Nirav Modi’s 112 lots seized by ED, including significant artworks by leading modern and contemporary Indian artists, and a selection of luxury watches, handbags and cars is put on auction.
By Varun Singh
Nirav Modi is the fugitive, whom India government desperately wants to be bring home and also serve justice.
His assets worth several of crores will be auctioned soon. Saffronart, the auction house appointed by the Enforcement Directorate will carry out the auction.
Two sales – a Spring Live Auction in Mumbai on 27 February 2020 and a Spring Online Auction on 3 – 4 March 2020 – will feature a total of 112 lots seized from Nirav Modi.
The Spring Live Auction will feature 40 lots, of which 15 are artworks. Leading the sale is a 1935 masterpiece by one of the most important Indian artists of the 20th century, Amrita Sher-Gil, titled Boys with Lemons, estimated at INR 12 – 18 crores(USD 1.7 – 2.57 million).The painting,which will appear on the auction market for the first time, was probably painted while Sher-Gil was back at her family home in Simla and represents a time when she was trying to carve out her own identity by exploring subjects deeply rooted in the Indian sentiment.
Another highlight of the live sale is a significant oil on canvas work from 1972 titled Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12 by M F Husain, estimated at INR 12 – 18 crores (USD 1.7 – 2.57 million). Husain contemporarises the epic Mahabharata, focusing on the psychological component and the metaphor of internal moral struggles that it represents through the battle between the two rivers.
A serene blue painting by V S Gaitonde from 1972; estimate: INR 7 – 9 crores, USD 1 – 1.28 million); a vivid red depiction of Krishna by Manjit Bawa. estimate: INR 3 – 5 crores, USD 428,575 – 714,290), and a stunning portrait by Raja Ravi Varma; estimate: INR 2 – 3 crores, USD 285,715 – 428,575) are among the other significant artworks in the sale.
Among the 25 luxury collectibles are several important timepieces, including a rare Jaeger-LeCoultre Men’s ‘Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2’ Limited Edition Wristwatch (Lot 35, estimate: INR 55 – 70 lakhs, USD 78,575 – 100,000), which features the patented spherical tourbillon with a ground-breaking cylindrical hairspring, and has a reversing large platinum case. Another exquisite wristwatch in the sale is a Patek Phillipe ‘Nautilus’ Gold and Diamond Wristwatch, also estimated at INR 55 – 70 lakhs (USD 78,575 – 100,000), which is made of 18K yellow gold and embellished with pave-set diamonds across the dial, bezel and bracelet.
The live sale will feature several branded handbags, including the iconic Birkin and Kelly lines by French luxury goods manufacturer Hermès. Over the years, various lines of Hermès bags have proved to be a global success, many of which enjoy a “must-have” status in fashion and pop culture. An Hermès Kelly Blue Atoll bag is estimated at INR 4 – 6 lakhs (USD 5,715 – 8,575) and an Hermès Birkin 35 Alezan Togo leather bag is estimated at INR 3 – 5 lakhs (USD 4,290 – 7,145).
A Rolls-Royce Ghost, with an elegant design and comfortable, contemporary interior characteristic of the brand will also be auctioned on 27 February. The car, which is estimated at INR 75 – 95 lakhs (USD 107,145 – 135,715), is equipped with cutting-edge technology that makes this vehicle ideal for long-distance travel.
The Spring Online Auction, which will be held on saffronart.com, will comprise a selection of 72 luxury collectibles, with highlights including handbags by renowned brands such as Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Celine; a Cartier Asymmetric ‘Crash’ Wristwatch estimate: INR 2 – 3 lakhs, USD 2,860 – 4,290) and a Porsche Panamera S car estimate: INR 10 – 15 lakhs, USD 14,290 – 21,430).
This appointment by the Enforcement Directorate comes a year after an auction of seized paintings conducted by Saffronart on behalf of the Income Tax Department in March 2019 – which raised INR 54.84 crores.