Elephant sculpture sells for nearly £1m at Sotheby's sale

This Monday (28 June), contemporary artist Bharti Kher's sculpture The Skin Speaks a Language not its Own achieved a stunning result at Sotheby's.

The bindi and fibreglass life-sized female Indian elephant, which the artist created in 2006, had been estimated at £700,000-1,000,000, and sold just short of its top estimate at £993,250. Nevertheless, this was the highest price for the artist to date, and a world record price for a contemporary female Indian artist at auction, according to the auction house.

Kher Elephant sculpture
Kher's The Skin Speaks a Language not its Own
(Click to enlarge)

Kher spent ten months creating the work, the skin of which is painstakingly precise in creating folds and texture.

This Saturday (July 3), a large number of elephants will be padding to auction. They have been decorated by a wide variety of artists, as well as students and celebrities, and are being offered by charity The Elephant Family in aid of the cause of saving the endangered Asian elephant.

280 have been paraded around London, as the latest city which has been visited by colourful fibreglass herd.

One, The Emerald Queen has already been sold for £150,000, presumably thanks in part to the 678 carat oval emerald in its headpiece. The main sale takes place at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea in London.

The Elephants' final display before auction

A spokeswoman for the charity commented "This is the last chance many people will have to see these historic sculptures that have been dotted around the city for weeks.

"It is a bit of fun for families, but it has also been a good way of raising the profile of the charity and the endangered elephants, as well as, hopefully, raising money for a good cause.

"We have had a lot of interest in the parade so far, so fingers crossed people dig deep in the auction."


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