Bid & Hammer’s online ‘Silent Bids Auction’ features Ganesh Pyne, Manjit Bawa & M F Husain

Improvising on how art is bought & sold during covid-19; An auction that focuses on exclusivity and freshness of works to the market.
Rare artworks by 3 master artists of India in a new concept auction.
Rare artworks by 3 master artists of India in a new concept auction.
Updated on Sep 22, 2020 01:49 PM IST
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If you want the luxury of bidding at an anonymous price, the upcoming ‘Silent Bids Auction’ of Indian Art Masters by Bid & Hammer provides you exactly this opportunity. In times of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where creativity and digitalization is the key, after the No- Reserve Auction of Indian Art in August that was sold out, the auction house is now innovating the technique of silent bidding, also called absentee or sealed bidding, by letting clients fill an online form with their maximum bids instead of the norm of physical ‘bid- sheets’.

Unlike a typical silent auction, here the winning bidder will be informed the outcome of his or her bid personally over the phone. When quizzed about the incremental bidding methodology and the likelihood of a tie, Ankush Dadha, Director, Bid & Hammer said “As the bids will be received via an online form, the highest bid received first will be considered the winning bid. In case of two or more bids of the same amount, we will contact the bidders and request them to increase their bid based on our standard incremental patterns”. For prospective buyers it is suggested that one places a high enough bid keeping in mind the estimates and the auctioneers will try to obtain it at the lowest possible price.

The auction from 18th September to 8th October 2020 is aimed at those who are tired of the huge number of auctions and works constantly being offered. This format will help them select, with a focused approach, high-quality and high-value paintings by a particular artist. In this instance up on the block are artworks by Manjit Bawa, Ganesh Pyne and M F Husain that are well documented, published and of solid provenance.

The 1993 Manjit Bawa canvas of a figure riding a bull, in a spaced ochre colour background, comes from a close family member of the artist and is also being published in a forthcoming edition of the illustrious book ‘A moment in time with legends of Indian art’. An earlier drawing of the same subject had verse by Pritish Nandy, an excerpt from which states “Come, let us pluck the fevered mantras of the Sun – raise your arms, Ganute” - the collectors of Bawa will know its significance. Estimated at 1.25 – 1.75 crores, the auction house is targeting those who are looking for a trademark work of the artist at the right price.

The very same journalist and ad-film maker Pritish Nandy whose poetry highlights the talent of Bawa in the above painting, once described Ganesh Pyne as a man who “radiated a mysterious quality”. It holds apt for the lot titled ‘The Carter’. Executed in 1992, the work is a haunting figurative in the distinctive style of one of the most notable contemporary artists from Bengal and is priced at 25 – 35 lakhs.

The final lot is coincidentally also a 1993 canvas, of master-artist Maqbool Fida Husain featuring his trademark horses. In this instance depicted are four of these magnificent creatures galloping thunderously. The online catalogue note reads ‘Racing against each other, the dust-storm around them is testimony to the raw intensity of the moment’. According to a spokesperson for the auction house “the colours, the freshness of the work to the market and the brush-strokes makes the 70 – 90 lakhs tag incredibly attractive.”

The viewing is by appointment only. Bid & Hammer had last conducted an exclusive, invitation only, Silent Bids auction at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur in 2013 that was attended by Mukesh & Nita Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar and Sarah Ferguson among others. It also featured a private performance by Grammy Award Winning international rockstar Sting who was brought in by the auction house. H. H Gaj Singh II, Maharaja of Jodhpur is a founder-patron of Bid & Hammer run by the over 100 years old Dadha Group.

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist was involved in the creation of this content.

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Thursday, December 09, 2021