1969 Gaitonde work tops Osian’s auction

New Delhi: A 1969 work by one of India's finest abstract artists V S Gaitonde topped the first Osianama Series auction here that brought antiquities, modern and contemporary arts and vintage film memorabilia under the same platform.

The auction held this weekend saw total sales of Rs 7.44 crore.

The modern and contemporary fine arts section attracted the highest bids with Gaitonde's untitled work selling for Rs 1.26 crore followed by Shanti Dave's 1974 untitled work (Rs 1.14 crore) and Manjit Bawa's 1989 work 'Death of Safdar Hashmi' (Rs 72 lakh).

Other paintings which elicited significant interest from the bidders were Shibu Natesan's early 2000 'Against the Wind' canvas (Rs 30 lakh) and Jogen Chowdhary's 1988 ink and pastel style cross-hatching technique work 'Man with Cheetah' (Rs 28.8 lakh).

Of the total 75 lots in the modern and contemporary fine arts section, 42 were sold for Rs 6.14 crore at an average lot price of Rs 15.14 lakh.

The Vintage Indian film memorabilia section featured Hindi cinema's forgotten and silent era items, significant among them being rare photographic stills from "Gangavataran" (1937), the first and the last talkie film by Dadasaheb Phalke. One single still sold for Rs 1.02 lakh.

The organisers said with the growing participation of international museums and curators from the US, the UK and Singapore in the bidding for vintage Indian cinematic heritage, the future of this nascent market augurs well.

The other highlights in this section were the Dilip Kumar set of photographs which sold for Rs 1.62 lakh with the Amitabh Bachchan going under the hammer for Rs 1.26 lakh.

Commenting on the auction, chairman of Osian's group Neville Tuli said, "It is a slow and steady rebuilding process for the arts and cultural artifacts market… It is imperative that Osian's rebuilds in a systematic and solid manner, making sure that its wealth and cash flow generation keeps pace with the many long term non-profit infrastructure-building activities which are necessary for India's artistic and cultural heritage to find public respect, participation and financial credibility."