Every Bibliophile’s Fantasy – Rare Collectible Books & Ephemeras

Rare Collectible Books and Ephemera spanning the last 140 years of Indian Art hit the auction block

StoryLTD’s upcoming online auction of Rare Collectible Books and Ephemera on Indian Art is a collector’s paradise for connoisseurs of Indian art. With 93 lots on offer, the online sale presents an extraordinary glimpse into the last 140 years of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art.

The auction encompasses a large collection of limited edition books and portfolios; exhibition catalogues, rare art journals and periodicals on artists—from the early moderns such as Raja Ravi Varma, Nicholas Roerich, the Tagores and Amrita Sher-Gil, to post-Independence pioneers Ram Kumar, S H Raza, V S Gaitonde, and Akbar Padamsee, to name a few.

Leading the sale is Lot 2, Albert Camus’ novel L’ETRANGER [The Stranger], 1966, estimated between INR 7 – 10 lakhs  ($10,770 – 15,385). Originally published in 1942, L’Etranger (“The Outsider” or “The Stranger”) was Nobel Prize winner Camus’ first novel and is considered a classic of French literature. The novel, which is steeped in Camus’ philosophy of existentialism and the absurd, is illustrated by Pakistani artist Sadequain. The illustrations are a small but important body of work produced by the artist whilst in Paris..


Along with rare novels, the auction includes a range of books by Bengal School artists. Lot 1, Rabindranath Tagore’s Recited and Signed Copy of The Crescent Moon: Child Poems, 1916, is estimated to sell between INR 2 – 2.5 lakhs ($3,080-3,850). Signed by Tagore, the book includes a note which states that the book on offer was used by the author for a reading in Los Angeles in 1916. The poem “Sleep-Stealer” in the book includes the original bookmark to indicate the poem he intended to read.


Lot 65, Birupa Bajra, estimated at INR 3 – 4 lakhs ($4,620-6,155), is a rare book of caricatures by Gaganendranath Tagore. Published by Tagore in his lifetime, the present lot is one of the three books that caricaturise the Bengali mores, customs and lifestyles which were influenced by the British. Tagore’s other caricatures were Realm of the Absurd [sold by StoryLtd in April 2017 for Rs 10 lakhs], and Reform Screams.


In addition, the auction includes important pre-1947 art journals published in Calcutta and Bombay, often found mentioned only in academic footnotes. Lot 17, Modern Review 1907-1970, the earliest journal of Indian Art in Calcutta—first published in 1907—contains remarkable illustrations by great Bengali artists of the time. Estimated between INR 5 – 7 lakhs ($7,815 -10,940), this lot includes an almost complete run of the publication with about 116 volumes containing about 600 issues.


Another such collection of rare journals on offer is Lot 20, a Set of Roopa- Lekha from 1930’s to 1980’s. Roopalekha was the first journal entirely devoted to fine arts to be published in northern India. Published by The All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), an independent arts organization in India, the journal’s editorial board consisted of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, James H. Cousins, Ajit Ghose, Karl Khandalvala, G. Venkatachalam and Sarada Ukil.  The lot is estimated at INR 1.25 – 1.5 lakhs  ($1,925 – 2,310).



The auction begins on 2 May at 8 PM IST on Storyltd.com


Auction begins: 2 May 2018, 8PM IST

Auction ends: 3 May 2018, 8:45 PM


About StoryLTD:

Launched in 2013 by Saffronart, StoryLTD is a shopping and auction platform catering to our customers’ unique sense of style and aesthetics. From modern and contemporary art and books to jewellery, textiles, home décor and furniture, we offer buyers a unified and convenient shopping experience encompassing a diversity of styles, designs and periods. Browse through, learn the nuances of, and acquire some of the most coveted objects.


StoryLTD partners with some of the leading designers, independent retailers, manufacturers, artists, collectors and dealers from India and around the globe, and offers its clients an unparalleled collection that encompasses a variety of styles, designs and historical periods— hidden behind every object and art work they present is a unique historical, aesthetic and cultural narrative — its ‘Story’. Everything at StoryLTD is ‘limited’ in its individuality, availability and value; nothing is commonplace.