The Modern & Contemporary Fine Arts Section attracted the highest bids with V.S. Gaitonde’s 1969 ‘Untitled’ work going for INR 1,26,00,000 followed by Shanti Dave’s 1974 ‘Untitled’ work valued at INR 1,14,00,000 and Manjit Bawa’s 1989 work ‘Death of Safdar Hashmi’ at INR 72,00,000. Shanti Dave’s work set a new record for the artist. Other paintings which elicited significant interest from the bidders were Shibu Natesan’s early 2000 ‘Against the Wind’ canvas and Jogen Chowdhary’s 1988 ink and pastel style cross-hatching technique work ‘Man with Cheetah’, which went for INR 30,00,000 and INR 28,80,000 respectively.
Of the total 75 lots in the Modern & Contemporary Fine Arts section, 42 were sold (56.0 per cent) for INR 6,14,94,000 at an average lot price of INR 15,14,857. These are still substantially lower than the 2006-7 (nearly 30-35% lower) levels but an improvement of approx. 15 to 18% over the 2011-12 averages.
Among the highlights of the Indian Miniatures was an extraordinarily fine Illustration from the Harivamsa: Pradumna rescues a damsel which sold at INR 31,20,000 followed by a Mandi School Devi Series: Devi’s Battle with Mahisha which sold at INR 12,60,000.
The Vintage Indian Film Memorabilia section featured Hindi cinema's forgotten and Silent Era (Black & White) memorabilia with records being established for the rare photographic stills from Gangavataran (1937), the first and the last talking film by Dadasaheb Phalke. One single still went for INR 102,000 breeching the INR 100,000 benchmark for the first time in public auctions. This is a major landmark for the evolving film memorabilia market. With the growing participation of international museums and curators from USA, 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 (Lot 82) set of photographs at INR 162,000 with Amitabh Bachchan following with INR 126,000 for Lot 96.
The Auction was a further step in the financial consolidation and strengthening of the Osian’s Group after facing three years of financial difficulties with the art market downturn and the restructuring of its expanding areas of interest. Osian’s also re-confirmed that it will begin the second series of the Creative India Auction Series in March 2013 to be followed by auctions in May & June.
The recapturing of its leadership position by the Osian’s Auction House, the impending launch of its arts, culture and cinema search engine – theosianama.com - and the forthcoming publication of 100 volumes on ‘Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema’ in collaboration with Mapin Publishing, will mark the re-emergence of Osian’s as the pace setter in the Indian art and memorabilia market.
On the successful completion of the 1st Osianama Series Auction, Neville Tuli, Chairman, Osian’s Group said “It is a slow and steady rebuilding process for the arts and cultural artifacts market. Without a strong Osian’s it is very difficult for the market to achieve stability and confidence given that every area of arts and cultural infrastructure building is now linked to Osian’s activities, from auctions to publishing & design, online search to museums, film festivals to conservation and archiving. It is thus 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.”