The Indian art market has been sleepy of late with disappointing sales in New York this Spring. Many observers have expected the market to lose steam, often blaming speculators who have now been burned. But yesterday’s Indian art sale at Sotheby’s in London–small and combinign Modern, Miniatures and Classical works (and notably no Contemporary work)–offered some positive price action. True, the overall sale only reached £2m ($3.37m) in total with 59 of the 86 lots on offer finding buyers for a less-than-thrilling 68%.
But F.N. Souza’s Orange Head (1963) made £403k against a £120k high estimate. Jogen Chowdhury’s Day Dreaming (1979) went for £373k, well above the £120k high estimate, and M.F. Husain was able to place five works in the top ten lots as well as selling 5 of the 7 canvases on offer. The top ten lots went to a mix of US private collectors, Indian private collectors and two remaining works going to UK trade buyers.