23rd June, 2010

Saffronart, an online auctioneer specializing in Indian art, concluded its most recent sale June 17th, grossing $6.7 million. The sale included a world-record auction price for painter Jehangir Sabavala. The sale was projected to total $5.4 – $7 million, and included 90 works by 45 modern and contemporary Indian artists.

Eighty-one percent of lots sold, with 73 finding buyers. Sabavala’s work titled The Casuarina Line I sold for $374,900. His previous record was $264,000 for Storm III, set at Sotheby’s Indian Art Auction in New York in 2007.

Other tops lots included S. H. Raza’s La Provence Noire, which sold for $746,111 and Subodh Gupta’s 2003 can carrying bike riders in Untitled, which fetched $494,500, doubling the projected high estimate of $240,000.

Ten lots were won via Saffronart’s new mobile application, which allows bidder to bid from Blackberrys and iPhones. Those lots totaled $934,272. M.F. Husain’s Untitled was the highest lot sold via mobile, making $235,750.

Saffronart was founded in 2000 by Dinesh and Minal Vazirani. Beginning as collectors, they expanded their online art auction model to include Fine Jewels and Watches in 2008 and added luxury real estate in April 2010. They maintain gallery and offices spaces in Mumbai, New York and London. Saffronart’s online auction model was recently the subject of a case study at Harvard Business School. Saffronart’s spring online auction in March of this year brought in $4.6 million.

Read more articles