Christie’s India set to auction antiques

Amit Mitra Hyderabad Jan. 10 | Updated on January 10, 2014

Christie’s India Marketing Head Sonal Singh with painter Bose Krishnamachari at a FICCI-FLO interactive session in Hyderabad. — P.V. Sivakumar

Global auctioneer Christie’s is planning to broaden its Indian canvas to include antiques.

This comes after the success of its first Indian auction of paintings held in Mumbai last month. Christie’s notched up total sales of Rs 96 crore at the auction, which was double its pre-sale expectations.

Vasudeo Gaitonde’s work made waves in art circles when one of his untitled works sold for about Rs 23.70 crore, followed by Tyeb Mehta’s Mahisasura that was snapped up for Rs 19.78 crore.

“Clearly, our first Indian auction indicates the potential in the Indian market. We are exploring the possibilities of getting into the Indian antiques segment and are studying different items,” Sonal Singh, Marketing Head, Christie’s India, told Business Line on the sidelines of a FICCI-FLO session here on reviving the Indian art market.

She was not willing to disclose the category of items that will be brought under the hammer, but ruled out vintage cars. “There are some regulations, which we are now studying before we launch the event,” she said.

Christie’s is planning to take over 300 modern Indian pieces to three international shows this year, starting with New York, followed by London.

The Indian art market is estimated at to be about $400 million.

Singh said awareness about Indian art is increasing.

“During our previews before the (Mumbai) auction, we registered over 1,000 visitors per day,” she pointed out.


Published on January 10, 2014

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