Indian Film Memorabilia Auction Yields $125,000

Osian's Cinefan Indian Film Memorabilia Auction 2012

First of its kind auction included vintage publicity material and memorabilia from some of India's iconic films and stars.

NEW DELHI – The first ever Osian's Cinefan Film Festival Auction of Indian Cinema Memorabilia notched sales of about $125,000 (Rupees 6.95 million).

Held Tuesday night in New Delhi as part of the ongoing 12th Osian's Cinefan film festival (which opened 27th July and will conclude on 5th August), the auction also saw first-time film collectors such as top Bollywood star Aamir Khan and his director wife Kiran Rao bidding for six collector's items valued at Rupees 238,000. These included a jacket (sold for Rupees 88,000) worn by the late veteran star Shammi Kapoor, who was known as the Indian Elvis Presley, thanks to some of his rock n roll inspired musical hits in the sixties.

A cricket bat signed by Aamir Khan and the team from his cricket-based film Lagaan (India's 2001 Oscar entry) sold for Rupees 156,000.

Amongst the items was a rarity of sorts: the full rights to the last recorded song by the late legendary singer Kishore Kumar – the “playback” voice of many super hit songs – which were bought for Rupees 1.56 million by the owners of the Bollywood-inspired cultural theme park, Kingdom of Dreams at the outskirts of Delhi.

The auction was organized by Mumbai-based arts and culture body Osian's which has held art auctions over the years featuring some of India's master artists. In addition, Osian's has been acquiring film memorabilia related to Bollywood, Hollywood and international cinema.

“After eleven years of hard work by Osian’s, India can proudly say it has the basis of an international standard market for its cinematic heritage... They are collectibles and they have significant financial value though there is still a significant distance to cover for an in-depth market to emerge, and hundreds of galleries and dealers to surface in a legitimate manner,” said Osian's founder and chairman Neville Tuli.

As part of the ongoing Cinefan, the auction items were first exhibited at the festival venue along with an exhibition titled “The Divas of Indian Cinema” featuring memorabilia related to some of Indian filmdom's most iconic actresses such as Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Zeenat Aman and Saira Banu.

On Thursday, the festival will see the launch of another exhibition culled from the Osian's archives, “Vintage Horror in Hollywood” featuring posters of B-movie cult favorites such as Creature From The Black Lagoon. The exhibition will be inaugurated by screenwriter/producer James V Hart whose writing credits include Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula.
Osian's have plans of opening Osianama, a dedicated cultural centre providing access to film memorabilia, which should open its doors in September in New Delhi located near the historic Qutab Minar monument.