As Amitabh Bachchan’s 81st birthday approaches deRivaz & Ives achieved a resounding response to 80 percent of the Lots offered in their Bachchanalia auction concluded a short while ago.
This speaks volumes for Amitabh Bachchan’s fan following and also sets world records for Indian film memorabilia. The Election Publicity Card, the Sholay Talc-box and a single offset Showcard of Deewaar created three world records for Indian film memorabilia.
The most bids (30) were received for Amitabh Bachchan’s publicity card signed in Hindi and used in the December 1984 Lok Sabha political campaign for the Allahabad constituency against political stalwart Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna. It finally sold for INR 67,200 – over five times its Lower Estimate. This naturally augurs very well for the growth of the political propaganda memorabilia market in India over the coming months and years, especially with general elections coming up in 2024 in the three great global democracies – India, U.S.A. and the U.K.
Other major surprises were the prices achieved by small black and white photographs with Amitabh Bachchan in rare moments, such as with Muhammad Ali at his Beverly Hills Residence and a rare public photograph of Amitabh with his brother Ajitabh and their father Harivansh Rai Bachchan, both eliciting many bids and selling above their estimates.
The Showcards, both hand-collaged and offset, also achieved much success for films such as Zanjeer, Zameer, Deewar, Ram Balram, all passing the INR 50,000 price range.
As expected, all the Sholay Lots did very well; from the set of 15 Photographic Stills mounted on re-release Lobby Cards to the more unique tin boxes and old merchandise such an original talc-box depicting Sholay’s ‘dosti’ scene with the motorbike-sidecar on the box.
“The success of this Bachchanalia sale following the wonderful response to the Satyajit Ray sale last month, augurs very well for deRivaz & Ives’ forthcoming Feminine Icons of Indian Cinema and Raj Kapoor @100 Auctions in November and December 2023. We see enhanced international interest in Indian film memorabilia which will now rapidly grow in the months to come. Even though the prices are much lower for memorabilia than the modern fine arts, these objects affect and interest millions of Indians rather than the ownership structure for the fine arts, yet they both support and complement each other,” stated a senior spokesperson of deRivaz & Ives Auction House Private Limited.