Incredible numbers at SaffronArt’s online auction

Saffronart’s live and online spring auctions closed on April 6-7 and reached a combined sale value of INR 115.62 crore (USD 15.41 million). The April 6 live auction saw record prices being broken for several works and a total sale value of INR 104.1 crore (USD 13.87 million), with 89.09% of the lots sold. Leading lots from the live auction performed extremely well, with records being set for both works.

Draupadi Vastraharan by Raja Ravi Varma, c. Rickshaw) by Tyeb Mehta, 1999, sold for INR 41.97 crore making it the highest value achieved by the artist at auction and the second most expensive piece of Indian art sold worldwide. A world record was also set by MV Dhurandhar’s Untitled (Draupadi Vastraharan), in 1934, when it sold for INR 8.04 crore, making it the highest value attained by the artist in the auctions around the world.

The untitled wooden sculpture by Pilloo Pochkhanawala, part of the collection of Jeroo Vakil Mango and the late Naval Vakil, sold for more than four times its low estimate at INR 1.44 crore (USD 192,000). This is the second highest value achieved by the artist at auction worldwide. The other two works in the collection also performed well with Untitled, 1959 by MF Husain and Untitled, 1979 by Manjit Bawa; Nicholas Roerich, Saint Mercury of Smolensk, 1919.

The spring online auction closed on April 7 and reached a total sales value of INR 11.54 crore (USD 1.53 million), with 86% of lots sold. Jagdish Swaminathan’s 1982 untitled oil on canvas became the highlight lot of the auction when it sold for INR 66 lakhs along with one of the antiques, Lord Buddha with Arch, a 17and bronze sculpture from Nepal of the century, following at double its estimate below INR 50.25 lakhs.

Saffronart CEO and Co-Founder Dinesh Vazirani said, “We are delighted to have opened our auction calendar with such a successful live, online auction. Record prices achieved by Tyeb Mehta’s powerful 1999 work Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw), Raja Ravi Varma’s historically significant 1888-1890 painting Draupadi Vastraharan, as well as works by MV Dhurandhar and Pilloo Pochkhanawala in the live sales booth bears witness to the skill and legacy of these artists. These are all rare works by artists to emerge on the art market and we are honored to have helped set a new benchmark with these auctions.

An analysis of the Spring Live Auction and the Spring Online Auction can be viewed at