Under the Hammer | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
December 12, 2014

Under the Hammer

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Verve gives its readers a taste of what transpired at the second edition of the Christie’s auction in Mumbai

Art connoisseurs in the city congregated at the Taj Mahal Palace once again to celebrate the second edition of the Christie’s Auction of artworks by contemporary and classic Indian Artists. Bidding was carried out in the room as well as online with this having the distinction of being the most successful Indian auction in 2014 of modern and contemporary art. The air in the room was one of anticipation as each painting was brought forth for sale. A collective gasp went across the room when Tyeb Mehta’s Untitled (Falling Bull) was sold to an online buyer for the mind-boggling sum of 17,54,25,000 cr. Cameras went into a frenzy trying to click their best picture of the moment. Among other noteworthy works sold was Francis Newton Souza’s Souza Family, Ram Kumar’s Untitled (Orphans) and Tagore’s Pocket Book, a national treasure. “Tonight’s results are an indication of the strong level of interest from clients who wish to buy exceptional works. The auction was sold 97% by value, mirroring the results from our inaugural sale in India. Our cover lot, Tyeb Mehta’s (1925-2009) Untitled (Falling Bull) sold well above the estimate for INR 17.54 crores and the list of the top ten reflects the interest from clients for works by the modern masters. I was particularly delighted to see the interest in the Tagore pocket book, which sold for four times its pre-sale estimate, the highest price for a manuscript sold in India”, says Sonal Singh, Head of Department, at Christie’s Mumbai.

Here’s a quick overview of the top 10 at the auction:

1. Tyeb Mehta (1925-2009) Untitled (Falling Bull), 1999, INR 17,54,25,000

2. Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), Souza Family INR 9,02,25,000

3. Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-201) Untitled, 1998, INR 6,62,25,000

4. Ram Kumar (b. 1924) Untitled (Orphans), 1956, INR 4,82,25,000

5. Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922) Les Toits de la rue St. Jacques, 1950s, R 4,58,25,000

6. Tyeb Mehta(1925-2009) Girl in Love, 1957, INR 4,34,25,000

7. Jehangir Sabavala (1922-2011), The Green Cape, 1974, INR 2,24,25,000

8. Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922) Germination, 1987, INR 2,24,25,000

9. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) Pocket Book, 1889-1904, INR 2,06,25,000

10. Francis Newton Souza(1924-2002) Front-Back Nude, 1950, INR 1,58,25,000

More: Find out who attended the pre-auction event here.


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