Saffronart (Indian art specialists)
Saffronart is the largest online auction house that specializes in art, jewellry, prime properties, antiquities and rare collectibles.
Saffronart was founded in 2000 and is now a global company, based in Mumbai but also with galleries in New York, London and Delhi. The Mumbai gallery opened in 2003 with a collection by Francis Newton Souza. The New York gallery opened in 2007 at the Fuller Building, featuring a preview of the upcoming summer online auction and a retrospective of the work by S. H. Rada.
Saffronart London opened in 2008 in Bond Street and, most recently in 2011 Saffronart Delhi opened at their prestigious Oberoi Hotel location.
They have hosted many exhibitions throughout the world, including in London, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Providing a platform that enables access to view, purchase and become involved in the development of Indian art, jewelry and collectibles globally, Saffronart has set global benchmarks for online auctions and has been the subject of a case study at Harvard Business School.
Services and expertise
Saffronart specialises in Indian art,jewellery, rare collectibles aiming to serve not only Indian collectors but the wider community. Their ranges are sold through online auctions at www.saffronart.com. There they also provide information on exhibitions and art-related events. They offer a range of services to buyers and sellers including advice on furthering collections and art storage as well as the expected valuations.
A recent addition to their services is the option to bid and track auctions from web-enable mobiles devices such as Blackberry, Smartphone and the Apple iphone. This mobile application sees the first global use of mobile phone technology in auction bidding and aims to make auctions more accessible to a younger demographic.
In October 2009 Saffronart launched the Speaker Series – a series of debates, talks and presentations on Indian art and jewellery which can be downloaded as podcasts or saved to iTunes. Listeners are encouraged to contribute by leaving their own comments.
Saffronart has extended its online platform to Fine Jewels & Watches in 2008. In April 2010, Saffronart leveraged its online presence and global reach along with Cushman & Wakefield and launched a new product- Prime Properties in India. It is the first of its kind platform to market some of India’s most exclusive properties , both on a national and global platform. Most recently, Saffronart held its inaugural auctions Indian antiquities in 2011, and modern and impressionist Western Art, Carpets & Rugs, and Indian folk and tribal art in 2012. In April this year, Saffronart concluded a 24-Hour Online Auction – ‘The Gentleman’s Sale’. This auction was the first time a classic or vintage car was auctioned online in India. The sale also included other collectibles for discerning gents.
Saffronart has three main departments in therms of products:
Art – they represent a wide range of Indian artists including Pradeep Mishra, S. H. Raza, Sandeep Kulkarni and Vijay Sharma. Art is sold online but exhibitions are also held regularly. Biographical information is provided on a wide range of artists and their online catalogue includes several thousand pieces of art by approximately 1,000 artists.
Jewellery – as well as the sale of Jewellery and watches, Saffronart offer extensive advice and information on techniques such as enamelling.
They also host a wide range of exhibitions and events. Their most recent event (as of October 2011) was ARTiculate 2011 – an exhibition of contemporary photography which showcases at the London gallery and ran from 4th-6th October.
Highlight lots from the past auctions at Saffronart were:
M.F. Husain was sold for Rs 1.06 crores (USD 235,750) through this first-of-its-kind mobile bidding application in India at our Summer Art Online Auction, 2010.
Tyeb Mehta's untitled painting set a precedent at an auction, selling for Rs.5.72 crore ($1.31 million) against an estimate of US$ 287,360 to $402,300 (Rs. 1,25,00,000 to 1,75,00,000) at Saffronart’s Summer Online Art Auction, 2011
Arpita Singh’s ‘Wish Dream’, achieved a record price for the artist, fetching an astounding $2.24 million at Saffronart’s Winter Online Art Auction, 2010.
World Record Mobile Bid of Rs. 4.61 crores (USD 1.06 million) at at Saffronart’s Summer Online Auction of Indian Art, 2011.
Tyeb Mehta's untitled oil painting set the record for the most expensive painting sold in India at $1,565,000 (Rs. 7,19,90,000)
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