November 15, 2011


Mumbai, November 14, 2011: Saffronart, India’s largest fine-art auction house, concluded its 24-Hour Absolute Auction of Contemporary Indian Art with furious bidding and sales totaling Rs 2.44 crore (USD 510,194). Defined as an auction with no reserve prices, in an Absolute Auction each lot is won by the highest bidder at the time of closing, irrespective of the bid amount. This auction featured 85 lots by leading contemporary Indian artists including Atul Dodiya, A. Balasubramaniam, Jitish Kallat, Subodh Gupta, Anandajit Ray and Shibu Natesan. 

An exciting new auction format, this sale offered collectors with a range of budgets

unprecedented access to contemporary Indian art, and highlighted Saffronart’s commitment to the innovative use of the Internet. The auction also underlined the flexibility of Saffronart’s online auction platform, with levels of bidding activity rarely seen in auctions. In total 1,764 bids were recorded in the auction, or an impressive 1.22 bids per minute over the course of its 24 hours. Many of these came from first-time bidders who saw an opportunity to begin their collections. Despite the absence of reserve prices, the auction came close to exceeding its presale estimate of Rs 1.83 crore (USD 3,82,185) to Rs. 2.58 crore (USD 5,39,275). 

In this auction, works by Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Arun Kumar HG, Sudhanshu Sutar and Gopikrishna saw great interest from bidders, exceeding their higher estimates by several bids in the first few hours of the sale. Some of the highlights of the sale were Subodh Gupta’s ‘Untitled’ which sold for Rs. 72 Lakhs (USD 1,50,000) and Shibu Natesan ‘Linkage- 1’ which sold for Rs. 10.5 lakh (USD 21,720). Other works by Surendran Nair, Jitish Kallat and Gopikrishna, also saw strong competitive bidding that continued till the very last minutes of the sale. 

Saffronart launched its series of 24-Hour auctions in February 2011, in response to the growing demand for quality works of Indian art. These condensed and thematic adaptations of Saffronart’s more comprehensive seasonal auctions offer collectors and the trade more frequent avenues to acquire important works of art. Some of the other auctions in this series have been ‘Words & Lines’, ‘Editions’ and ‘Sculpted’. 

Dinesh Vazirani, Co-founder and CEO of Saffronart said, “Online art auctions, pioneered by Saffronart, have transformed the landscape of modern and contemporary Indian art, making it accessible to participants across geographies and opening it to a wide spectrum of international art collectors. We introduced this format with no reserve prices to give collectors with varying budgets, including new collectors, an opportunity to acquire quality works of contemporary Indian art at very attractive prices.” 

Apart from Saffronart’s online platform, several bidders also used its proprietary mobile bidding application on their Blackberry or iPhone to place their bids during this auction.