Christie's 3rd India sale totals USD 14.7 million
December 16, 2015: Christie’s third sale in India totalled INR 97,69,90,000 / $14.7million, well above the pre-sale high estimate of INR 75,06,30,000, becoming the highest total for any auction held in India. Ninety five per cent of the lots sold, in line with the results of the previous annual auctions. Strong bidding was seen across all price points from clients representing four continents.
Five bidders, on the telephones and in the room, battled for Untitled, an oil by modern master Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001), painted in 1995which soared above its pre-sale estimate to sell for INR 29,30,25,000 ($4,416,502), breaking the previous world auction record (INR 23,70,25,000 / $3.7 million) for the artist and for the category set by Christie’s at the inaugural India sale in 2013.
Interest in classical art, the first time they have been included, was reflected in the granite figure of a Dvarapala, South India, circa 10th Century, the top lot, which sold for INR 1,70,25,000 with 99% of this section of 28 pieces selling. As these objects are not able to be exported, but can still be exchanged in India, this is a sign of the growing appreciation for these important cultural objects within India.
“As leaders in the field of Indian modern and contemporary art, the team has proven that their strategy of ensuring we offer works of the best quality, competitively priced and with great provenance continues to be a winning formula for our clients. The results speak for themselves - 73% of lots sold above estimate, 9 new artist’s records and, a first this year, a consolidation of our position in India with the addition of 28 lots of classical art within our sales. With each sale, our collectors here increase in number and appetite and the demand for works of top quality is there to be met,” said William Robinson, International Head of World Art.
Bidders also competed for six particular works donated by leading contemporary artists and galleries which, when combined with Christie’s promise to match the buyer’s premium, raised funds for victims of the Chennai disaster. The funds will be shared jointly between Bhoomika Trust and Blue Cross India.