Raza and Gaitonde lead Saffronart's Summer Art Auction, where 86% of lots sold
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Raza and Gaitonde lead Saffronart's Summer Art Auction, where 86% of lots sold
S H Raza, Encountre, 1985. Winning Bid: Rs. 3, 15, 90,000. USD 585,000.

MUMBAI.- Saffronart, India’s leading auction house, concluded its annual Summer Art Auction on June 20, 2012 with strong results. The auction achieved a total of Rs. 16.7 crore (USD 3.1 million), above its pre-sale estimate, with 86% of the 70 lots on offer selling, making this one of the most successful sales in percentage terms of modern and contemporary Indian art since early 2011.

The two-day auction of modern and contemporary Indian art was marked by top prices for several modernists. On the first day of the auction itself, several lots exceeded their higher estimates by several multiples. Fierce bidding on S.H. Raza’s ‘Encountre’ (1985) towards the close of the auction saw it surpass its estimate of Rs. 2 to 2.5 crore (USD 370,375 - 462,965), to eventually sell for an unprecedented Rs. 3.15 crores (USD 585,000).

Works by leading artists such as Badri Narayan, Ganesh Pyne, B. Prabha, T. Vaikuntam, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher also saw strong demand. Badri Narayan’s ‘Ganesh’ received more than 30 bids from across the globe, driving its price to a remarkable Rs. 5.99 lakh (USD 11,100), more than six times its estimate (Rs. 80,000 – 1,00,000 | USD 1,485 – 1,855) .

Energetic bidding saw several lots cross the Rs. 1 crore mark, including S.H. Raza’s ‘Encountre’ (1985) and ‘Germination’ closing at Rs. 3.15 crore (USD 585,000) and Rs. 1.82 crore (USD 336,898) respectively, V.S. Gaitonde’s ‘Untitled’ at Rs. 2.85 crore (USD 527,500), Subodh Gupta’s ‘Untitled’ at Rs. 1.17 crore (USD 216,000) and M.F. Husain’s ‘Untitled’ at Rs 1.02 crore (USD 189,780).

Speaking about the auction, Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart said “This summer, our auction offered collectors an exceptional selection of modern and contemporary Indian art. Quality coupled with intelligent estimates led to a very successful sale, where 86% of the lots on offer found buyers. Competitive bidding ensured that for several lots in the auction, the result more than doubled the pre-sale estimate. Particularly thrilling were the final minutes of furious bidding on Raza’s ‘Encountre’, which also exceeded its pre-sale estimate and ended up leading the auction.”

Following this successful Summer Art Auction, Saffronart will be hosting a series of auctions this season, including a 24-Hour Absolute Auction, (11-12 July) with no reserve prices, an auction of Indian Folk & Tribal Objects & Art (25-26 July), the first of its kind in India, and Words & Lines III (8-9 August), featuring modern drawings and rare books.

Saffronart’s Summer Art Auction was characterized by a strong focus on aesthetic quality, distinguished provenance and competitive pricing. After two days of bidding from collectors across the world, the auction selling 86% of the lots, closed at a total of Rs. 16.7 crore (USD 3.1 million). In addition to a print catalogue, the online auction was accompanied by preview events and private viewings in New Delhi , Mumbai and London .

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