Rockstar Sting to open rare art auction in Jodhpur palace
New Delhi/Jodhpur, March 5 : A showcase of rare high-end antiquities will combine with the opulence of the historic Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur, the home of the erstwhile ruler of Jodhpur, to bring to India one of the first luxury palace auctions of art and antiquities March 7-9 for the niche buyers' segment, a Bangalore-based fine art auctioneer said.
The antiquities and collectibles would be put on display March 7 - the day when the curtain will go up on the exclusive lots with a performancee by Sting which will set the mood for the auction, chairman and managing director of Bid & Hammer Maher Dadha said.
The auction is likely to see celebrities from Mumbai's glamour world and top international collectors flock to the Umaid Bhavan Palace, Dadha said.
The piece de resistance of the sale is a recently discovered watercolour by England's most iconic water colour artist J.M.W Turner, known for his classical European landscapes. The art work on sale is from a rare documentary series of 18th century India on the siege of Seringapatnam during the reign of Tipu Sultan.
"The art work has been authenticated for provenance by Turner experts Andrew Wilton and Ian Warrell in the UK," the auction house owner said. Painted in the impressionistic style that characterised Turner's art practise, the work shows the Cullaly Deedy water gates in the outer ramparts of Seringapatnam where Tipu Sultan sought refuge during the siege.
The work that has been brought to the auction from Dadha's personal collection, is estimated at Rs.30 million (USD540,000).
On sale is a rare eight-panel "verre eglomise (reverse gilded glass to mirror finish) metal screen by French avant garde artist and designer Etienne Drian celebrating the arrival of the first black jazz band in Paris. The panel, depicting five black musicians playing in a concert, is said to have been inspired by a live band that initiated Parisians to the musical genre. It is estimated at Rs.60 million.
Other collectibles of rare provenance include decorative art deco and baroque accessories by designers Reenee Lalique, Lorenzo and Gilbert along with miniatures from the Rajasthan, Bundh and asoli, Kangra and Deogarh schools of royal art. An embellished collection of ceremonial daggers from the royal arsenals dating to the 18th century stands out for its intricate craftsmanship and antique value.
The Indian art section includes a collection of paintings by iconic modernists like Bamapada Banerjee, M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar and Jogen Chowdhury.
Explaining the reason for choosing Umaid Bhavan Palace as the venue, Dadha said: "Auctions in India are moving away from gallery spaces to luxury venues to fit into the lifestyle segments of the upend buyers who make up the bulk of the collectors of rare art and antiquities in the country."
International and celebrity buyers look for a holistic approach to art which takes into account entertainment, good living and high-powered bids to give a 360-degree arts experience, he said.
Bid & Hammer is known for its sale of rare collectibles acquired from niche private collections around the world.