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The Art Market: Why the coronavirus proves the art market economics in India is different animal.

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M F Husain, Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12, 1972

At a time when Coronavirus Hits Indian Stock Markets: Sensex Loses 1941 Pts; Most In One Day For 10 Years…In a massive development, amid the increase in cases of Coronavirus in the country, the domestic stock markets on Monday fell to a 10-year single day low by more than 6%. Analysts state that amid the severity of coronavirus going pandemic, the BSE Sensex index plummeted as much as 2,366.26 points to hit 35,210.36 during the session. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty index slumped to as low as 10,327.05, down 662.4 points from the previous close and in case you haven’t been eyeing Wall Street over the past couple weeks, it’s getting thrashed about as badly as a Daytona Beach hotel room by a mob of spring breakers. Upon the close of trading on March 6, the S&P 500 was down 12 percent since February 19. That’s the sharpest downturn since 2011, according to the New York Times, and enough to incinerate $3 trillion in wealth worldwide.


Nirav Modi assets auction: All lots sold, total value surpasses estimate by 440%

All the 72 items that were up for grabs for the online auction were sold and as many as 70 lots (items) were sold above higher estimate.

Amrita Shergil, Boys with Lemons,1935

Nirav Modi’s assets auctioned by Saffronart on March 3 and 4 received an overwhelming response from bidders, with the auction house terming it a ‘White Glove Sale’.

“The Spring Online Auction was a White Glove sale,” said Saffronart. The term signifies that each lot (item) in an auction was sold successfully. As many as 72 items were on sale, and 70 of these went for more than their estimated value.

“The auction closed with a total sale of Rs 2.29 crore ($326,925), the total value exceeding estimates by almost 440 percent, and nearly all lots surpassing their higher estimates,”

The biggest draw at the online auction was a Cartier: Asymmetric ‘Crash’ wristwatch which sold for Rs 36.40 lakh. Other items in the top 10 include a Porsche Panamera sold for Rs 36.06 lakh, Vianney Halter and Goldpfeil: Jump Hour wristwatch with Moonphases for Rs 12.93 lakh, Gerald Genta: Octo Bi-Retro white gold and a diamond wristwatch for Rs 10.86 lakh, and Louis Vuitton which sold for Rs 8.62 lakh.

Saffronart had calculated a lower estimate of Rs 52.09 lakh for the total value of the online auction and a higher estimate of Rs 77.50 lakh. But the overall sale value of assets belonging to Nirav Modi exceeded Rs 2 crore.

Saffronart had organised the online auction on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The auction house was appointed by tax authorities after a court order in 2019 allowed the same.

Modi, who has allegedly defrauded state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) of over Rs 14,000 crore, is currently lodged in a British jail. After the Online auction ended on 4th March, the next day on 5th  March Saffronart’s Spring Auctions achieved White Glove sales, raising INR 53.45 crores (USD 7.65 million) for the Enforcement Directorate. ⁣

A rare 1935 Amrita Sher-Gil painting ‘Boys with Lemons’, which was auctioned for the first time, and sold for INR 15.7 crores (USD 2.24 million). Manjit Bawa untitled 1992 sold for 6.16 crores, M F Husain’s Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12, 1972 sold for INR 13.44 crores (USD 1.92 million),  achieving a world record for the artist.⁣

Manjit Bawa, Untitled,  1992


That’s all for this edition. ‘Til next time, remember the only constant changes…

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