Some of the most coveted items of the bygone and present-day era of India cinema including original art works from iconic movies like 'Baiju Bawra', 'Mother India' and 'Mughal-e-Azam' will go under the hammer at an auction of rare and vintage film memorabilia next month.
The nearly 220 Lots in Osian's Group's 'The Greatest Indian Show on Earth series auction on September 12 is expected to fetch in excess of Rs 75 lakh. An opening preview exhibition will be held on August 22 at the Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai.
Featuring in the auction will be some rare items of Indian cinema with a focus on Prabhat Film Company, Prakash Pictures and Bombay Talkies.
Some original and historically significant items that will be placed under the gavel include an exclusive 1957, rare six sheet poster of 'Mother India' and an original hand-painted hard board standee of 'Yahudi' with Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari in their famous embrace.
Collectibles from classics like "Mughal-e-Azam", "Mother India", "Ganga Jamuna", "Baiju Bawra" and "Pakeezah" among a host of others will also go under the hammer.
Memorabilia pertaining to some of the earliest films made by Prabhat Film Company such as 'Amrit Manthan' (1934), 'Manoos' (Marathi, 1939) and 'Aadmi' (Hindi, 1939) are among others of historical film value.
Very rare original art works from iconic films such as 'Baiju Bawra', 'Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu' and 'Bhakta Dhruva' from Prakash Pictures find representation at this auction. The four original artworks for the Window Showcards of 'Baiju Bawra' deserve special mention.
There will be a focus on the Kapoors, India's first family of filmstars, with memorabilia from movies of Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi and Randhir Kapoor to the Manish Malhotra costumes worn by Karishma Kapoor in N N Sippy's 'Silsila Hai Pyaar Ka' and Kareena Kapoor inspired art by artist-fan Nitin Utge.
There is also a painting by Arpana Caur 'Pyaar hua, Iqraar hua' showcasing the famous under the umbrella song scene of Raj Kapoor and Nargis from the film 'Shree 420' besides a vintage first release poster of "Junglee" featuring Shammi Kapoor.
Modern art and design finds representation in the vintage and rare Bengali and classical music cover designs with inspiration drawn from artists such as Jamini Roy with Paritosh Sen actually designing record covers for Rabindra Sangeet and plays.
Iconic images of Rajesh Khanna, the heartthrob of millions from the films "The Train", "Safar", "Amar Prem", "Andaaz", "Daag", "Anand", "Aan Milo Sajna" and memorabilia from "Loafer", "Blackmail", "Jugnu", "Dharamveer", "Dost" and "Charas" reliving the charm of Dharmendra will be another focus.
Osian's founder chairman Neville Tuli commenting on the larger preservation needs rues that the scale of the passion and commitment required is lacking.
"Unless the film fraternity, especially the younger generation recognises this responsibility, the fact will be that the world's largest film industry will have the world's smallest collection of itself in physical and digital terms," he says. Auctions such as "The Greatest Indian Show on Earth", according to him, "bring to the surface this critical need".
Another highlight of the auction is the showcasing one of the greatest onscreen romances of all times between Dharmendra and Hema Malini through memorabilia from films like "Charas", "Jugnu", "Razia Sultan", "Chacha Bhatija", "Raja Jaani", "Dost" and "Prem Chumban". The memorabilia includes posters, photographic stills mounted on lobby cards and song synopsis booklets.
The section 'Leading Heroines from 1950s-70s' features Madhubala and Hema Malini, who not just graced the posters of her films, but whose image was used on packets of beedis, soaps, calendars with aplomb and was one of the leading brand ambassadors of the 1970s-80s is another area of focus.
There will also be a large painting of superstar Rajnikant by Armugam.
International locations where early Indian films (post 1964 with "Sangam") were shot is another focus area and showcases large posters of films such as "An Evening in Paris", "Love in Tokyo" and "Night in London".