Untitled (Siva-Simantini), a watercolour by Abanindranath Tagore, realised $555,750 at Christie's sale of the Supratik Bose collection in New York yesterday (September 17) - a world record price for the artist.
The painting made an impressive 826% increase on its valuation of $40,000-60,000. It was executed in the 1920s by Abanindranath, founder of the Indian Society of Oriental Art and nephew of Rabindranath Tagore - the distinguished Bengali poet who also featured in the sale.
Hugo Weihe, Sotheby's international director of Asian art, commented: "The sale of The Art of Nadalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore, and Rabindranath Tagore marked an incredible chapter for Indian modernism.
"We were gratified by the global attention this collection garnered, which resulted in a sell-through rate of 99% by value, with the remaining three lots selling immediately after the sale. We will always be deeply honored to have been entrusted by Supratik Bose to handle this extraordinary collection."
A number of lots significantly exceeded their estimates - demonstrating a strong market interest in the work of contemporary Indian artists. The auction achieved total sales of $2.9m with 96% of all lots offered sold.
Where the Mind is Without Fear, an illustrated poem by Rabindranath Tagore circa 1910, realised $363,750 against a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-150,000. Bull Fighter by Nandalal Bose, which featured on the auction's promotional material, took $93,750 against a $60,000-80,000 valuation.
Supratik Bose, the owner of the collection, said: "Well over four decades ago when I brought the collection from India very few in America knew about the art of Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore, and Rabindranath Tagore. I am very pleased that after today's auction at Christie's they are far better known internationally."
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