A rare ebonised teakwood vanity probably used by a distinguished lady as a dresser during long cruiser line voyages to Europe or extended summer hill stays or even in luxury tents during hunting seasons leads the sale of perhaps the first art deco auction in India.
"Mumbai has very large stretches like the Marine Drive, Queens Necklace which have architecture that is predominantly Art Deco. A lot buildings have staircases and stained glass windows reflecting the simplicity and geometric forms that are unique to the art movement," says an official from the auction house.
The Art Deco design movement began in the 1920s and 1930s in Paris and influenced Europe and later spread to the United States also. Its ornamental style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film.
Among the 96 pieces up for the online sale from October 31 to November 1 which a total upper estimate of Rs 1.39 crore (USD 276,975) are included three wristwatches from the estate of the late Maharani Padmavati Devi Gaekwar of Baroda.
These are one-of-a-kind examples of diamond-set timepieces by Universal Geneve, Boucheron, and Aero.
Other lots with royal provenance include a custom-made Boucheron cigarette case that once belonged to the late Maharaja Paramjeet Singh of Kapurthala.
A lapis lazuli and diamond watch, an onyx and lapis lazuli gentlemen's box and a silver Mappin and Webb ashtray from an important Indian royal collection are some of the other highlights.
"Art Deco describes a diverse design impetus that impacted genres from architecture to music, and made its presence felt from Miami to Mumbai and beyond. We are happy to announce this auction, the first of its kind in India,"
Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and Co-founder, Saffronart.
Vazirani adds that 5 per cent of proceeds from the sale of select lots to fund Mumbai's nomination bid for UNESCO World Heritage status for its Victorian and Art-Deco precincts.