Mumbai: After the recently-concluded ‘Bachchanalia’ where Amitabh Bachchan memorabilia went under the hammer, the auction house DeRivaz & Ives has announced a similar tribute to ‘feminine icons’ of Indian cinema.
Vintage souvenirs of Bollywood actresses that will also celebrate a saga of beauty and their acting prowess will be auctioned in Mumbai.
The auction will celebrate actresses like Nadia, Jayashree, Devika Rani, Noor Jahan, Suraiya, Nargis, Geeta Bali, Bina Rai, Madhubala, Madhabi Mukherjee, Mala Sinha, Suchitra Sen, Shashikala, Sharmila Tagore, Meena Kumari, Jaya Bhaduri, Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Rekha, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and many more.
Titled ‘Feminine Icons of Indian Cinema’, the auction will be held on November 23-25, and a variety of iconic photographs, film posters, lobby cards and other original artworks will be on offer for film buffs.
Among them will be a rare ‘The Light of Asia’ original publicity still in silver gelatin, of the classic 1925 Indian silent film featuring Himanshu Rai with several actresses asleep in a palace courtyard.
Incidentally, when ‘The Light of Asia’ was screened at Windsor Castle, London, the event was attended by Great Britain’s King George V and the royal family on April 27, 1926, and later the filmmaker Rai set up the famous Bombay Talkies in Mumbai, with a team of German technicians.
A black-and-white autographed portrait with a handwritten message of Devika Rani – with whom Ashok Kumar made his famous debut in ‘Jeevan Naiya’ (1936) produced by Bombay Talkies and directed by Franz Osten, will go under the hammer.
A set of ten large, offset photographic Lobby Cards of the evergreen K Asif classic, ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, featuring Madhubala and Dilip Kumar, will be up for bids.
Incidentally, even the memorabilia of that legendary film are a ‘hit’ today and in past cinema auctions, some of the bidders were Anil Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan.
An eye-catching half-sheet poster from ‘Tarana’ (1951) starring Madhubala-Dilip Kumar, and designed by SM Pandit will be on offer.
Pandit was ranked among the top-notch poster designers of that era and his work from the 1940-1970s remains unparalleled for its unique style.
In fact, ‘Tarana’ is believed to have triggered the off-screen romance between Madhubala and Dilip Kumar, that lasted for nearly seven years.
Another offering will be a captivating original artwork by the celebrated designer, Diwakar Karkare for the show-card of Madan Mohla’s ‘Dus Numbri’ (1976), and a potential prized possession for Hema Malini fans.
Other posters to be auctioned are several rare, diverse one like ‘Dahej’ (1950, featuring Jayashree), ‘Enam’ (1955, Suraiya), ‘Saqi’ (1952, Madhubala’s solo portrait artwork), ‘Lajwanti’ (1958, Nargis), Satyajit Ray’ ‘Devi’ (1960, Sharmila Tagore), ‘Dil Tera Diwana’ (1962, Mala Sinha), ‘Charulata’ (1981, the French release of Satyajit Ray’s 1964 classic by the same title), ‘Ghar’ (1978, Rekha), ‘Utsav’ (1984, Rekha), ‘Chandni’ (1985, Sridevi in title role), and a very exclusive Russia release poster of KA Abbas’s ‘Pardesi’ (1957, Nargis), to mention a few.
Original vintage artworks, posters, showcards and booklets by SM Pandit, DR Bhosle, C Mohan, PamArt, Studio Diwakar, B Vishwanath, S Vilas and many more will come under the hammer.
On auction will be a set of six first-release showcards with original hand-made collages of silver gelatin photographic prints, poster paint, hand-designed and screen-printed lettering, marking the arrival of Hema Malini on the Hindi silver screen with Raj Kapoor in Mahesh Kaul’s ‘Sapnon ka Saudagar’ (1968).
Hand-colored, tinted six lobby cards of ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958) with fascinating images of Madhubala, Ashok Kumar and Helen will be auctioned. The film is remembered for the timeless song, ‘Aaiye… Meherbaan…”
A senior official of DeRivaz & Ives said that the unique auction follows the success of the Satyajit Ray and Bachchanalia sales, and soon to come up will be Raj Kapoor@100 in December.
“Galvanising the market for India’s vintage film art is critical so as to engage the public in the task of respecting our magnificent cinematic heritage, which has embraced every facet of Indian cinema’s 113-year-long journey, from embracing all aspects, divine to social to political, to fashioning our sense of style, beauty and family values.
“Alongwith the film music and songs, these artworks are pivotal in keeping alive our glorious cinematic legacy and roots,” said the official.
The auction house specialises in online auctions of modern and contemporary Indian fine arts, film memorabilia, vintage and classic automobiles, and Indian and Asian antiques dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of Indian art, cinema and culture.