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Chintamoni Kar and Prabhakar Barwe in Bid & Hammer’s online No-Reserve Auction of Indian Art II

Bid & Hammer’s ‘No-Reserve Auction of Indian Art II’, online this winter from 4th-5th December 2020, features sculptor Chintamoni Kar and abstractionist Prabhakar Barwe’s works among other stalwarts of Modern & Contemporary Indian art such as B. Prabha, Ganesh Pyne, Jogen Chowdhury, Suhas Roy, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Rekha Rao, Paresh Maity and Satish Gupta. The USP of Bid & Hammer’s absolute auctions is that there is actually no reserve and valuable paintings can be bought at say Rs100, Rs1000 or Rs5000 as well if one gets lucky.

At a time when digital auctions have become the order of the day in a covid-19 impacted world, the thrill of these collector friendly auctions is not only drawing in the entry level buyers but also seasoned veterans due to the attractive price points. For instance, when there is rising demand for artworks by modernist Prabhakar Barwe, to have the opportunity to bid on a 1993 paperwork estimated at Rs80,000 – 1,20,000 can undoubtedly whet one’s appetite to acquire. Similarly, a terracotta odalisque sculpture of Vasantasena, also executed in 1993, by Olympic silver winning medalist sculptor Chintamoni Kar (1915 – 2015), after whom the Chintamoni Kar bird sanctuary is named, is a good investment option at estimates of Rs3,00,000 – 5,00,000, when the market prices are steadily climbing.

The highlight of the auction however is a vibrant mixed-media painting by B. Prabha (1933 – 2001) depicting rural female musicians. Pegged at Rs5,00,000 – 8,00,000 lakhs it would be interesting to see what price this undated piece eventually sells for. “There is an element of risk involved at auctions and it is not easy to predict which way the wind blows. Ultimately, at no-reserve auctions it is the buyer that controls the price” says Ankush Dadha, director, Bid & Hammer, when asked how much he expects this painting to fetch. He further added “Our role is to ascertain the provenance, establish the authenticity and suggest the estimates basis the history, quality and availability of the painting.”

The previous No-Reserve auction held by the auction house in August was a resounding success with all the lots sold out. The star attraction in that auction was a galloping horse by master artist M F Husain. For more details and to register for the upcoming edition visit the website or download the ‘Bid & Hammer’ mobile application from the Google Playstore or Apple Store. 

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