Sale of Classical Indian Art treasures

by Shilpa Raina
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A dynamic and superbly detailed work showing a procession of riders on elephants, horses, camels and foot soldiers marching with their king to battle is Maharaja Bakhat Singh of Nagaur Proceeding for Battle, Nagaur, circa 1750, which is one of the highlights of the upcoming Saffronart’s upcoming auction of Classical Indian Art on March 9 in Mumbai. The work is estimated between Rs 50 – 70 lakhs.
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Another work, Ragini Basant of Raga Sri is being offered at Rs 35 to 45 lakhs. The Provincial Mughal/Bikaner painting, dated circa 1660, shows Krishna being entertained by a group of musicians, resplendent with the colours of Holi. This beautifully delineated festive scene brings together music and social commentary.
A majority of the lots are from the collection of Motichand Khajanchi. Khajanchi discovered miniatures through his association with the royal family of Bikaner.
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The lots on auction, which are from the late 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries and in excellent condition, are a testament to his fine aesthetic eye and will inspire new generations of collectors. Some of them carry artist signatures on the reverse, which is rare among miniature paintings.
“We are delighted to have sourced an excellent collection of miniatures and rare sculptures from eminent collections. They offer collectors a unique opportunity to acquire some of the best classical art to enter the auction market,” says CEO Hugo Weihe.
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Among the Pahari paintings on auction are Shiva Tandava, Guler, circa 1780, estimated at Rs 20 to 30 lakhs, and Folio from the Sat Sai of Bihari, Guler, circa 1800, with an estimate of Rs 18 to 24 lakhs.
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Leading the sale of sculptures is a carved sandstone sculpture of Mahishasuramardini, 10th – 11th centuryRanking as a masterpiece of mediaeval sculpture from Central India and in remarkable state of preservation, it shows the moment of Durga’s victory over Mahishasura, the buffalo demon. With every inch of the sculpture intricately detailed, it is a visually extravagant metaphor for the triumph of good over evil. The sculpture is estimated at Rs 3 to 5 crores.

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