Two rare Indian paintings, which surfaced at auction after being found in an Auckland basement, have overseas collectors clambering to snap them up, driving up their expected prices.
The distinctive pieces by India's first 'Pop' artist, Bhupen Khakhar were found in the dust and clutter of the late artist Roy Dalgarno's Parnell basement.
Since The New Zealand Herald last week published an article on Cordy's upcoming auction, the auctioneers have been flooded with international enquiries.
The original $8000 estimates on each painting - Red Elephant and Interior Of A Hindu House - have had to be revised to estimates of $15,000-$30,000 each, auctioneer Andrew Grigg said.
A "couple" of bidders are even flying to Auckland for next Tuesday's auction.
"This auction is looking to be something special and certainly the interest in quality Indian modern art is strong, even in Auckland," Mr Grigg said.
"These works are difficult to get hold of and are becoming increasingly popular."
Bombay-born Khakhar wowed the art world with early works that mashed deities from kitsch posters with street culture and graffiti.
He was courted for major international exhibitions and even held a solo show at the most famous museum of modern art, the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Although the self-taught artist and former accountant died in 2003, aged 69, his art continued to hang in some of the world's top galleries and fetch six figures at international auction houses.
Who is Bhupen Khakhar?
• A former accountant and self-taught painter, Bhupen Khakhar is hailed as India's father of Pop Art.
• He was inspired by French Post-Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau, English painter David Hockney, and Italian Renaissance style.
• Works often sell at auction for six figures. Oil on canvas, Waiting for Darshan went under the hammer at Christie's New York last year with an estimate of NZ$630,000-NZ$950,000.
• Midnight's Children author Salman Rushdie was a close friend.