Storied Provenances in the Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art Online Auction

New York | 6 September
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O pen from September 6 – 14, Sotheby's New York Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art Online auction includes works of art hailing from storied provenances, endowing the properties with eminent value and esteem. Browse the lots here, bid on your favorite pieces and revel in the rich histories of these magnificent works of modern and contemporary art.

Storied Provenances in the Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art Online Auction

  • Nandalal Bose, Jagai-Madhai, circa 1910
    Estimate $1,000 – 1,500

    Considered one of Nandalal Bose's most popular works, this lithograph comes from the original drawing of Jagai-Madhai, currently held in the Indian Museum of Kolkata's permanent collection. Only five editions of this lithograph are known to exist.

    The Collection of Ranu and Niladri Chaki
    Bengali natives Ranu and Niladri Chaki are renowned for their collection of Bengali art, but to the couple, the title "collector" is not necessarily fitting to their pursuit. "We are not art collectors in the true sense," they note in a Sotheby's blog posted earlier this year. Instead, their collection is "primarily shaped by our profound love for Rabindranath Tagore, his songs, poetry and his world, which steered us to paintings about the nature of Santiniketan or inspired by it."
  • Gopal Ghose, Untitled (Set of Two), executed in 1971 (top); executed in 1968 (bottom)
    Estimate $4,000 - 6,000

    The Chakis acquired these forest and boat scenes directly from the artist in 1975-76.

    The Collection of Ranu and Niladri Chaki
    The couple's collection reflects their motherland, Bengal, and the ideas which arose from the nation in the 20th century about freedom and liberation, and aesthetics that became hallmarks of the Bengal School. Included in the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art Online auction are several works from the Chaki's collection which reflect these principals.
  • Jamini Roy, Untitled (Ganesh); Untitled (Kingdom of Cards),
    Estimate $4,000 – 6,000

    The Collection of Ranu and Niladri Chaki

    The Chakis acquired this work from the artist's family in 1972. These are unusual sketches. Jamini Roy painted Ganesh in many forms, but his sketches of Ganesh are rare. The second sketch, Untitled (Kingdom of Cards), is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's epic dance drama, Tasher Desh, written in 1933. Based loosely on the story of Alice in Wonderland, the novel is a striking political commentary on the suppression of freedom.
  • Badri Narayan, Untitled (Man and Moon)
    Estimate $6,000 – 8,000

    The Collection of Chester and Davida Herwitz
    Massachusetts-based handbag designer and manufacturer Chester Herwitz first visited in India in 1961; from this point forward, Mr. Herwitz and his wife, Davida, continued to visit the country almost yearly, sometimes remaining for several months on end. Together, they began to collect art locally, eventually becoming two of the most prominent patrons of Indian contemporary art. The Herwitzes's larger impact on the Indian contemporary art market is substantial – their attention and enthusiasm helped attract international attention to the movement and artists.
  • K. Laxma Goud, Untitled (Smiling Goat)
    Estimate $4,000 – 6,000

    The Collection of Chester and Davida Herwitz
    The Herwitz's collection of more than 3,000 paintings and drawings has been exhibited globally in world-class institutions and sold with Sotheby’s in 1995, 1996 and 2000. These sales kick-started the Modern and Contemporary Indian art market, thus giving this provenance premium distinction. Today, a large part of their collection resides publicly in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, in galleries named after the couple.
  • K. Laxma Goud, Untitled (Women with Goat)
    Estimate $6,000 – 8,000

    The Collection of Chester and Davida Herwitz
  • Ambadas Khobragade, Untitled (Set of Three)
    Estimate $2,400 – 3,500

    Originally acquired in India circa 1960s by Prof. Derek Davenport, these works were subsequently purchased from his estate in July 2017.

    The Collection of Derek Devenport
    Derek A. Davenport was Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Purdue University, West Lafayette in Indiana, where he served a tenure of 41 years. A stalwart in the field of education, Prof. Davenport traveled extensively throughout the world, including to India. There, he spent two sabbaticals helping to establish the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur; this mission was accomplished in 1963.
  • Jamini Roy, Untitled (Five Women)
    Estimate $7,000 – 9,000

    This work was originally acquired by Bonnie R. Crown during her travels in India circa 1950s-60s. It was subsequently purchased from her New York estate in 2017.

    The Collection of Bonnie R. Crown
    Bonnie R. Crown served as the Director of the Asian Literature Program at the Asia Society, New York from 1959 to 1976. During that time, she traveled to almost every Asian country, visiting India many times to discover new writers and books to share with the American public. She also collected art, including works by Jamini Roy.
  • Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Kashmiri Woodcutter; Dupta (sic)
    Estimate $5,000 – 7,000

    Originally acquired by Marshall Hendricks, thence by descent.

    The Collection of Marshall Hendricks
    Marshall Hendricks was an intelligence expert, long-time art collector and influential art dealer in the greater Washington area. In the 1950s, Hendricks served in the Navy, completing tours in the Mediterranean and North Africa. In the 1960s, he advanced in the intelligence field and worked in Tokyo (1965-70). In the summer of 1970, Mr. Hendricks and his family embarked on a three-month travel exhibition with their Pakistani friends, who exposed him to the work of AR Chughtai. It was during these travels that Hendricks amassed an eclectic collection, which included these works as well as numerous Japanese prints, fantasy mind-scapes and works by artists from the American West. From the 1970s – 90s, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. and was involved with various presidential campaigns as an adviser. Together with his wife, Kappy, he established the Hendricks Art Collection in Bethesda, Maryland in 1970 and began to source Japanese woodblock prints to buyers in America and beyond.
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