Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Raj Kapoor’s birth centennial kicks off with auction of his memorabilia

The birth centenary year of The Greatest Showman, Shrishti Nath Kapoor — popular as the National Award Winner Raj Kapoor — will kick off with a first-ever auction of the memorabilia of his illustrious Bollywood career.

Raj Kapoor (December 14, 1924 – June 2, 1988) strode like a colossus over the film industry, where he started as a child artiste with ‘Inquilab’ (1935), then became a powerful actor, producer and director, making several memorable movies till the final one, ‘Henna’ (1991).

Commemorating the legend of lovable ‘tramp’ — who attained global fame and popularity — and his contributions to the Indian film industry from the black-and-white era onwards, deRivaz and Ives has announced a major online auction entitled ‘Celebrating The Greatest Showman Raj Kapoor @100’, from December 14-16.

As many as 51 lots of the souvenirs comprising original black-and-white and colour photographic stills, showcards, lobby cards, song synopsis booklets, half-sheet or full-sheet posters, very rare self-autographed 2 portraits and a metal plate.

These items are collected or related to Raj Kapoor and also ‘RK Films’ presentations like ‘Dil Ki Rani’ (1947), ‘Aag’ (1948), ‘Barsaat’ and ‘Andaaz’ (1949), ‘Awara’ (1952), ‘Aah’ ((1953), ‘Shree 420’ (1955), ‘Anari’ (1959), ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’ (1960), ‘Dil Hi To Hai’ (1963).

There are photographic stills, posters, lobby cards and a promotional booklet of the RK Films banner’s first-ever colour film, ‘Sangam’ (1964), ‘Teesri Kasam’ (1966), ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970), a sole poster featuring three generations of the Kapoors — Prithviraj, Raj and Randhir — and other titbits of the film ‘Kal, Aaj aur Kal’ (1971).

Going under the hammer would be a rare set of five wedding photographs of his son Randhir Kapoor-Babita Shivdasani (1971), and a silver-polished bronze plate with a gold-dusted coin of the RK Films emblem distributed to mark its Silver Jubilee celebrations (1972).

The next lots are from the bold ‘Bobby’ (1973), ‘Do Jasoos’ (1975), ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ (1978), ‘Prem Rog’ (1982), ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985), plus many unseen photos of Raj Kapoor with some of his leading beauties like Nargis or Vyjayanthimala, Madhubala, etc., and a lot of miscellaneous archival material on him, his associates or near and dear ones.

This would mark the grand finale of the popular series of Bollywood auctions held by deRivaz & Ives in 2023.

They included one on Big B — ‘Bachchanalia Celebrating Amitabh Bachchan @80”, (October); ‘Feminine Icons of Indian Cinema’ (November), and finally the auction on Raj Kapoor’s birth centenary (December).

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

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