Christie’s first sale in India doubled the pre-sale estimate and was 98% sold by lot, a strong signal for the potential of the Indian art market. Here’s what Bloomberg had to say about the sale:
A painting by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde sold for 237 million rupees ($3.8 million) at Christie’s International Plc in Mumbai, a record for an Indian artist at auction.
Gaitonde’s 1979 work was part of Christie’s inaugural sale in India that raised $15.6 million, more than twice the high pre-sale estimate of $8 million. The untitled oil-on-canvas abstract painting, whose price included buyer’s commission, was sold to a U.S.-based telephone buyer after seven minutes of bidding.
“Tonight’s event gives all the evidence we need to continue planting the Christie’s auction flag in India, Shanghai and Latin America in 2014,” Steven P. Murphy, Christie’s chief executive officer, said in an interview after the sale.
And here’s Christie’s own press release:
This evening in Mumbai, Christie’s first auction in India totaled INR 96,59,37,500 (USD$15,455,000), doubling pre-sale expectations and selling 98% by lot. This auction marks an historic moment for Christie’s, building on a 20-year history in India, and a decade of global market leadership in Modern Indian Art through sales in New York and London.
At this evening’s auction buying came from around India, across Asia, the US and Europe, reflecting both the world-wide interest in this category and Christie’s global reach. The pre-sale exhibitions during the past two weeks in New Delhi and Mumbai attracted many visitors and interest from both new and existing clients was so great at this evening’s auction that an extra room had to be prepared to accommodate clients. The sale was held at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai.