Sotheby’s, the oldest auction house in the world, and also the second biggest by size of revenue, is opening a sale room in Mumbai with an inaugural auction in December 2018.
Gaurav Bhatia, Sotheby’s India managing director believes that it was about time..
“India has been on the map for Sotheby’s for a while now. Indian clients have been transacting with us for eons – we have record of the first transaction in the 1930s where a maharaja bought a diamond necklace from Marie Antoinette’s collection in Sotheby’s London. Since then, one has seen Indian collectors being very, very active. In the last five years, Indian clients have bid in excess of $250 million at Sotheby’s auctions. This includes Indians from all over, but the larger percentage comprises residents Indians. This is a sizeable number. Not only that, the volume of transactors at Sotheby’s from India has doubled in the last five years. This shows the huge amount of interest and passion. Jook looking at these two numbers, you can’t ignore India. It’s a growing economy.”
The office was set up in Mumbai in 2016 with four people and a range of consultants.
A lot of what Indians are buying is south Asian modern and contemporary art.as also old master paintings, the Impressionists, continental furniture, and jewellery.
Just recently, Sotheby’s had an iconic sale of Fred Leighton, the ‘jeweller to the stars’. Leighton had an affinity for India and Indian jewellery.There were 3 Indians bidding in spite of it being a relatively unknown sale. Relatively speaking.
Tyeb Mehta’s art forms focus in the cover lot.