For about five minutes, The Little Girl in Blue kept a room full of people silent at a ballroom at Taj Mahal Palace. Bids were coming in live, and via three telephones as the rest of the crowd waited on the edges of their seats. It was Sotheby’s first physical auction in Mumbai, and this painting by Amrita Sher-Gil was one of two headlining lots. The other was Tyeb Mehta’s 1993 work, Durga Mahisasura Mardini. Neither has been auctioned ever before.
The PSLV lifts off from Sriharikota on Thursday.
The Tyeb Mehta painting eventually netted the biggest bid—₹20.5 crore. Little Girl in Blue breached its estimate of ₹12.5 crore and sold at ₹18.7 crore.
In all, 60 lots went under the hammer at the Boundless: India auction in Mumbai. Two Air India posters, expected to get ₹90,000, went for over ₹10 lakh.
Eleven lots remained unsold by the end of the evening, and one lot was withdrawn, but total sales for the evening amounted to ₹55.4 crore, which put Sotheby’s somewhere in the upper middle of their hoped-for-range of ₹43.1 crore to ₹62.9 crore. n