Indian betel box fetches 662,000 pounds at Southeby’s

An 18th century diamond-set, enamelled gold paandan – a small ornamented box Indians use for keeping their betel leaf and assortments – was sold for a staggering 662,500 pounds at Sotheby’s first auction of the Imperial India collection here.

The “Art of Imperial India” collection attracted bidders from all over the world Wednesday. Over 90 precious objects, representing almost 500 years of Indian decorative art, were on auction.

The auction sales amounted to about two million pounds.

“Interest in Indian works of art has been growing in recent years, and the strong prices achieved at the auction bear testimony to the strength of this market and the increasing demand for desirable works relating to the Indian world,” Benedict Carter, director, head of auction sales, Middle East, Sotheby’s, said in a statement Friday.

An important group of eleven works from the time of Tipu Sultan, who ruled Mysore in the 18th century, were sold for a combined amount of 389,425 pounds.

A sword of Tipu was bought for 98,500 pounds by a bidder on the phone.–IANS