If you are a cine-lover and a Bengali, Satyajit Ray needs no introduction. But the beauty of Ray’s films is not just a treasure trove in the Bengali domain but are gemstones in world cinema. Simplicity is the most elegant form of art and the master director implemented immaculately. The universality of his films lies in his treatment of social realism and humanistic themes, which has made him an immortal figure in film history, where he dines with the likes of Ritwik Ghatk, Kurosawa, Antonioni and Godard.
It has been 31 years since the master director passed away but even centuries later, when someone watches his films for the first time, they will relate with the same fervor similar to those, for example, who were the first to watch Pather Panchali, when it released in 1955. Ray poignantly and artistically portrayed ubiquitous societal realities such as poverty, inequality, complex human relationships, unfulfilled dreams, the road to fulfilling one’s dreams and so much more — themes that will forever be a part of contemporary society irrespective of the timeline. Ray’s keen attention to detail, the emotional depth of his characters, the visual grammar of his portrayal of the beautiful Bengali countryside or the mechanical urban life all contribute to making him a director for the ages.
Words will forever fall short of describing the greatness of Ray. At some point, it becomes impossible to describe Ray’s films - one must experience it. Speaking of cinematic experience, today we have a unique event to share with you. It is being hosted by deRivaz and Ives, India’s youngest auction house specializing in modern and contemporary Indian fine arts, film memorabilia, vintage and classic automobiles, Indian and Asian photography, and antiquarian books. Currently, the auction house is presenting an extraordinary collection of Satyajit Ray’s vintage film memorabilia, alongside select vintage posters from Bengal cinema.
Film enthusiasts, scholars, and collectors have the opportunity to participate in an online auction hosted by deRivaz and Ives. This auction marks the first of its kind, showcasing the scale and quality of a Satyajit Ray collection of this magnitude. The assortment on offer is a true treasure trove, featuring rare posters, photographic stills, lobby cards, and film synopsis booklets. These timeless collectibles from Ray's phenomenal career provide a unique opportunity for film fans to acquire a piece of cinematic history and delve into the remarkable journey of this iconic filmmaker.
Notably, many of the artworks available for sale were designed by Ray himself, adding an additional layer of artistic and graphic value to these items. Moreover, these collectibles offer insights into the genius of Bengali Film Poster Design, which was considered ahead of its time and on par with the best of world cinema. Of particular note is the calligraphic quality that defined cinematic font designs and their interaction with imagery.
Among the highlights of this auction are an early release song synopsis booklet of Pather Panchali and its iconic re-release full sheet poster, which was issued for the launch of the Nandan Complex in 1980.
Other noteworthy items include:
Natir Puja Song-Synopsis Booklet (1932): A rare song-synopsis booklet for New Theatre's film Natir Puja (The Dancing Girl's Worship), inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's dance-drama and poem Pujarini. This film marked Natir Puja (The Dancing Girl's Worship)'s unique venture into filmmaking, with support from cinematic luminaries like B.N. Sircar, Nitin Bose, and Subodh Mitra.
Apur Sansar Half-sheet Poster: An iconic original image of Apu printed on a later re-release issue of Apur Sansar, signed by the legendary actors Soumitra Chattopadhyay (Chatterjee) and Sharmila Tagore. This poster is a true gem for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Devi Photographic Lobby Cards (Lot of 5) and re-release Half-Sheet Poster: These items will be available for both private collectors and museum collections dedicated to world film history.
Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) full-sheet Poster signed by Ray and gifted to his producer friend Suresh Jindal: Ray's enduring poster designs for Shatranj Ke Khilari and captivating lobby cards from the film's production are also among the auction's highlights.
Additionally, the auction features magnificent Bengali Film Posters showcasing the legendary romantic pairing of Uttam Kumar & Suchitra Sen from films such as Sagarika (1956), Indrani (1959), and Nabarag (1971).
The Bengali poster version of the superhit Aradhana (1969), the iconic poster of Ritwik Ghatak’s last film Jukti Takka Aar Gappo (1977), and two brilliant designs of Tapan Sinha’s Kabuliwala (1956) are also major highlights.
According to the spokesperson for deRivaz and Ives Auction House Pvt Ltd., this auction represents an unprecedented opportunity to acquire an extensive and diverse collection of Satyajit Ray memorabilia in a single event. It is a significant occasion for cinephiles, institutions dedicated to the study of Bengali and South Asian cinema, and particularly for admirers of Satyajit Ray's international cinematic legacy. It is worth mentioning that deRivaz and Ives has also recently organized a highly successful auction titled Barsaat and Bharat to celebrate India's Independence Day. This event garnered immense popularity among cinephiles and collectors.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to enter this rare auction and own fragments of Ray’s cinematic universe. The auction is from the 21st to the 23rd of September, 2023.
Follow the auction house, deRivaz and Ives here.
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