More than 1,800 Asian art works - including a large collection from India - estimated at $48 million will be auctioned by Christie's at the Rockfeller Centre in New York during its Asian Art Week March 20-23.
The art works have been sourced from prestigious private collections across the world, including the Doris Wiener collection, Robert H. Blumenfield collection and the Robert H. Ellsworth collection, Christie's said.
The works will be auctioned in a series of seven sales, categorised as the Doris Wiener Collection, the South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art Collection, India and Southeast Asian Collection, Japanese and Korean Art, Auspicious Treasures for Scholars and Emperors, Luminous Perfection and Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art.
A spokesperson for Christie's said the Doris Wiener collection of South Asian art was of historical importance because of its antiquity and beauty. Wiener, one of the big Indian art dealers and collectors in the US in the 1960s, placed Indian art in the top private collections and institutions across the world.
The collection on sale features nearly 400 sculptures and art from the Gandhara, Himalaya, India and South Asia. Leading the sale will be a rare group of bronze Somaskanda sculptures from South India estimated at $1,200,000.
The Somaskanda sculptures depict Lord Shiva, the goddess Uma and their son Skanda. These icons were carried in a procession to temples so that devotees who could were not allowed entry into the shrine could pray outside the temples, Christie's said.
Another highlight of the sale is a 13th century Nepalese gilt-bronze figure of Padmapani, the holder of the lotus, an icon of Mahayana Buddhism. The sculpture is estimated at $350,000. The Doris Wiener collection will be on sale March 20.
The second auction of Indian and Southeast Asian art March 21 will offer more than 106 lots of art works on sale estimated at $5.6 million. The major attractions of this collection are a 17th century Pahari miniature style painting, The Demon Sugriva Meets Ambika ($12,000), a buff sandstone figure of Salabhanjika ($350,000), a goddess under a mango tree, and a bronze sculpture of Manikkavacar, a 9th century Shaivaite saint ($600,000), Christie's said.
Another sale of South Asian modern and contemporary art March 21 will feature works by Indian modern masters like Tyeb Mehta, Syed Haider Raza, F.N. Souza, M.F. Husain, Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Nalini Malani and Atul Dodiya.
One of the highlights of the sale is The Keehn Family Portrait, a group portrait of the Keehn family by M.F. Husain in 1959. The family lived in India till the late 1950s. The painting is estimated at $150,000.
The Robert H. Blumenfield collection of rare Chinese artefacts will go under the hammer March 22.