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Saffronart's 24-Hour 'Words & Lines' Auction Successfully Expands Online Platform
S H Raza, Drishti. Pen and ink pasted on paper, 4 x 7.5 in. Estimate: 3,450-4,600.

MUMBAI.- Saffronart, the world’s largest online fine-art auction house, concluded its second thematic 24-Hour Online Auction with sales totaling Rs 1.06 crore (USD 245,296). At this online-only auction, 83% of the 90 lots on offer were sold, with 48% of them exceeding their high estimates. Successfully expanding Saffronart’s online auction platform to rare books and publications, this auction saw a record 100% sale of the art books and catalogues that were included alongside drawings by modern Indian artists.

The ‘Words & Lines’ Auction featured 90 lots, including a selection of fine drawings by modernists such as Ram Kumar, Nasreen Mohamedi, F.N. Souza, K.K. Hebbar, Jehangir Sabavala and S.H. Raza, and a collection of important art books by authors including Edwin Mullins, Richard Bartholomew and Shiv S. Kapur, Jacques Lassaigne, and Geeta Kapur.

The success of this online auction, which was publicized entirely on the Internet, signaled the confidence that collectors have in Saffronart’s online platform as well as their appetite for significant collectible items such as books and memorabilia. The auction’s quality offerings and attractive price estimates attracted a significant number of first-time bidders to the Saffronart platform.

In this auction, drawings by Ram Kumar, Paramjit Singh and F.N. Souza saw great interest from bidders, exceeding their higher estimates by several bids in the first few hours of the sale. These included Ram Kumar’s ‘Untitled’ from the 1950s (Lot 58) which sold for Rs. 6.80 lakhs (USD 15,637), more than triple its estimate, and Paramjit Singh’s ‘Untitled’ charcoal work on paper (Lot 49), which crossed its upper estimate to sell at Rs. 4.97 Lac (USD 11,437). Also tripling its estimate was F.N. Souza’s ‘Untitled’ 1949 pen and ink on paper (Lot 15) which sold for Rs. 3.61 Lac (USD 8,304). All the books on offer found buyers, with 50% of them selling for more than their high estimates, including a set of five rare F.N. Souza exhibition catalogues (Lot 51) which sold for Rs. 92,046 (USD 2,116).

Saffronart launched its new 24-Hour Auction series in February 2011 in response to the growing demand for quality works of Indian art. These condensed and thematic adaptations of Saffronart’s more comprehensive annual seasonal auctions offer collectors and the trade more frequent avenues to acquire important works of art.

Dinesh Vazirani, Co-founder and CEO of Saffronart said, “Saffronart’s ‘Words & Lines’ auction represents the evolution and expansion of Saffronart’s online auction platform. The success of our last 24-hour auction gave us the confidence to venture into newer categories with exciting themes like this one and to draw in new bidders. Our core strength remains the accessibility and convenience of this platform, which continues to inspire confidence in collectors around the world. The results of our 24-hour auctions highlight the comfort collectors have using our online auction platform and mobile bidding application. We look forward to hosting more thematic 24-hour auctions over the course of this year.” Saffronart’s seamless technology and online platform provides buyers with a trusted, transparent and user-friendly interface. Collectors can also bid via Saffronart’s proprietary mobile bidding application on their Blackberry or iPhone.

Top Lots from Saffronart’s ‘Words and Lines’ Auction Include:

Ram Kumar (Lot 58)

Winning Bid:
Rs 6,80,225
USD 15,637

Paramjit Singh (Lot 49)

Winning Bid:
Rs 4,97,519
USD 11,437

A Set of Five F.N. Souza Exhibition
Catalogues (Lot 51)

Winning Bid:
Rs 92,046
USD 2,116

Francis Newton Souza (Lot 15)

Winning Bid:
Rs 3,61,244
USD 8,304

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