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Tyeb Mehta outshines Big B at Osian's auction
July 21, 2006 16:23 IST
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan may be ruling Bollywood but when it comes to auctions, there's no beating octogenarian artist Tyeb Mehta. Mehta's 1968 painting 'Falling Figure' attracted a winning bid of Rs 3.45 crore at the Osian's auction in New Delhi on Thursday night, easily the highest price quoted for any of the lots on sale.
In contrast, posters of Bachchan's early films 'Bombay to Goa' and 'Abhimaan' found no takers, with connoisseurs unwilling to match pre-sale estimates of up to Rs 25,000 for the two items. The Mumbai-based painter and other modern Indian artists like M F Hussain, V S Gaitonde and Amrita Sher-Gil were the only ones to cross the Rs 1 crore mark in bids.
An untitled painting by Gaitonde sold for Rs 2.76 crore, a Hussain oil-on-canvas went for Rs 1.5 crore while a Sher-Gil creation was snapped up for Rs 1.38 crore. The 1960 classic 'Mughal-E-Azam' fared better, notching up almost Rs 15 lakh for a set of photographic stills and posters from the movie.
Osian's Founder-Chairman Neville Tuli wasn't too disappointed by the results. In fact, he was happy to note the presence of filmmaker Ketan Mehta and his actress-wife Deepa Sahi at the auction.
"If the Hindi film fraternity comes forward and takes more interest, things would only get better," he said.
"It's true that at an international auction, film memorabilia would sell for at least 100,000 dollars. But we have given ourselves a 20-year timeframe. We'll certainly get better," Tuli added.
Of the 161 lots that went under the hammer on Thursday, 114 were sold, helping organisers rack up a sum of Rs 16.87 crore - an average price of Rs 14 lakh per lot. Many National Art treasures and film memorabilia like books, handbills, lobby cards and song synopsis booklets were showcased in the three-hour auction under the deft handling of actor Rajat Kapoor.
The auction, organised as part of the Osian's Cinefan Film Festival in the capital, envisages Tuli's vision of "building Indian culture."