Christie’s, led the market in the sale of art from India this week in a group of sales totaling £5,774,850 ($8,991,441) and which were 80% sold. The series began yesterday at Christie’s in South Kensington where a private collection of Indian court paintings entitled The Garden of Epics, made £494,625 ($770,131) and was followed by the Arts of India sale which totaled £903,125 ($1,406,165). Today’s sale of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art realised £4,377,100 ($6,815,144).
The cover lot for the South Asian Modern and Contemporary art sale held today, a masterpiece by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, sold for £625,875 ($974,487). The picture has been requested for next year’s retrospective of the artist at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. A unique collection of 6 works by the great Sri Lankan modern master, George Keyt (1901-1993), sold collectively for £339,850 ($529,146), more than doubling the pre-sale low estimate. His Gopika Vastra Paharana (1952), expected to sell for £40,000-60,000, sold for £109,875 ($171,075) to a buyer in the room against 4 rival bids and set a new auction record for a work by the artist sold at auction. The highlight of the Arts of India sale on June 10 was an illustration for the Bhagavata Purana showing the Snake Demon Ugrasura Swallowing Krishna, which sold for £181,875 ($283,179) against a pre-sale estimate of £30,000-50,000.
Hugo Weihe, International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s, commented: “Maintaining our dominant position across all categories of Indian art, the sales over the last two days continue to demonstrate Christie’s pre-eminence in offering the best works from India at auction. The sale included important works with great provenance which were appreciated by a large group of established and new collectors. We look forward to the next series of sales in this category to be held in New York in September.”
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