Christie's holds first auction in India

Mumbai, Dec 20 : The world's largest international art auction house Christie's held its first auction in India and earned INR 96,59,37,500 (USD$15,455,000), doubling pre-sale expectations and selling 98% by lot.

The sale was held on Thursday evening at The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai.

Artist Vasudeo S Gaitonde's untitled painting was sold for INR 23,70,25,000 (US$3.7 million), the highest price for a modern work of art sold in India.

"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," said Christie's in a statement on Thursday.

"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," it said.

At Thursday 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," said Christie's.

"It has been a true privilege to be in India where we have been honoured by the warm welcome. The response to our sale and events has been extraordinary," said Steven Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie's.

"Holding an auction in India for the first time is the realization of a long held dream for Christie's. We are delighted to have welcomed several thousand members of the public and clients over the course of the month."

"Our mission remains to serve our clients with exceptional works of art and to serve artists and all those passionate about art by convening them with our global network. We hope to continue to share the vibrant creativity we have experienced in Mumbai with a global audience as we grow our operations here in India," said Murphy.

--IBNS (Posted on 20-12-2013)

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