The home country of Mahatma Gandhi, the Taj Mahal and the Hindu faith will soon play host to a new auction house.
Christie's announced today that it will hold an auction of Indian art in Mumbai in December. (The company did not specify whether it will be contemporary or historical material.) The auction house has had an office in that city for two decades, and has supported the India Art Fair, known for its robust attendance figures. Indian art, classical and contemporary, is already offered at the auction house's New York and London salesrooms.
Sotheby's opened a Mumbai office this year, according to a representative, who added that the company held a sale of Indian, European and Oriental art in New Delhi in 1992, and has sponsored contemporary art prizes in India and brought an exhibition of works by Damien Hirst to Delhi in 2008.
The news about Christie's comes in a statement of the house's earnings in the first half of 2013, which are up nine percent from the same period last year, at $3.68 billion. These numbers are bolstered by the record-breaking May contemporary art sale, which was the highest total in auction history. The house also reports an increase of 13 percent in private sales, totaling $711.8 million.
Sotheby's totaled $2.55 billion in the first half of 2013, up from $2.4 billion in the same period in 2012, a representative told A.i.A. today.
In keeping with the growth of the Asian art market, Christie's reports a 15 percent growth in participation by Asian bidders. The house announced in April that it would hold a sale in Shanghai in September.