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Christie's plans first auction in India

Last updated on: July 16, 2013 14:51 IST

Christie's plans first auction in India

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Global auctioneer Christie's is set to hold its first auction in Mumbai this December, a move, the London-based auction house indicates is a reflection of the growing participation of Indian collectors in the world art market place.

Christie's has had a presence in India for almost 20 years, through its office in Mumbai.

A total of 2.4 billion pounds ($3.6 billion) worth of artwork were sold in the first half of 2013, which is an increase of nine per cent on the equivalent period last year, reported the auction house in a statement on Tuesday.

"The decision to hold auctions at this time is a reflection of the strong momentum in the domestic art marketplace, the increased international appeal of Indian art and the growing participation of Indian collectors across international sale categories," said the aucion house.

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Image: An employee waits beside Ramos Martinez's 'Women with Fruit' at Christie's Auction House in New York.
Photographs: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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Steven P Murphy, chief executive, Christie's said, "We are delighted to announce that we will hold auctions in India, allowing Indian collectors domestic access to works of art sourced by Christie's, international collectors access to the very best of Indian art, and opening channels to our global network and specialist expertise."

The inaugural auction of contemporary Indian art will take place in Mumbai in December.

"Our inaugural Mumbai sale reinforces Christie's longstanding commitment to the artistic and cultural heritage of India. We are honoured to play a part in the further development of the domestic and international Indian art marketplace," he said.

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Image: Christie's auction house CEO Steven Murphy is interviewed at his office in central London.
Photographs: Olivia Harris/Reuters

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Christie's plans first auction in India

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In total for the first six months of 2013 Christie's sold 422 works at above $1 million and 34 above $10 million.

The number of clients from Asia increased 15 per cent, representing 23 per cent of all registrations.

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on May 15 realised $495 million (326.7 million pounds) becoming most valuable art auction ever held, Christie's said.

Notable increases were also seen for Asian Art which realised auction sales of 284.5 million pounds ($435.3 million); and Old Masters and 19th Century Art which totalled 78.4 million pounds ($120 million).

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Image: A worker poses with 'Jeanne Hebuterne (au chapeau)' from 1919 by Amedeo Modigliani, at Christie's auction house in London.
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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The highest auction price for the first half of the year was paid for Jackson Pollock's Number 19 which sold in New York for $58,363,750 (38,520,075 pounds).

In India the auction house has supported the India Art Fair in Delhi in January and has partnered with British Council for ‘Homelands’, an exhibition currently showing in Bengaluru after shows in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Christie's online initiatives and investment in growthmarkets, auctions continued to attract new collectors and bidders in the first six months came from 128 countries and 10 per cent of those were new clients.

The auction house offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more.

Prices range from $200 to over $100 million.

The second half of 2013 will also see inaugural auction by Christie's in Shangai, China in late September.


Image: Fernando Botero's 'Dancers' is photographed by a passer-by as it sits in front of Christie's Auction House in New York.
Photographs: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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