Saffronart, the auction house appointed by the Income Tax Department to auction fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modis seized assets last year, announced a fresh set of auctions today, this time on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate. A live auction in Mumbai on February 27, followed by an online auction on March 3 and 4, will feature 15 artworks by significant modern and contemporary Indian artists, luxury watches, luxury handbags and cars seized from the fugitive businessman.
The auction last year had raised 54.84 crore, and Saffronart had handed over a cheque for the amount to the Income Tax Department in March 2019. The lot in the upcoming auction includes noteable pieces of art, like a 1935 masterpiece by Amrita Sher-Gil estimated at 12-18 crores; a significant oil on canvas by M.F. Husain from his Mahabharata series estimated at 12-18 crores; a serene blue painting by V.S. Gaitonde from 1972 estimated at 7-9 crore); and a vivid red depiction of Krishna by Manjit Bawa estimated at 3-5 crore.
The range of wristwatches include a Jaeger Lecoultre Mens Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 Limited Edition wristwatch and a Gerrard Perregaux Mens Opera One wristwatch. Over 80 branded handbags are also included in the auction.
Saffronart CEO and co-founder Dinesh Vazirani, said in a statement, Saffronart is 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 Herms which are among the most popular luxury items internationally and witness great demand from celebrities and collectors.
Select lots from the upcoming auctions will also be exhibited at the Saffronart gallery in The Oberoi, New Delhi during the India Art Fair at the end of January, informed the auction house.