NEW YORK—Online auctioneer Saffronart realized a total of $4.26 million in its Dec. 9–10 sale of modern and contemporary Indian art, just clearing the overall estimate of $3.2 million/$4.16 million. Of the 100 works on offer, 78 were sold.
The auctioneer said that 48, or 62 percent, of the lots that sold did so at prices above the high estimate. The top lot was an untitled painting of blue and pink horizontal figures against a bright orange background by Manjit Bawa (1941–2008), “possibly referencing the passages in the Bhagavad Gita where the blue-skinned Krishna introduces himself as ‘Hari,’ or lion,” according to the catalogue. The painting sold for $362,250 against an estimate of $152,175/195,655.
The second-highest lot was a large elongated canvas depicting a group of musicians and dancers by Maqbool Fida Husain (b. 1915), which sold for $294,400 against a $120,000/180,000 estimate. An untitled 2005 canvas by Subodh Gupta depicting the artist’s signature steel pots sold for $253,000, well above the estimate of $152,175/195,655. And Francis Newton Souza’s Profile of a Woman, 1952, also surpassed its $40,000/60,000 estimate to sell for $215,625.