With a collection of Tanjore paintings, leading auction house Saffronart is set to open its first sale of the year on January 20.

A total of 27 lots dated circa 1950 and valued between Rs.2 to Rs.5 lakhs each, with a total estimate of Rs.72 lakhs to Rs.99 lakhs ($109,215 – $150,120) and sourced from the Poonam Amin collection are included in the online sale.

Leading the sale are two paintings — "Krishna Adored By Rukmini And Satyabhama" and "Raja Serfoji Bhonsale" — has been estimated between Rs.4 to Rs.5 lakhs ($6,065 – $7,580).

"Raja Serfoji Bhonsale" a portrait embellished with gold leaf and coloured beads departs from the religious themed paintings that largely dominate the painting tradition, which emerged as a distinct style in the court of the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur in the 17th century.

The style peaked under the reign of Serfoji Bhonsale II in the 18th century.

Aditya Ruia, curator of the sale, says, "The Tanjore School as we know it today, is an amalgamation of styles and painting traditions from the Vijayanagar period to the British era. Glass and gold leaf were used to recreate the mythical living abodes of the Gods as referred to in religious texts. Many significant Tanjore paintings are now part of important museum and gallery collections around the world." 

The auction begins at 8 pm on January 20 on saffronart.com.

The paintings are on display till January 21 at the Saffronart gallery in Prabhadevi here.