In these times of the corona pandemic where creativity and digitalization is the key for businesses to thrive, fine art auction house Bid & Hammer is innovating the technique of silent bidding by conducting it online in which clients can quietly and discreetly place their maximum bids digitally instead of on paper forms. The ‘Silent Bids Auction’ is aimed at the seasoned buyer who is specifically looking for trademark works of some of India’s most sought after master artists.
The auction started on 18th September and ends on 8th October 2020. The ample time duration is for collectors to view, understand and decide if the work is for them or not, before placing the bid which is binding and cannot be revised later. On this occasion, this format will help them focus on selecting paintings by Ganesh Pyne, Manjit Bawa and M F Husain that are well researched and of impeccable provenance.
The Manjit Bawa canvas of a figure riding a bull comes from a close family member of the artist and is also being published in the latest edition of the book ‘A moment in time with legends of Indian art’. The catalogue note on this large sized artwork from 1993 has been written by a leading artist who was a close friend and follower of Manjit Bawa’s career. A drawing of the same subject had verse by Pritish Nandy. Estimated between Rs 1.25 – 1.75 crores, Bid & Hammer is targeting knowledgeable and first time art collectors who are looking for a work of the artist at the right price. To ensure fair valuation and price realization, bids that do not meet the reserve or are very low will not be considered.
Ankush Dadha, director of Bid & Hammer, said “This auction has only select lots that have the signature style of the artists mentioned and the works are being made available exclusively after thorough assessment for those who wish to add a work or two from one of these masters in their collection”. Contrast with a regular silent auction, here the winning bidder will be informed the outcome of the bid personally after the close of the auction. Hence, for serious 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.
A painting by Ganesh Pyne titled ‘The Carter’ and painted in 1992, is a haunting figurative in the distinctive style of one of the most notable contemporary artists from Bengal. The estimate of this tempera work is Rs 25 – 35 lakhs.
An auction without master-artist Maqbool Fida Husain’s works is never complete given how sought after his works are at auction. The Rs 70-90 lakhs painting being offered here depicts four horses galloping thunderously. ‘Racing against each other, the dust-storm around them is testimony to the raw intensity of the moment’ - this literature from the website summarizes it articulately. At the recent ‘No-Reserve Auction of Indian Art’ by the auction house in August, all the works were sold and even there M F Husain’s painting was the top-draw.
Bid & Hammer had last conducted an invitation only, Silent Bids auction titled ‘The Jodhpur Auction II’ at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in 2013 that was attended by Mukesh & Nita Ambani, Anil Agarwal of Vedanta, Sachin Tendulkar, the Aga Khan, Prince Andrew, Bollywood actor Dia Mirza among others. It also featured a private performance by Grammy Award Winning international rockstar Sting.