A 1955 untitled painting by eminent artist M.F. Husain was sold for $1,058,500, the highest price of the day and over five times of what was estimated at an auction here.

Also, Indian artist Manjit Bawa's untitled painting sold for $602,500, double the pre-sale high estimate of $200,000-300,000.

New world record

“We are delighted to have set a new world record price for a work by Manjit Bawa at auction. The $602,500 price achieved today was far above our pre-sale expectations,” said Zara Porter Hill, International Head of Indian Art at the Sotheby's.

“It is by far the most important work by Manjit Bawa to have appeared at an auction in the past 10 years and it attracted interest from all around the world,” Ms. Hill said.

Bawa, a painter from Punjab, died in 2008 at the age of 67 from stroke, after nearly three years in coma.

His painting depicts a person standing on two galloping white horses against a rich red backdrop.

The new record was set at the Indian and South East Asian Art auction here, where the Sotheby's sold 74 modern Indian paintings for $5.4 million.

“A staggering 97 per cent sold by value rate,” Sotheby officials said.

Tyeb Mehta's 1959 untitled painting from the Emanuel Schlesinger Collection fetched $566,000 (estimated $100,000-120,000) and two paintings of Syed Haider Raza's sold for over $300,000, including L'inconnu, which fetched $458,500 (est. $120,000-180,000).

Raza, 88, was born in Madhya Pradesh but spent a great deal of his life in France. He was awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris in 1956.

One of India's most famous artists, Mr. Mehta hailed from Gujarat and died from a heart attack in 2009.

‘Stunning success'

“The $1,058,500 fetched for a highly important untitled painting from 1955 by M.F. Husain was a stunning success, as was the Schlesinger Collection where all the works sold, totalling $921,650 against an estimate of $237,000-352, 000,” Ms. Hill said.

“These results again show the appetite for good quality works with distinguished provenance offered at attractive estimates,” she added.

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