New Delhi: On the back of expectations of a recovery in the market and over 45 to 50% higher sales for Indian art this summer, market players are introducing technologies to attract buyers as also to make the process user friendly.
Leading auction house Saffronart which pioneered online auctions in the country has now introducing bidding through cellphones for its forthcoming auction of modern and contemporary Indian art to be held on 9-10 September, which comprises a wide range of works by Akbar Padamsee, Surendran Nair, Manjit Bawa, Ram Kumar and F.N. Souza among others.
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The new mobile bidding application, the first of its kind in the world for fine-art auctions, allows users to preview sales, bid, and view the results of the auction through their GPRS enabled handsets, something that even globally renowned competitive art and jewellery auctioneers do not have access to.
“By providing clients with this cutting-edge, comprehensive application, we hope to accelerate the pace of innovation in the global auction space,” says Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and co-founder, Saffronart.
Globally, the overall value of sales across the major three auction houses, that do Indian art sales, Saffronart, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, were higher in summer than in spring.
“There seems to be a strong sense that the market is stabilising, and doing so at lower price levels. This can clearly been seen by the overall value of sales across the these auction houses, where total sales values this summer were 45 to 50% higher than those in the spring,“ says Vazirani.
Market research firm ArtTactic puts current average auction price for contemporary Indian art at $24, 536 up from $13, 827 in March 2009. This it says comes after a 76% dramatic drop in prices between September 2008 and March 2009.
The total lower and higher estimate for the forthcoming SaffronArt auction are Rs16.43 crores ($3.42 million) and Rs21.70 crores ($4.52 million) respectively.
“The wide range of art on offer is attractively estimated, and we hope for a strong response both from established collectors as well as first time buyers,” says Vazirani.
Vazirani is optimistic of a good sales and says registration to bidding on the mobile is simple and highly secured due to data encryption technology employed in the process.
“Users need to pre-register for the auction to be able to bid for the auction,” he says.