M F Husain - The Battle of Ganga and Jamuna Mahabharata 12, 1972, oil on canvas, 74 x 107.75 in (188 x 273.5 cm), Estimate INR 12 - 18 crores, Image courtesy of Saffronart
M F Husain - The Battle of Ganga and Jamuna Mahabharata 12, 1972, oil on canvas, 74 x 107.75 in (188 x 273.5 cm), Estimate INR 12 - 18 crores, Image courtesy of Saffronart

Saffronart to auction seized Nirav Modi assets in Mumbai

The auction is being organised on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate, Government of India, and will feature 15 artworks by modern and contemporary Indian artists

Saffronart has been selected to host two auctions featuring the seized assets of fugitive businessman Nirav Modi on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate, Government of India. A Live Auction in Mumbai on 27 February 2020 will be followed by an Online Auction on Saffronart’s platform on 3 - 4 March 2020. Collectively, the two auctions will feature 15 artworks by significant modern and contemporary Indian artists, as well as a selection of luxury watches, handbags and cars.

The auctions will mark the first time that a professional auction house has been appointed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to conduct an auction of seized assets in India. This appointment comes a year after a successful auction of seized paintings conducted by Saffronart on behalf of the Income Tax Department in March 2019 – which raised INR 54.84 crores – reinforcing Saffronart’s position as auctioneers for seized assets for government agencies.

Amrita Sher-Gil -  Untitled, 1935, oil on canvas, 36 x 22 in (91.5 x 56 cm), Estimate - INR 12 - 18 crores, Image courtey of Saffronart

Commenting on the auctions, Saffronart CEO and co-founder Dinesh Vazirani said, “Saffronart is extremely honoured to inaugurate its 20th year by lending our services and expertise to the Enforcement Directorate, Government of India. We are diligently working with the ED to assess and evaluate each item and put together the catalogue for both the sales, which includes a distinguished line-up of artworks by the likes of Amrita Sher-Gil, M F Husain and V S Gaitonde. The auctions also feature luxury collectibles – such as watches by Jaeger Lecoultre, and Birkin and Kelly handbags from Hermès – which are among the most popular luxury items internationally and witness great demand from celebrities and collectors.”

Highlights of the auctions include a 1935 masterpiece by Amrita Sher-Gil which has never previously been auctioned (estimate: INR 12 - 18 crores); a significant oil on canvas by M F Husain from his ‘Mahabharata’ series (estimate: INR 12 - 18 crores); a serene blue painting by V S Gaitonde from 1972 (estimate: INR 7 - 9 crores); and a vivid red depiction of Krishna by Manjit Bawa (estimate: INR 3 - 5 crores). Important watches going on sale include a Jaeger Lecoultre Men’s ‘Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2’ Limited Edition wristwatch and a Gerrard Perregaux Men’s ‘Opera One’ wristwatch. Of more than 80 branded handbags included in the auction are several from the Birkin and Kelly lines by luxury retailer Hermès.

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