A chandelier from the Mysore Palace: on AstaGuru’s upcoming auction

The year’s first auction from AstaGuru features furniture and décor with unusual stories and fine craftsmanship

In an era where functionality wins over embellishment, AstaGuru’s Opulent Collectibles auction features the kind of craftsmanship that needs to be appreciated up close and in person. The sale, slated for January 27 and 28, features furniture, home décor and sculptures from India and around the world. “There are a few lots presented in this auction that have an established validation such as chandeliers from F&C Osler,” says Siddanth Shetty, Vice President of Business Strategy and Operations. “The vases from Sèvres and Satsuma vases are sought after internationally as well.”

The silver winged lion  

The lots are varied and have histories that go as far back as the Mysore Palace (for the F&C Osler chandelier) or, more recently, to the jeweller Fred Leighton, from whose residence a pair of Italian cut and beaded glass Campana urns are up for auction. Perhaps the most interesting is a silver candelabra, which was originally gifted to George Carr Glyn, the chairman of the London and Birmingham Railway Cooperation, that is engraved as such and features an intricately detailed scene of children climbing a tree.

With pieces like the jewelled prabhavali, the collectibles auction also celebrates Indian craftsmanship which, given the pandemic, has become unsustainable for a lot of the country’s under-appreciated artisans. Shetty points out that an investment made today in supporting craftsmen will mature. “Over time, these collectibles will become even more treasured and worthy of being part of an extraordinary private collection,” he explains. “People always value products with impeccable craftsmanship that can stand the test of time.”

Four lots that stand out

  • – Italian cut and beaded glass Campana urns: They have been fitted as lamps and when lit, create a warm glow
  • l The exquisite jewelled prabhavali: This traditional arch, used in temples and homes, features natural rubies, emeralds and white sapphires (gross weight of 2.4 kg)
  • l A rare silver winged lion: The silver piece shows its Colonial influence and was probably made in Calcutta or Pondicherry in the late 1800s. Its estimated price is ₹40-₹50 lakh
  • l A hallmarked silver candelabra: This piece weighs over 10 kg and is expected to sell for ₹19-₹22 lakh

This value is understood internationally and he says that India’s market is responsive towards such categories and segments, as seen by encouraging customer interest. “The response received is more India-specific than international. There is a higher interest within the country, which is important as that motivates us to work harder as a home-grown auction house,” he adds.

In the year gone by, AstaGuru conducted nine auctions, when social distancing and lockdown orders were at their peak. Going forward, the company is hoping to give their clients “a better and more enjoyable bidding experience”, while the team works remotely in a streamlined manner.

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