Tagore, Husain, Raza to go under hammer at Osian's ABC auction

7 Jul, 2008
Ashoke Nag, ET Bureau

KOLKATA: Leading auctioneer Osian’s is coming up with the fifth edition of its ABC (Art, Books and Cinema) series sale soon. The auction sports a total estimated value of Rs 24-25 crore, comprising 201 lots. Of these, 132 are paintings, 20 are books, while the rest embraces movie memorabilia.

The 132 lots of paintings encompass 25 contemporary works and the rest are modernist, post-war modernist and Bengal School. A Ram Kumar figurative from 1967 is estimated at Rs 2-2.5 crore, while a 1980 Raza Bindu is pegged in the band of Rs 1.6-2 crore. In the same breath, an MF Husain untitled is hovering in the range of Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore and Krishen Khanna’s ‘The Rider’ will go under the hammer in the range of Rs 36-45 lakh.

The contemporaries find Atul Dodiya’s ‘Random Verse’ priced at Rs 72-90 lakh and a Surendran Nair watercolour, Darwaaza Kholo, which is estimated at Rs 16-20 lakh. The Bengal School section is being led by the three Tagores, Rabindranath, Abanindranath and Gaganendranath. The Tagorean pieces are estimated between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.

In step, a large drawing by Nandalal Bose from the Ajanta series dated 1909-10 is valued at Rs 10-12 lakh and a set of 20 pencil and ink drawings by Jamini Roy are placed at Rs 12-15 lakh. The auction is also offering a Gaitonde drawing in the bracket of Rs 10 lakh. In the list are also a Bikash Bhattacharjee at Rs 48-60 lakh and Jogen Chowdhury’s ‘Two Women’ from 1994 going for Rs 40-50 lakh.

“We are also bringing some works by Palsikar, an influential teacher of the 1950s, who taught artists like Bendre, Kulkarni and Kolte. The Palsikar works are ranging anywhere near Rs 6-7 lakh mark. In tandem, the auction is placing under the hammer a set of 47 rare drawings by Serbjeet Singh on the Kashmir War, titled ‘Jojila’. Singh did these works at the site of the war in 1948. The drawings are priced at Rs 24-30 lakh,” Osian’s chairman Neville Tuli told ET.

Mr Tuli added: “The momentum is returning now on a much deeper level. This is also being spurred by financial institutions and museums which are renewing their collecting habits for Indian, Asian and Arab art. There is a major infrastructural change which is happening across the world as art is now being recognised as a credible capital asset for all medium and long-term portfolio. This auction will take forward the development of Indian film memorabilia market and show the continuous strength of the domestic art scene.”
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