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Celestial landscapes and falling figures lead Saffronart's Evening Sale
Nicholas Roerich, ​Himalaya, 1945​. Tempera on board. Estimate: INR 80 lakhs – 1 crore (USD 126,985 – 158,735) Saffronart, ​Evening Sale, 13 March 2018. Image courtesy of Saffronart

MUMBAI.- Saffronart’s Evening Sale live auction, which features sixty five exceptional works of art across the spectrum of Indian modernism, will be held at The Four Seasons, Mumbai, on 13 March 2018. Highlights from the sale were first unveiled at Saffronart’s new gallery space at The Oberoi, New Delhi, on 9 February, and will be on view at the Saffronart gallery in Mumbai from 1 – 12 March.

Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart, commented, “Saffronart's Evening Sale in March is a highlight of the spring season in Mumbai. We are thrilled to have sourced exceptional works of art with excellent provenances, notably masterpieces by Jehangir Sabavala, Tyeb Mehta and Nicholas Roerich, which are being offered at auction for the first time. Collectors can look forward to some wonderful discoveries, including a monumental sculpture by Meera Mukherjee, which was exhibited at the Birla Academy in 1995 and ranks as one of her most outstanding achievements.”

Top lots include Jehangir Sabavala’s The Star that Beckons, 1968, offered at INR 2.5 – 3.5 crores (USD 396,830 – 555,560). This masterpiece encapsulates the subtlety and sensitivity of the artist at his best. Falling Bird by Tyeb Mehta is a strikingly composed painting of a morphed creature that is part human, part bird, and is well estimated at INR 5 – 7 crores (USD 793,655 – 1.1 million). Among the sculptures on offer, Meera Mukherjee’s Balance, which is one of the largest non-public sculptures to enter the auction market, is estimated at INR 3.75 – 4.5 crores (USD 595,240 – 714,290). The sculpture section also includes works by Himmat Shah, Sadanand Bakre, and Jacob Epstein’s bust of Rabindranath Tagore. Further highlights include works by Jagdish Swaminathan, Bhupen Khakhar, Madhav Satwalekar, and two paintings by A A Almelkar and S H Raza which were shown at the Venice Biennales in the 1950s.

Saffronart’s auctions have presented exceptional works by leading names, some of which have set world record prices. In September 2014, Jehangir Sabavala’s The Flight into Egypt – I set what was then a world record for the artist at INR 3 crores (USD 500,000). Sabavala’s earlier world record was also set at a Saffronart auction in 2010, where his painting, The Casuarina Line - I, sold for INR 1.68 crores (USD 374,900). In February 2016, Saffronart auctioned a stainless steel sculpture by British sculptor Anish Kapoor for INR 4.8 crores (USD 705,882), the first of its scale to be auctioned in India. Subsequent Saffronart live auctions have seen significant works set world records or surpass their initial estimates.

Alongside well known names the Evening Sale offers a broader perspective on Indian modernism, with artists who gained recognition early in their careers, but may have been under appreciated in the interim.

The auction will be held at The Four Seasons, Mumbai, and is preceded by viewings at The Oberoi, New Delhi and at Saffronart, Mumbai.

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