are recurring motifs in much of El-Gazzar's work, often present at moulids- festivals marking saints' birthdays- still the subject of raucous celebration in more traditional areas. A horse shoe suspended from the roof of the Cosmorama and the human-headed scorpion emblazoned on its curtain are typical of the superstitious and folkloric elements which populate his paintings.

    Special Notice

    lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Sobhy Al-Sharouny, A Museum in a Book: The Farsi Art Collection "The Egyptian Works" Owned by Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi, Cairo, 1998 (illustrated in colour, p.290 and illustrated p.282 ref 31/41 )
    Sobhy Al-Sharouny, Abdel Hadi Al-Gazzar, Cairo, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p.60)