The Osian’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series auction will feature two magnificent Kawari — Kabuto (helmets) from the 17-18th century Edo (Tokogawa) period of the Japanese Samurai tradition and first edition 19th century illustrated books on zoology, parrots, birds, insects, snakes and Oriental sports
It is perhaps for the first time that someone has come up with an auction dedicated to animals. A unique exhibition by Osian Group will display some of the famous and rare animal figures which have been a part of history. The highlight, however, will be the rare Sherratt Style Staffordshire ceramic of ‘The Death of Monroe’ modelled after the famous Tippoo’s Tiger automaton originally owned by Tipu Sultan. Other attractions will include two magnificent Kawari — Kabuto (helmets) from the medieval 17-18th century Edo (Tokogawa) period of Japanese Samurai Tradition. That apart, two important 18th century Tibetan thangkhas on the ‘Heruka’ theme, formerly from the Jucker Collection, New York, will also be put up for auction. Antique book lovers will also find interest in the rare first edition of the 19th century antiquarian illustrated books on various subjects like zoology, parrots, birds, insects and oriental sports which includes rare prints by John Gould.
The reason behind the philosophy of the whole auction is chairman Neville Tuli’s love for animals, especially stray dogs, who abound the streets of the country.
In his essay titled loving All Creatures Great And Human: Today, The Stray Dog, he focusses on the country’s indifference towards the stray. “The safe vaccination, sterilisation and post-operation care of strays are dominant needs. This is a mountain of effort, but with joint public and private energy it is surmountable in the next few years,” he says and links that to the small size and relatively poor quality of the veterinary staff and experts in India. He adds, “Those few vets who fulfill the highest standards are swamped with the huge numbers of injuries, illnesses and diseases rampant among domesticated animals.”
With the fallacies of the veterinary science, he also stresses on the need of adopting a stray dog rather than going for the hi-breed ones. He says, “Adopting a newly born puppy is relatively easy. The current need are for those aged six months onwards, which demands a genuine compassionate heart.” But he laments the fact that those who start adopting puppies later realise the care required as they grow and eventually abandon them. “This needs to be avoided desperately,” he says. He also takes into consideration that handicapped dogs are the most difficult to settle in normal homes. “We need special places in the country for these dogs. This is a task which is falling behind radically. I feel until the general awareness and atmosphere towards strays and related issues at hand are not grasped, this will continue to be falling short of target,” he adds.
Neville goes on to describe the importance of providing stray dogs with proper medical support. “Feeding decent food, providing medical and emergency care regularly is an obvious need,” he writes and continues to say that there are people who dedicate themselves to this task. “Seeing such people should inspire many more to take on this larger responsibility.”
The auction will also focus on the works of Ravi Varma Presses, MF Husain, Jamini Roy, Abanindranath Tagore, Nikhil Biswas, Prokash Karmakar, Ganesh Pyne, J. Sultan Ali, Nagji Patel, K laxma Goud, Jyoti Bhatt, Amit Ambalal and Rekha Rodwittiya, among others.
Further to engage the visitors there will also be rare original sci-fi Hollywood film posters of Under the Red Sea (1952), The Deadly Mantis (1957), The Angry Red Planet (1960) and Jaws 2 (3 Sheeter; 1978) among other items of memorabilia from Indian cinema.