Something Old, Something Older

As the online bids for our Design Sale start pouring in, we present a quick and last look at some of the significant lots in this auction, along with Living Traditions, the concurrent online auction of folk and tribal art. Put together, they form an unusual and charming style of art and decor for the eclectic collector.


The Y Frame, Pierre Jeanneret chair from The Design Sale is more than a utilitarian piece. It is a part of Indian design history, designed by famous modern architect Pierre Jeanneret. Placed as a focal point, it can be paired to contrast with the exquisite 18th century bronze Breastplate (with snakes), that is currently on auction in the Living Traditions sale.

The breastplate, which can either be mounted on a wall or on a stand, is an important ceremonial part of the bhuta and theyyam rituals of Karnataka and Kerala that worship local deities. Male performers participating in this event clad their torsos in similar breastplates, in addition to elaborate headgear, mask, ankle and arm ornaments, and paint, to channel the voice and spirit of divinity. The finely detailed cobras in this piece, associated with Shiva, are also considered a symbol of fertility.

Further highlighting this vibrant tradition are two Bhuta masks (lots 6 and 8). A sleek rosewood Cutlery Cabinet blends in subtly with these classical pieces, bringing balance and harmony to this corner replete with history and heritage.


Art Deco furniture has made a major comeback in interior design, with the renewed interest in this early 20th century movement. After all, Mumbai is second only to Miami as a city with the largest number of Art Deco style structures. The geometric facades of the buildings also transmuted to private spaces within, as seen in the Art Deco Mirror here. Composed of teak with a cedar wood inlay, this rectilinear mirror frame bears the streamlined elegance of this once raging movement and makes a strong statement in any living space.

Combine it with a hand-spun and hand-woven embroidered Rumal (with depictions of Krishna Lila) from the Chamba/Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh; a teak Church Pew that can function as a conversation piece in a seating nook; add an ebony South Indian Jewellery Box in silver inlay and the rosewood Malabar Cash Box; and a lively Kalighat Pat painting (from set of two) to brighten up the walls.

The Design Sale continues till 19 April, 8:45 pm IST, followed by Living Traditions: Folk and Tribal Art starting at 9 pm IST. To view both catalogues, visit

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