NEW DELHI, December 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
In Landmark Ruling Tribunal Declares That Painting Sold by Bid & Hammer was not Fake
In a landmark verdict running into 81 pages, Hon. Justice R. Gururajan (High Court of Karnataka's appointed arbitrator) has allowed the claims of Bid & Hammer against Kiran Nadar, socialite wife of HCL's Shiv Nadar and owner of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art as well as director of Shiv-Kiran-Nadar Investments (Chennai) Pvt. Ltd., for failing to pay up the dues owed to it for a Ravi Varma painting she had bid for on 30th November 2010 at their 'Significant Indian Paintings' auction in Delhi. Kiran Nadar and her consultants could not provide sustainable proof for disputing the expertise of the country's pioneer multi-category auction house Bid & Hammer, owned by the Dadha Group of companies that is celebrating 100 years of enterprise this year. The auction house's spokesperson at that time had said, "She simply changed her mind after delivery of the work and took advantage of the trust we had reposed in her with regards to the payment schedule."
In what seems to be a centenary year gift to the Dadha's and a rap on the knuckles for Mrs. Kiran Nadar, the arbitrator has ordered SKN Investments to pay Bid & Hammer the balance 50% of the total sum of Rs. 1.6 crores plus 12% interest along with arbitrators fees as due, thereby ending a 4-year long legal battle initiated by the auction house against Kiran Nadar. The authenticity of the 120 year old oil-painting by iconic Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma, titled 'Jatayu Vadham' or'Ravana Carrying Sita', was disputed by Shreekumar Menon and Priya Khanna on her behalf even after it was inspected and thoroughly examined prior to sale. The verdict proves that some so called art and conservation experts should not be relied upon if they cannot hold their ground and substantiate their reports. Bid & Hammer has done what no other auction house has done so far - to walk the talk and prove beyond doubt that it offers only genuine, well-researched works at its auctions and stands by its opinion.
An extract from Justice Gururajan's verdict stated, "What is clear to this tribunal is that the respondents' expert himself is not sure with regard to authenticity of the subject painting. He is actually doubting the subject painting. A suspicion or a doubt can never par take in character of aproof in a court of law. When an expert subjects a painting he should be positive and he cannot leave the question not fully answered." Another extract states, 'This tribunal holds that the subject painting is genuine and answers the description in terms of the catalogue' .
"This litigation is probably the first of its kind in India, where a dispute in relation to authenticity of art has been brought before the judiciary. Indian art is on its way to becoming a viable asset and therefore should not be maligned by whimsical opinions. Bid & Hammer put its shoulder to the wheel by proving the authenticity of the painting by Raja Ravi Varma. The award is therefore a triumph for Indian Art," says Ganesh Shivaswamy, the lawyer for Bid & Hammer. This is a precedent now set that all the other auction houses worldwide should take note of and stop the practice of regularly withdrawing works, just minutes prior to an auction, with an intent to show that they have a zero-tolerance policy towards questionable works or fakes - this even after spending months in researching and publishing the same in catalogues.
To date, Bid & Hammer have never had to withdraw a work from any of their auctions. Maher Dadha, Chairman and Managing Director commenting on the verdict said, "Justice has finally been served and we are vindicated. Bid & Hammer has always followed the best practices in the authentication process of our auction sale offerings. This verdict is the first step in our endeavour to pursue the Indian art mafia and expose the vested interests, who tried to stop and malign our Significant Indian Art auction in Delhi on 27th June 2014, in connivance with some sections of the media."
The judicial mechanism has been utilized by Bid & Hammer in order to exonerate the reputation of Ravi Varma and Indian art. Hitherto auction houses and art dealers have been sycophants to buyers, resulting in good art being degraded by whimsical opinions. This is a case where genuine art was maligned and if Bid & Hammer had not persevered, a fine painting would have been brandished as a fake.
About Bid & Hammer:
Established in 2007 by Maher Dadha (industrialist, art collector and also publisher of the book ‘Views of India – Art of the British Raj’) and his sons Ankush Dadha & Apoorva Dadha along with Charu Sharma (auctioneer & commentator), HRH Gaj Singh II (Maharaja of Jodhpur and formerly associated with Sothebys India), Rukmini Varma and Savita Apte (Modern & Contemporary Indian Art specialist, formerly Head at Sothebys London) amongst others, Bid & Hammer’s team of directors, advisors & specialists have a wealth of international experience allied to a deep understanding of the complex dynamics of the Indian market.
At a time when the burgeoning Indian auction market was synonymous with Indian paintings, Bid & Hammer started with the objective of developing the Indian art and auction market beyond paintings by introducing the concept of generalist as well as specialist auctions covering not only Modern & Contemporary Art but also Company School Paintings & Drawings, Miniatures, Jewellery, English & Indian Silver, Antique Swords & Daggers, Period Furniture, Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs (ABMPP), Carpets, Rugs, Tapestries, Cricket Memorabilia and a host of other Decorative Works of Art & Collectibles – a first for any auction house in India!
In sync with the Founder Chairman & Managing Director Maher Dadha’s vision, Bid & Hammer has established itself as India’s pioneering multi-category auction house and is known to have offered important works by prominent Indian artists such as Raja Ravi Varma, Antonio Xavier Trindade, F N Souza and M F Husain, besides iconic English artists J M W Turner, William Hodges and French illustrator Etienne Drian amongst others. The decorative sections have had works by Rene Lalique, Mappin & Webb, Dan Dailey (Daum) and T Manickam Chetty & Sons to name a few.
Media Contact: Ankush Dadha, [email protected], +91-9132029681, Bid & Hammer
SOURCE Bid & Hammer Auctioneers (P) Ltd