Published: December 16, 2008
International interest pushed the price for a circa 1800 Korean jar to nearly $4.2 million at Bonhams & Butterfields on December 9, setting a new auction world record. The rare Joseon dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar was sold, over the telephone, to an unidentified Asian buyer after a hotly contested bidding war among more than 12 clients, bidding from the salesroom floor and via telephones.
The mid-Joseon dynasty jar was discovered by Asian art department director Dessa Goddard in a monthly appraisal event held at the company’s Sunset Boulevard gallery in Los Angeles. The jar was formerly in the collection of Mrs Fiske Warren of Boston, part of the Mount Vernon Street Warren family. It has been in a family member’s Southern California home for decades.
The jar was part of a worldwide tour prior to the auction. It was estimated at $200/300,000, and the final selling price, including buyer’s premium, was $4,184,000.
“We recognized that the subject matter of the Warren jar is unique,” said Goddard. “One other jar in the Osaka Museum has a depiction of San Shin [mountain spirit] and his tiger; the Warren jar shows a bearded San Shin in the act of pulling the tiger’s tail while basking under a pine tree, sun and clouds. The subject of the vase, together with its masterfully executed brush work, makes the jar of great importance to collectors of Korean art.”
A complete report will appear in a future issue of Antiques and The Arts Weekly.
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