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Historic Price Achieved for Arpita Singh's "Wish Dream" at Saffronart Auction
Arpita Singh (Lot 50), Wish Dream. Winning Bid: $2,223,744.

NEW YORK, NY.- Saffronart, the world’s largest online fine-art auction house, concluded its annual Winter Online Art Auction on December 9, 2010 with strong results that highlight the continued demand for important works with notable provenance. With a total of 80% of the 100 lots on offer selling, the auction brought an impressive $7.1 million.

As anticipated, the lot illustrated on the catalogue’s front cover, a stunning mural made up of sixteen individual canvas panels by one of India's most prominent and critically acclaimed women artists - Arpita Singh - titled ‘Wish Dream’, achieved a record price for the artist, fetching an astounding $2.24 million. This is also the highest price achieved by an Indian woman artist at auction globally, and a world record price for an artwork sold at any online auction.

Speaking about the record breaking auction, Dinesh Vazirani, Co-founder and CEO of Saffronart said, “We are very pleased with the results of our Winter Online Auction 2010 which was a celebration of our 10th anniversary. This auction was an historic event for the online art auction market with Arpita Singh’s magnificent 16 panel mural titled ‘Wish Dream’ selling for $2.24 million. Throughout the year we have seen a strong demand for works of art of the highest quality and following this sale, a new benchmark has been established in this category.”

Saffronart’s Winter Online Auction of Modern and Contemporary Indian art was marked by exceptional prices for several modernists including artists S.H. Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, F.N. Souza, K.G. Subramanyan and M.F. Husain, demonstrating that the modern masters remain highly sought-after by collectors.

Works by F.N. Souza saw great interest, with four of his paintings making it to the top 10 lots sold in the auction. These included ‘Disintegrated Head’ which sold for $333,500, ‘Emperor’ which sold for $230,000 and two Untitled works selling for $218,500 and $201,250 respectively.

Another landmark at the auction was K.G. Subramanyan’s ‘Inayat Khan Looking at Oxford – 3’ from 1987. Several bidders drove the price to a remarkable $46,635 – four times higher than its upper estimate of $11,630 – demonstrating the traction that has returned to the Indian art market. Another significant work by the artist titled ‘Inayat Khan Looking at Pastoral Landscape’ from the same year also crossed its upper estimate by 335% to sell at $50,547. Several other lots also saw great interest and bidding from buyers in India and across the globe, and during the first day of the two-day auction itself, several lots exceeded their high estimates.

“Our Winter Online Auction saw several new collectors participate for the first time, a significant number of whom were bidding at high levels on some of the top lots of the sale, and there was particular excitement for works by the modernists. With 58% of the lots on offer selling above their high estimates, and a total of 5 lots selling for over a crore, this sale points out the appreciation for modern masterworks as well as an invigorated demand for quality contemporary lots,” Dinesh Vazirani added.

Coinciding with Saffronart’s 10 year anniversary, this milestone auction reinforces Saffronart’s position as the definitive source for modern and contemporary Indian art today. Over the last ten years, Saffronart has attracted a growing number of collectors across the world. With online auctions, fixed price sales, exhibition programs, and technology-enabled services for clients, all connected through an unparalleled online presence, Saffronart has grown to become the world’s largest online fine-art auction house.

This has also been an important year for establishing Saffronart’s technological innovation and leadership. Saffronart is the only fine-art auction house globally to offer a live bidding application for mobile devices such as the iPhone and Blackberry. This unique mobile bidding technology has brought unparalleled convenience to bidders, who have responded with rapidly increasing participation. In Saffronart’s Summer Auction this June, 10 lots with an aggregate value totaling $934,272 were won by bidders on Blackberrys and iPhones, including an untitled work by M.F. Husain, which sold for $235,750 through this first of its kind mobile bidding application.

Saffronart’s Winter Online Auction featured 100 by 43 modern and contemporary Indian artists. The sale saw unprecedented participation from collectors across the world, and closed with a total of $7.1 million. Notable among the artists featured in the sale were Arpita Singh, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, N.S. Harsha, M.F. Husain, Akbar Padamsee, Subodh Gupta, Shibu Natesan, Manjit Bawa and Jehangir Sabavala. In addition to publishing a print catalogue to accompany the online sale, Saffronart also hosted preview events in New Delhi, Mumbai, London and New York

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