6 April 2015

RAJA RAVI VARMA & the curious case of Suruchi Chand

Around the time of Bid & Hammer's 'Significant Indian Paintings' auction in 2010, Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) / Kishore Singh published the following comments on Raja Ravi Varma's works that were on offer (besides making several more imprudent statements on other works):

DAG / Kishore Singh: "Raja Ravi Varma works attributed to the master require much more due diligence by way of provenance." 
- Extract from Business Standard, 1st Dec 2010, publication 'The Curious Case of Suruchi Chand'

B&H replies: "The Ravi Varma paintings came with a detailed and unimpeachable provenance running into several lines and covering decades of ownership, including the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) registration details."
- Extract from Business Standard, 5th Jan 2011, publication ‘Suruchi Chand Revisited’

VERDICT: The Ravi Varma works in the auction catalogue got sold including the 'Jatayu Vadha', with the court allowing Bid & Hammer's recovery suit and upholding its expertise on authenticity, apart from re-validating the credibility of the provenance documents.
The decisive judgment was delivered by the High Court of Karnataka appointed arbitrator on 12th Dec 2014.
Details can be viewed in the following news articles:
1. Bid & Hammer wins historic recovery suit against HCL founder's wife Kiran Nadar's 'fake art' propaganda
2. Landmark authenticity case in India finds in favour of the auction house

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