A 1985 painting by S H Raza and an 1971 untitled work by V S Gaitonde, both modern masters have topped Saffronart's summer art auction, which grossed total sales of Rs 16.7 crores.
The June 19-20 sale shot through its presale estimate with 86 per cent of the 70 lots on offer being sold, making it one of the most succesful sales in percentage terms of modern and contemporary Indian art since early 2011, says Saffronart.
Several lots exceeded their higher estimates by several multiples on the first day and fierce bidding on Raza's "Encountre" towards close of auction saw it surpass estimate of Rs 2 to 2.5 crore (USD 370,375 - 462,965), to eventually sell for Rs 3.15 crores (USD 585,000).
Energetic bidding saw several lots cross Rs 1 crore mark, Raza's "Germination" closing at Rs 1.82 crore (USD 336,898), 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).
Works by leading artists such as Badri Narayan, Ganesh Pyne, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher also saw strong demand.
Badri Narayan's "Ganesh" received more than 30 bids from across the world, driving its price to Rs 5.99 lakh (USD 11,100), over six times its estimate (Rs 80,000 – 1,00,000 or USD 1,485 – 1,855).
Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart says "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."
A 24-Hour Absolute Auction, (July 11-12) with no reserve prices, an auction of Indian folk and tribal objects and art (July 25-26), and Words and Lines III (August 8-9), featuring modern drawings and rare books are on line up this year.