The most important parameter is previous prices commanded by the work in question. “Auctions are a secondary market. It automatically means that everything we sell has been sold before. Everything we sell has changed hands. It’s now (when being auctioned) is going from primary to secondary. One of the first things we look at, especially if it’s contemporary art, is what it sold for previously. That’s quite easy because the artist has a gallery that he is selling at. We contact the gallerist, find out what the work is retailing at and that gives us a good indication where we should base our estimate at,” Kanga says.
Raid the database
And if the work’s been auctioned before, then there is that extra information on the books too.
“We have a database of every single work that’s sold at an international and public auction. So you can search by the artist’s name. You get to see all the previous artist records,” she says.
Condition of the work
Perhaps the most critical price determinant. “Something that has paint loss, or has been stored in really damp conditions or the entire stretcher sort of bends and buckles, all these things make a lot of difference,” Kanga says, adding, “You could have two works painted by the same artist within a span of two months. One was stored in a very good condition, and one was stored in a terrible condition. The price difference between the two will be huge.”
Placement of the work in artist’s oeuvr
Another factor is the period when the work being auctioned was created. “Every artist has a more desirable period when they were painting or practising. For example Tyeb Mehta’s works from the 90s, which were considered later works make the most money. But (MF) Hussain on the other hand, the works that he made in the 50s and 60s, when he first started (out as an artist) make the most money. So you really can’t say whether it was their early work or their later work. It depends on the artist. But there is always this desirable moment in the artist’s oeuvre that collectors consider is the height in the artist’s production (of work),” Kanga concludes. Points to be noted future collectors.
Nirav Modi's Art Fortune Auctioned: Grey Nude & Other Paintings That Stole The Show
An Anticipated Affair
A glimpse of the dimensions of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s wealth recently came to light with the auction of some of his artworks. The much-anticipated affair in Mumbai not only showcased his credentials as an art collector but also displayed his fondness for doing things in a big way. Suffice to say that those who successfully placed their bids that night, walked away with some largish works. When hanging on the wall, many of these works would be hard to miss, rather they’d dominate. Here are some works that were auctioned.
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