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India's first Art Deco online auction to include objects from Indian Royal Collection
Hoop Armchairs. Estimate: Rs. 70,000 – Rs. 90,000/$1350- $1735.
MUMBAI.- Leading Saffronart’s 24-hour online auction of Art Deco is a rare ‘Necessaire De Voyage’, or lady’s vanity case. Crafted in ebonized teakwood, with a full suite of custom-made silver and glass accessories, this piece would have once belonged to a distinguished Indian lady, and was probably used as a travelling dresser during long cruise-liner voyages to Europe, extended stays at summer homes in the hills, and in luxury tents during the ‘shikar’ or hunting season.

Saffronart’s inaugural auction of Art-Deco will take place online at on October 31-November 1, 2012. Through this auction, Saffronart showcases the Art Deco style, which defined South Bombay in the 1920s and 30s, and is now synonymous with its unique heritage. Comprising 96 lots with an approximate total estimate of Rs. 1.39 crore (US$ 276,975), this auction offers an extensive and attractively priced range of unique Art Deco pieces, and provides an unprecedented opportunity to acquire these rare items. Additionally, Saffronart and its consignors have committed to donating 5% of the proceeds from the sale of select lots to fund Mumbai’s nomination bid for UNESCO World Heritage status for its Victorian and Art-Deco precincts.

Other highlight lots in the auction include three wristwatches from the estate of the late Maharani Padmavati Devi Gaekwar of Baroda. These are one-of-a-kind examples of diamond-set timepieces made by Universal Genève, Boucheron, and Aero. The splendid provenance of these fine wristwatches makes them coveted acquisitions, as the royal house of Baroda is synonymous with style and refinement. Some other lots with royal provenance include a custom-made Boucheron Cigarette case that once belonged to the late Maharaja Paramjeet Singh of Kapurthala and a collection of silver and semiprecious gemstone accessories from an important Indian royal collection.

Speaking about the auction, Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart said, “Art Deco describes a diverse design impetus that impacted genres from architecture to music, and made its presence felt from Miami to Mumbai and beyond. We are happy to announce this auction, the first of its kind in India, which offers collectors the exceptional opportunity to acquire a piece of Art Deco heritage at unbeatable estimates, and also raises awareness about Mumbai’s architectural and design heritage.”

The auction catalogue also includes a competitively estimated range of period silverware, from trays and ‘paan’ boxes to complete tea services and a strong selection of furniture including a teakwood partner’s desk, a Carl Zeiss surgical lamp, and a pair of teakwood occasional ‘Hoop’ chairs.

The lots showcased in this sale will be on view from October 10-16 in New Delhi, and from October 19-31 in Mumbai. The catalogue will be available online at The online auction will take place online on October 31 - November 1, 2012. Collectors may also place bids via Saffronart’s iPad as well as its proprietary Blackberry and iPhone mobile applications.

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