PNB fraud: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's art collection goes under the hammer
A total of 68 artworks recovered from fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi got auctioned off as the Spring Live auction kickstarted on Tuesday at Mumbai’s JK Banquets. Saffronart, an auction house that conducts live and online auctions, organised the event on the behalf of the Income Tax (IT) Department.
One of the most prominent artworks in the auction included an oil on canvas painting by renowned painter Raja Ravi Varma. The bid for the painting started at Rs 8 crores and was sold for Rs 14 crores, Rs 2 crores higher than the estimated price of the artwork.
The top lot in this bid, an oil on canvas by Raja Ravi Varma in 1881, started at Rs 8crore. Sold at Rs 14crore. That is Rs 2 crore more than the estimated price of this artwork. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/41MCn6TfhB
— Dipti Nagpaul (@waywardandwise) March 26, 2019
In the second round of auctions, an untitled artwork by Jogen Chowdhury, whose bid started at Rs 12 lakh, eventually sold at Rs 46 lakhs.
The IT department had recovered the artworks after sealing Nirav’s properties and selected Saffronart to conduct an auction on their behalf, after a screening process that lasted a few weeks.
The 68 works, by Indian and Chinese artists, make up the entire live auction section of Saffronart’s auction. Among these, the top slots are occupied by Raja Ravi Varma, Akbar Padamsee and V S Gaitonde, according to the Saffronart team. The 1881 painting by Raja Ravi Verma depicts the Maharaja of Travancore welcoming the Third Duke of Buckingham on an official visit in 1980. The oil on canvas alone is expected to fetch up to Rs 18 crore. The Padamsee, titled Grey Nude, will likely fetch Rs 2 crore whereas the untitled Gaitonde is labelled ‘estimate on request’.