$302,500 Indian artwork shows 47.64% pa return over 20 years

A watercolour and gold portrait of Rawat Gokal Das celebrating the Hindu festival Holi sold for six times its high estimate at Bonhams' Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian art sale yesterday (March 19).

The portrait, by master Indian artist Bagta (1761-1814), brought $302,500, six times its $30,000-50,000 pre-sale estimate.

The consigner bought the piece two decades ago for a mere $125. This corresponds to an impressive 47.64% pa return.


bagta painting
Rawat Gokal Das celebrating Holi sold for $302,500

Bonhams' department specialist Edward Wilkinson said of the result: "It was truly incredible to witness the sale of this work come to fruition. Bringing in a lot of this caliber has proven to be not only a highlight of my career but also a highlight for Bonhams and for this 2012 Asia Week."

Bagta's artworks are featured in an exhibition entitled "Wonder of the Age, Master Painters of India, 1100-1900" which opened in the Museum Rietberg in Zurich and is currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Other top lots at the auction, which realised $3.2m in total, included a 14th century gilt copper alloy figure of Syamatara (Green Tara) which bought $482,500, and a 16th century figure of Radha which realised $254,500.

Asia Week New York (March 16-24) is being celebrated by five auction houses, including Sotheby's whose revenue grew by 7% in 2011, boosted by strong sales of modern art, and art auctions in Asia.

Keep an eye on our latest news for all the latest updates on auction results this Asia Week.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock