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World-Record Price for Jehangir Sabavala at Saffronart Auction
Subodh Gupta (Lot 25), Untitled (2003). Winning Bid: Rs. 2,22,52,500. USD 494,500.

MUMBAI.- Saffronart, the world’s largest online fine-art auction house, concluded its Summer Online Auction on June 17th, 2010 with impressive results, including a world-record price in auction for Jehangir Sabavala. With 81% of the lots on offer selling, the auction achieved a remarkable total of Rs 30 crores (USD 6.7 million), re-confirming the upward trajectory in the Indian art market.

Within the first day of the two-day auction of Modern and Contemporary Indian art, several of the lots crossed their high estimates. The competition got stronger as the auction drew to a close and lively bidding continued till the final moments of the sale, with 53% of lots sold sailing past their high estimates. A world record in auction was set for a Jehangir Sabavala work titled “The Casuarina Line I” which sold for Rs 1.7 crores (USD 374,900). Other significant sales included S.H. Raza’s “La Provence Noire” for Rs 3.3 crores (USD 746,111), Subodh Gupta’s Untitled work for Rs 2.2 crores (USD 494,500), M.F Husain’s “8 horses” for Rs 2 crores (USD 442,750), V.S. Gaitonde’s Untitled work for Rs 1.5 crores (USD 327,750) and N.S. Harsha’s “We Don't Know Why We Are Stitching Plants” for Rs 1.27 crores (USD 282,716).

The sale was led by exceptional prices for works by S.H. Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, F.N. Souza, Akbar Padamsee, V.S. Gaitonde and M.F. Husain, demonstrating that the modern masters remain highly sought-after by collectors. In addition, dynamic bidding and results far exceeding pre-sale estimates were witnessed on significant works by leading contemporary artists such as Subodh Gupta and N.S. Harsha.

Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder of Saffronart said, “In this sale we presented an exceptional collection of works by leading Modern and Contemporary Indian artists. Characterized by aesthetic quality and excellent provenance, these works generated a great level of interest. The results of this and recent Saffronart auctions demonstrate that the Indian art market is now on a sustained growth path.”

He added, “Saffronart set a world auction record for Jehangir Sabavalla’s The Casuarina Line I which sold for Rs 1.7 crores. 53% of the lots sold for above the higher estimate, and 10 lots sold for over a crore each, pointing to a broad level of interest across the auction. Beyond the exceptional participation from existing collectors, this season also witnessed a number of new registrations and bidders, thus engaging a wider group of collectors. We believe this collector base will continue to grow in the art market’s new growth phase.”

Several customers tracked the auction and bid through Saffronart’s groundbreaking mobile application – the only live bidding mobile application offered by a major art auction house globally. Winning bids totaling Rs 4.2 crores (USD 934,272) were received and 10 lots were sold to bidders using Blackberrys and iPhones. M.F.Husain’s Untitled work (Lot Number 38) was the highest value lot sold via mobile, going for Rs 1.06 crores (USD 235,750). The latest release of the Saffronart iPhone application was made available prior to this auction. In addition to design improvements for enhanced usability, the new version enables collectors to browse and search results of all past Saffronart auctions, share favorite art and jewelry with others using Facebook, Twitter and E-mail, and view comparable prices for lots in auction.

Saffronart’s Summer Online Auction featured 90 works by 45 modern and contemporary Indian artists. The sale saw broad participation from collectors across the world, and closed with a total of Rs 30 crores (USD 6.7 million). Notable among the artists featured in the sale were S.H. Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, Akbar Padamsee, M.F. Husain, Subodh Gupta, F.N. Souza, N.S. Harsha, T.V. Santhosh and Rashid Rana. In addition to publishing a print catalogue to accompany the online sale, Saffronart also hosted preview events at Saffronart’s gallery spaces in Mumbai, London and New York.

Saffronart | Dinesh Vazirani | Jehangir Sabavala |

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