On June 14th Roseberys presented a sale of Indian art featuring a large selection of delicate miniature paintings and beautiful metalwork, all with solid provenance which buyers responded to well. Roseberys were delighted with the results of the sale, which included particularly strong results for a carved sandalwood Mysore casket, a pair of Chola-style bronze figurines, and two large Lucknow river scenes, all attracting strong interest in the room and online, soaring past their presale estimates.
The stand-out solo lot of the evening was lot 209 - a finely carved 19th century sandalwood casket made in Mysore, South India. The casket - which may have been used as a dowry box - was decorated with figural and animal details and achieved three times its low estimate, realising £8,450 including fees. Its success at auction is high praise for South India’s traditional carpenters - the Gudigar. Objects like this one, made by Gudigar experts, are often found in Hindu temples and are seeing a marked increase at auction.
Lot 242 was a large Chola-style bronze statue showing the Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati dancing upon a bronze and copper plinth. The piece was purchased by the vendor’s mother from Madras in South India in 1954, and its strong provenance surely helped it towards the excellent result of £5,980 including fees - almost double its high estimate.
June 14th’s sale saw particularly excellent results for paintings and paper artworks. Lot 124, a double-sided album page from the Mughal Library made during the 16th century reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, showed a scene of an enthroned prince (identified by an inscription as the ruler Genghis Khan) being entertained by musicians, with finely decorated gilt borders. Lot 125 was a late 18th century scene featuring a ruler and two noblemen seated on a raised marble dais in the centre of a pavilion-sided pool. Opaque pigments on the late 18th century piece had been heightened with gold, and the dazzling object came to Roseberys directly from a private UK collection. Lot 126 came from that same collection, purchased in Paris in 1983. The scene showed a ruler and their courtiers relaxing on a riverbank terrace surrounded by a feast and musicians. Both lot 125 and 126 realised more than double their high estimates, achieving £5,460 and £5,720 respectively (including fees).
Further fine art pieces which wowed bidders included lot 97, a folio from a Dashavatara series made around 1740 showing Parashurama fighting the 1000-armed Arjuna Kartavirya. The work came to Roseberys from a private German collection, having been exhibited at Koblenz’ Mittelrhein Museum in 2014, and sold for over double its high estimate - realising £4,680 including fees. Other highlights were lot 137 - a mid-19th century Company School painting of a monkey made after a Mughal painting attributed to the Stipple Master (which realised £3,640 including fees) - and lot 273 - a signed ink and watercolour work by the Indian artist Avinash Chandra (1931 - 1991) which sold for £3,380 including fees.
A final stand-out success from the sale was lot 293, a block printed gold- and silver pigment textile from Masulipatam, South East India, made during the 19th century. Hanging textile panels with related designs were used to decorate shrines dedicated to Krishna, and similar examples are held in the Tapi Collection (Surat) and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art (Hyderabad). Bidding was fierce for lot 293, which realised more than three times its high estimate and sold for £10,400 including fees.
We look forward to our next Antiques, Islamic & Indian Arts sale on October 27th.