Prinseps to Host Gobardhan Ash Auction, The First NFT Auction in India

New Delhi: Prinseps Auction House is set to host the Gobardhan Ash Live Auction, offering 35 rare works on paper from family ownership along with an accompanying 35 NFT. The auction will open for live bidding on January 14, 2022 at 7pm, which will mark the first time an Indian auction house has entered the NFT (non-fungible token) space.Also Read – Manohari Gold Tea Auctioned at Record Price of Rs 1 Lakh Per Kilogram

The Gobardhan Ash Auction brought back the second exhibition of the Progressive Artists and Calcutta Group, 1950, where Gobardhan Ash presented a series of gouache works alongside FN Souza, MF Husain and SH Raza, among others. The bright, eclectic modern images that Ashe painted for the gallery, now up for auction, perfectly capture the environment of the time offering modern interpretations of everyday people or animals. Also Read – Elon Musk’s Classified College Papers Auctioned for Over Rs 5.8 Lakh

Ash’s art from the 1950s shows his personality along with his distinctive technique and offers impeccable character studies such as the 1948 painting “Mother and Son” (estimate 30,000-150,000 rupees). These experiences in art are what can be described as today’s avatars, that is, “primitive” artworks depicting personality traits, or graphic representations of the user, perfect for the transition to NFT and the continuation of Ash’s artistic experiences into the 21st century. Read also – and sell it! British artist Banksy’s artwork ‘Love in the Trash’ is up for auction for $25.4 million

The auction will present each of Ash’s physical work on paper, followed immediately by his accompanying digital editions displayed as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.

All 35 paper works carry an estimate of Rs 30,000-1,50,000 and NFTs are valued at INR 1,000-25,000, providing accessible prices for newer collectors exploring the NFT market for the first time.

Major works include “Tribhanga”, which depicts a common stance in traditional Indian art and popular Indian dance forms such as Odissi; “FA-HI-AN”, which depicts an avatar of a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled on foot from China to India to study Buddhist texts; and “Mosgul”, which depicts a man lost in thought and was shown in the joint exhibition of the Calcutta Group and the Progressive Artists Group, 1950.

Speaking about the upcoming auction, Prinseps curator Indrajit Chatterjee said, “I was struck by Ash’s paintings as resembling the movement of coded villains, but seven decades ago. We are pleased to offer what we see today as an iconic, painted in unique and primitive watercolors of Ash since Over 70 years old. These works will also represent the first NFTs to be brought to market by the Indian auction house.”

Following the Gobardhan Ash auction, Prinseps will host an auction of National Non-Reserve Books in January, offering a collection of rare and mostly first edition books from pre-independence to post-independence India, written and signed by revolutionary leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jewels Lal Nehru and F. K. Krishna Menon.


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