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Tagore, Husain works to go under hammer

Besides rare art collections, the 4th ABC series of auctions, valued at nearly Rs 24 cr aims to stimulate interest in film memorabilia and promote rare books.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 06, 2008 07:14 PM IST

Iconic works of Rabindranath Tagore, MF Husain and SH Raza among others will go under the hammer on July 15 at the Osian's art, books and cinema memorabilia auction that is valued at nearly Rs 24 crore.

Besides rare art collections, the fourth ABC series of auctions aims at stimulate interest in Indian film memorabilia as well as promote rare books. A preview of the works to be up for the auction was inaugurated in New Delhi on Saturday night.

The art section also includes works of K H Ara, J Sultan Ali, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharjee among others.

There is a special focus on the Tagores and Bengal School, and works of Rabindranath, Abanindranath and Gaganendranath and their sister Sunayani Devi have been included.

The "Section on Books" includes seminal rare works on important modern masters such as Raja Ravi Varma, Nicolas Roerich, the Tagores, Amrita Sher-Gil, Chughtai, Sadequai, George Keyt, Husain and Souza among others.

Also included are limited edition portfolios on Omar Khayyam painted by Abanindranath Tagore and Asit Kumar Haldar and a book by M V Dhurandhar with Khayyam related sketches.

The "Cinema Section" includes vintage posters of some of the 1930s films like "Dreamland", "Hurricane Special", "Allaudin Aur Jadoo Ka Chirag" and "Golden Gang".

The R K Films banner will be in focus with publicity memorabilia of films like "Ab Dilli Dur Nahin", "Awara", "Shree 420", "Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai" and "Bobby" along with a rare six-sheeted poster of "Sangam".

The ABC Series Auction has become an important part of the Indian auction calendar as it provides a rare insight into many Indian contemporary art forms.

The film memorabilia market is now ready for a significant boost as the film fraternity themselves become collectors, respecting the film heritage while further recognising how relatively small the Indian memorabilia market is given the scale of the international market.

"A year or two from now, just as with the fine arts markets, the vintage Indian popular arts will be chased by the international collectors and museums in full earnest," said Neville Tuli, chairman of Osians Connoisseurs of Arts.

Tagore's "Face" with pen and ink on paper has a lower price estimate of Rs 1,600,000 (Approx USD 37,400) and an upper estimate of Rs 2,000,000.

Of the various lots of Husain that are up for grabs is a two-set "Fantacy Series" works in pencil, pen and ink on brown paper done in 1941.

Other Husain works include "Horses Series" (oil on board, Rs 3,600,000-Rs 4,500,000), "Horses" (watercolour and ink on paper, Rs 1,000,000-Rs 1,250,000) and "Krishna" (oil on canvas signed in Devanagiri and English, Rs 8,000,000-Rs 10,000,000).

Artist of Focus Ram Kumar's "Sisiters" is an oil work done in 1967.

"I cannot say whether 'Sisters' is my best work. For an artist, every work of his is precious," Kumar told PTI.

There is also a couple of untitled works of acrylic on canvas by Raza besides his other acrylic works "Bindu" (Rs 3,600,000-Rs 4,500,000) and "Beeja" (Rs 10,000,000).

There is a set of 11 pencil works on paper called "Nehru Series" where India's first prime minister is seen with several leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Tagore and Indira Gandhi among others.

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