NEW YORK - I have always wanted to visit New York for a Sotheby’s sale and finally got my chance this March. When I arrived, New York was buzzing with expectation and activity. Asia Week was about to begin and we had an incredible amount of visitors to Sotheby’s. Collectors and dealers from around the world came in to view the ancient, modern and contemporary Asian art on display.
We sold 43 works from Amrita Jhaveri’s prestigious Amaya Collection, all of perfect quality and provenance. They were fresh to the market, acquired from prominent collections such as Chester and Davida Herwitz and assembled by a highly respected collector. In fact, the works were examples from the strongest periods in the artists’ oeuvres, a testament to Amrita’s eye and taste. It was the perfect formula for success.
After a day of deliberation and hanging, we had finally chosen the best locations for all the works. Seeing all of the art together in one place, I felt like a kid in a candy shop (except that the candy was made of gold!).
The next few days flew by. We held lectures for young collectors, Amrita gave a talk with Melissa Chiu, the Museum Director of the Asia Society and we hosted a cocktail preview of the sale.
K. G. Subramanyan's Mask, Icon, Mount, Mascot.
It was an incredible feeling after the sale, when 93% of the lots sold, with 60% selling over the high estimate. 143 people vied and competed to acquire this fantastic group of works. Our top lot, the beautiful red Gaitonde sold for US$ 965,000. Sayed Haider Raza’s Rajasthan I achieved US $809,000—over triple its low estimate. We broke two records for an artist at auction with K.G. Subramanyan’s Mask, Icon, Mount, Mascot selling for over three times its high estimate—US$ 185,000 and Anant Joshi’s May Look Closer than they Appear, selling for double the high estimate at US$ 60,000.
As well as being the first evening sale of contemporary Indian art held by a major international auction house, this auction will go down in history as one of the most successful single owner collections ever to come to the market.