A previously unknown notebook of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, containing his poems and other works, dating back to 1928 fetched $170,500 (approximately Rs 91 lakh) a Sotheby’s auction here on Wedensday.
The legendary Indian poet-artist’s book contained 12 poems and lyrics for as many songs in Bengali, including some heavily amended drafts of his subsequently published works.
The notebook, estimated to fetch $150,000-250,000, was finally sold for $170,500.
Tagore had presented the notebook to a family friend and early patron in the mid-1930s, through whose family it has descended. Two of the song lyrics in the collection were later included in the dance drama ‘Chitranggada’, first performed in 1892 and then modified in 1936.
Three other song lyrics were included in Tagore's three- volume song collection entitled ‘Gitabitan’, published in 1931.
Meanwhile, a bust of the Nobel laureate was unveiled at a leading Australian university in Sydney. A special ceremony was organised at the Macquarie University on Monday which marked the presentation and garlanding of a bust of Tagore who helped reshape Bengali literature, music and poetry.
The ceremony is part of an initiative ‘Ektaal — the Great India Project’ which was kicked off two years ago to increase understanding between Indian and Australian culture.