Private Indian collections to lead Christie’s upcoming sale

A folio from the “Tandan” Ragamala: Ragaputra Chandrakaya of Malkosa
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Mumbai– The Christie’s India sale, marking the 250th anniversary of the auction house, will offer around 144 lots, including 72 from private collections.

The December 18 auction will offer royal court paintings and also classical sculptures. It will be led by 42 court paintings from the collection of Colonel R.K. Tandan (retd), dating from the 15th century to 19th century.

Works form the private collection of Abhishek and Radhika Poddar chart some of India’s leading artists including Tyeb Mehta, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Ganesh Pyne, Meera Mukherjee and Bhupen Khakhar.

Among the group are 7 lots by artists designated as “National Treasures”, an indication of the importance of these artists to Indian cultural heritage.

A folio from the “Tandan” Ragamala: Ragaputra Chandrakaya of Malkosa

Ganesh Pyne’s “Untitled”, with the estimated price of Rs 80,00,000 to Rs 1,20,00,000, from the late 1960s, shows a goddess dressed in crimson robes floating out of the water.

The highest valued work from the collection is Tyeb Mehta’s “Untitled”, 1975, which shows two human figures from the artist’s diagonal series (estimate: Rs 10,00,00,000 to Rs 15,00,00,000).

“This auction is slightly different. We have two sales out of which one auction will happen in the first half of the day which is of classical Indian Art or antiquities,” Sonal Singh, Christie’s Head of Department, South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, told IANS.

“The auction of modern and contemporary art will take place in the evening. Both sales are about 70 lots each,” she said, adding: “It’s a very strong market for modern art in the country. All the auctions till date have had a very strong selection of modern art.

“The response we’ve had for all our sales in india has been very encouraging. Contemporary artists are pictured in all our auctions,” Singh said.

A highlight of the sale is Colonel R.K. Tandan’s (1921-2009) “Ragamala” with an estimate price of Rs 70,00,000 to Rs 1,00,00,000. This is one of four paintings on offer to come from an iconic Pahari series of Ragamala painting attributed to the small Himalayan foothill of Basohli.

The auction also will have a sculpture carved in deep relief with extraordinary detail. This impressive stele of Lord Vishnu demonstrates a masterful craftsmanship of 12th century artists working in the North-western India.

Temple construction in the same period witnessed an embellishment of sculptural form. This grey stone figure of Vishnu has an estimated price of Rs 15,00,000 to Rs 20,00,000.

The artist has emphasised the prowess of the deity through a strong frontal pose with wide shoulders and hips, protruding chest, and a halo with a triangulated rim. This particular sculptu’e’s detailed carving, pleasing size and complete condition make it a superb example of medieval North-western Indian sculpture.

Another large and elaborate stele of Vishnu from the 11th century, depicts the god in a powerful frontal stance emerging from an ornate niche with an estimated price of Rs 20,00,000 to Rs 25,00,000.

Beautifully carved in polished stone, the subject and style of a stone figure of a Mother Goddess, possibly a Matrika, circa 6th century, makes for a very rare sculpture (estimate: Rs 40,00,000 to Rs 60,00,000). (IANS)



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