Published: April 5, 2011
At $117 Million Total, Christie’s Asian Art Sales Achieve Highest Total
Christie’s series of sales centered around Asian Art Week in New York City totaled $117 million, the highest total for Asian Art Week at Christie’s New York, achieved in seven sales from March 22 to 25.
The highlight of the week’s events was the sale of Qing monochrome porcelains and earlier works of art from the Gordon Collection on March 24, which realized $23,012,163 and was sold 95 percent by lot and 99 percent by value. The top lot of the sale was a celadon-glazed carved baluster vase, Qianlong seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736‱795), realizing $7,922,500. It set a world auction record for Qing monochrome porcelain.
Tina Zonars, international director of Chinese works of art, said, “We were honored to be given the opportunity to offer this collection formed with such passionate connoisseurship. We were delighted that this material, which had not been seen on the market for some 30 years, was received with such enthusiasm by buyers in the room, on the phone and on Christie’s Live. In particular, spectacular results were achieved for the three top imperial Qing monochrome porcelains, including a world record price for the superb archaistic celadon-glazed vase.”
Christie’s opened its Asia Week sales with the James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection on March 22. The sale totaled $4,486,438 and was 73 percent sold by lot and 91 percent sold by value. A rare conch shell with gilt copper and enamel champlevé mount, Tibeto-Chinese, Qianlong incised four-character yuzhi mark and of the period (1736‱795) achieved $1,202,500.
Indian and Southeast Asian art results, also on March 22, totaled $11,211,938, with 72 percent sold by lot and 77 percent sold by value. Topping the sale was a gray schist figure of the Emaciated Siddhartha, or “Fasting Buddha,” Gandhara, Third/Fourth Century. It realized $4,450,500.
On March 23, South Asian Modern and contemporary art totaled $9,832,600, with 83 percent sold by lot and 74 percent sold by value. Tyeb Mehta (1925′009) led the way with “Bulls,” an acrylic on canvas diptych, painted in 2005‰7, which set a world auction record for the artist when it sold for $2,826,500.
Also on March 23, Japanese and Korean art totaled $14,840,350, with 74 percent sold by lot and 87 percent sold by value. A world auction record for Japanese painting was set with the $4,786,500 realized for a work attributed to Kano Naizen (1570‱616), “Southern Barbarians Come to Trade,” a pair of six-panel screens.
Other highlights from the week included the March 24′5 sale of Chinese ceramics and works of art. Totaling $53,085,375, with 84 percent sold by lot and 92 percent sold by value, the sale was led by a rare and finely cast gilt-bronze figure of Acuoye Guanyin, Dali Kingdom, Yunnan Province, Twelfth Century, which set a world auction record for a gilt-bronze figure from the Dali Kingdom, selling for $4,002,500.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.Christies.com .
Asia Week Sales Of Chinese Works Of Art Total A Record $71.3 Million At Sotheby’s
Sotheby’s sales of Chinese ceramics and works of art concluded on March 23, bringing the overall total for the series of auctions to $71,320,518, the highest total ever achieved anywhere in New York. All three auctions exceeded their estimates and competitive bidding was seen across all categories and periods. The sales followed an energetic exhibition period packed with collectors from the United States, Europe and Asia.
The firm’s Asia Week auctions began on March 22 with the sale of Chinese ceramics and works of art from J.T. Tai & Co. The auction brought a total of $36,312,493 and was nearly 94 percent sold by lot. The sale of more than 300 lots took more than nine hours, with multiple bidders in the room, on the phones and online competing for nearly every lot. More than 81 percent of the sold lots brought prices above, and in many cases significantly above, their high estimates, reflecting the reverence for Tai’s connoisseurship and the electric atmosphere in the salesroom
The second single owner collection of the series, Harmony of Form, Serenity of Color: A Private Collection of “Song” Ceramics, achieved a total of $9,039,375, comfortably exceeding the $4.7/6.8 million estimate. The various owner sale of fine Chinese ceramics and works of art achieved a total of $25,968,650, Sotheby’s highest total in this category since the March 2007 sale, which included highlights from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
The J.T. Tai & Co sale was led by an unusual famille rose and gold decorated vase, probably Republican period, which sold for $18,002,500, having been estimated at $800․1,200. The vase’s estimate reflected cataloged dating. There was a healthy debate surrounding the age of the piece, with a number of collectors clearly believing it was significantly earlier. In the end, more than seven bidders competed for the vase, which finally sold to an anonymous bidder on the telephone.
Among the other exceptional ceramics prices were a rare blue and white bowl from the Ming dynasty, Yongle period, which sold for $1,594,500; a famille-rose vase, Republican period, which fetched $1,314,500; and a carved “Ding” bowl, Song dynasty, which brought $392,500.
Archaic jade was also highly sought after, with an archaistic yellow jade ornament with hinged twin discs, Qing dynasty, selling for $434,500 and an archaic jade fluted ring late eastern Zhou/western Han dynasty fetching $338,500. The archaic bronzes in the sale were led by a large archaic bronze ritual food vessel (Ding) Shang dynasty, Thirteenth/Twelfth Century BC, which sold for $410,500.
The Harmony of Form, Serenity of Color sale was led by a rare imperial numbered “jun” narcissus bowl, early Ming dynasty, which sold for $2,210,500, many multiples of the $200/300,000 estimate. A carved “ding” peony dish, northern Song dynasty fetched $866,500, and a rare molded “Ding” basin, Jin dynasty, made $506,500, surpassing the $120/160,000 estimate by a considerable margin.
In the various owner sale of Chinese ceramics and works of art a pair of huanghuali yoke back armchairs (Guanmao Yi), Seventeenth Century, led the way, attaining $2,770,500, several times the $200/300,000 estimate. The highlight of the paintings in the sale was an imperial Nian Rebellion battle painting, Qing dynasty, Guangxu period, which itself sparked a battle among five bidders before selling for $1,986,500.
A strong group of jades included a rare imperially inscribed celadon jade archaistic vessel and cover (yi), Qianlong Fanggu mark and period from the collection of Robert Tod, which sold for $1,650,500 several times the $70/90,000 estimate. The porcelain in the sale was led by a rare famille rose reticulated revolving vase, Qianlong seal mark and period, which sold for $1,202,500, well over the $400/500,000 estimate.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-606-7000 or www.sothebys.com .
Pair Of Chinese Huanghuali Cabinets Achieves $512,500 At Doyle Auction
Doyle’s Asian works of art auction on March 21 attracted strong competition from an international audience of buyers. The mostly Asian bidders in the standing-room-only salesroom offered formidable competition against absentee bidders, Internet bidders and telephone bidders from a number of countries. In all, the sale totaled $3,118,025, surpassing the presale estimate of $1.6/2.3 million, with 69 percent sold by lot and 93 percent by value.
Highlighting the sale was a pair of Chinese Eighteenth Century huanghuali cabinets that sold for $512,500 to a Chinese buyer, several times their estimate of $120/180,000. They were similar to an-other pair formerly in the collection of the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture.
Jade objects were much sought after by the bidders, and sold very strongly during the sale. A Chinese white jade plaque measuring 4 5/8 inches in length and carved in archaic style was the surprise of the auction when it achieved $218,500 from a Hong Kong buyer, far surpassing the $4/6,000 estimate.
An impressive Qing dynasty jade eight-panel floor screen also attracted competition, selling for $182,500 to a buyer from China. Measuring more than 8 feet in height, the screen was inset with carved jade panels depicting figures in landscape settings and various birds on blossoming branches. A diminutive Chinese Nineteenth Century jade Sutra case pendant measuring 4 inches soared past its estimate of $2,5/3,500 to fetch $56,250 from a Chinese buyer. A small Chinese white jade disc-shaped toggle measuring less than 2 inches in diameter and carved in low relief with a stylized character sold for $46,875, ten times its estimate of $3/5,000, to a buyer from China.
The selection of porcelains was highlighted by a Chinese Nineteenth Century jardiniere decorated in blue, white and red glaze with blossoming lotus between scrolling borders, diameter 28 inches, that flew past its $5/7,000 estimate to achieve $80,500 from a Hong Kong buyer. A Chinese Twentieth Century famille rose glazed bowl, diameter 6 inches with the Qianlong six-character mark on the base, fetched a stunning $43,750 against an estimate of $400/600 from a Hong Kong buyer. A Hong Kong buyer also bought a Chinese green enameled engraved dragon dish with the Hongzhi six-character mark and probably of the period, diameter 7 1/8 inches, for $37,500, surpassing its estimate of $20/30,000.
Chinese ivory objects featured a late Nineteenth/early Twentieth Century intricately carved model of a fishing raft complete with men and boys raising a diminutive net of fish, total length 16 inches, that sold to a buyer from China for $62,500, more than ten times its high estimate. A Chinese Nineteenth/Twentieth Century Chinese ivory seal carved as a foo lion with pup, height 6 inches, estimated at $10/15,000, fetched $53,125 from a buyer from China.
The selection of Chinese paintings in the sale was highlighted by a Qing dynasty Kesi of Avalo-kiteshvara depicting a four-armed Guanyin seated before a mandorla with a Tibetan inscription; it sold for $56,250 against an estimate of $6/8,000 to a Hong Kong buyer.
An Eighteenth/Nineteenth Century Mahayana Sutra, called the Excellent Aeon, Buddhist canonical scriptures, comprising script and paintings between painted wood covers and from the estate of Braham Norwick, sold to a Hong Kong buyer for $31,250, far surpassing its $800-1,200 estimate.
Other auction highlights included a Chinese Nineteenth Century cinnabar lacquer vase, height 12½ inches, that sold for $43,750, far surpassing its estimate of $800-1,200, to a buyer from Hong Kong. A Chinese 24K gold filigree bracelet achieved $34,375, against an estimate of $8/10,000, from a Hong Kong buyer. A Chinese Eighteenth Century polychrome painted soapstone figure of Liu Hai, god of wealth and prosperity, height 14½ inches, fetched $31,250, more than triple the high estimate, from a buyer from China. Chinese textiles featured a Nineteenth Century silk robe embroidered with dragons and auspicious symbols over crashing waves that achieved $30,000, well over its estimate of $1/1,500, from a Hong Kong buyer.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-427-4141 or www.DoyleNewYork.com .
Chinese Snuff Bottles Sell Out, Japanese Art Soars At Bonhams
Bonhams New York kicked off Asia Week auction proceedings with two sales on Tuesday, March 22, that totaled more than $3 million.
The Linda Riddell Hoffman collection of Chinese snuff bottles took place in the morning and was 100 percent sold, exceeding $1.73 million. It was followed by fine Japanese works of art in the afternoon, which realized more than $1.33 million, saw some notable prices achieved for objects and screens, and helped raise funds for the ongoing relief efforts in Japan in the process.
Dessa Goddard, US director, Asian works of art, and Jeffrey Olson, New York director of Japanese works of art, said, “We were delighted to start the day with the 100 percent sold auction of snuff bottles from a distinguished private American collection †and we were very happy with the afternoon’s reults from the Japanese sale. Notably, we were honored to conduct the first in a series of international Japanese auctions held by the Bonhams Group this spring that will donate five percent of collected buyer’s premium to the ongoing relief efforts in Japan.”
The Riddell Hoffman collection offered a total of 154 bottles. Top lots included a rare and unusual enameled white glass snuff bottle from the Imperial Palace workshops, circa 1750‱780, that fetched $254,000; a large and rare carved yellow jade bottle that realized $134,000; and a rare carved honey agate bottle that made $91,500. Many of the bottles far exceeded estimates, and the result spoke to the provenance of this single-owner collection.
Japanese works of art featured a fine group of netsuke, inro, arts of the Samurai and a strong section of paintings and screens, the core of which was made up from a group that came to Bonhams from an American institution.
Top lot highlights included a important mixed metal box and cover by Unno Moritoshi (1834‱896) that fetched $170,000; a haniwa red pottery horse figure from the Sixth Century that realized $48,800; and a large panel screen, willow and camellia, by Hasegawa Totetsu that made $41,480.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-644-9001 or www.bonhams.com/us .
I.M. Chait’s Asia Week Finds Bidders Eager As Prices Soar Above Estimates
The atmosphere was electric on March 21 as I.M. Chait’s fifth annual New York auction took flight. With buyers having only begun to taste the vast array of collections of Asian art that would be sold throughout the week, it was as though they could not wait to start spending.
The action began with a phone bidder taking the first lots of antique ivory netsuke before engaging with the room for a collection of carved ivory “clam dreams” and polychrome fruit that more than doubled its estimate at $9,760. That set off a series of surprises that did not cease until the waning minutes of the sale when two antique Chinese hand scrolls, soared above their estimates to make $39,040 and $51,240 respectively.
Predictably, given Chait’s reputation for antique Chinese porcelains, a diminutive and rare Ming Xuande porcelain sprinkler brought top honors when it commanded $213,500 while an outsized Ming blue and white palace vase that had carried an “estimate on request” presale valuation, found its sales value at $183,000.
Jade and ivory carvings proved their strength several times over, beginning with an unusually tall and elaborately carved Chinese celestial beauty in layered robes and garlands. With at least four bidders in pitched battle, the lot quickly exceeded its $15,000 estimate to make $122,000.
A carved coral urn with cover set off a war that escalated until a bidder in the room, sans paddle but known to the auction house, jumped to take it at $91,500. A traditional rhinoceros horn bowl in the form of an open lotus blossom came in as expected at $79,500.
Each of these coups followed the sale of an ivory “doctor’s lady,” in typical recumbent pose, which was taken for more than seven times its estimate, selling for $56,120.
An Eighteenth Century carved jade mountain stirred interest throughout the room to make $30,500. It was quickly followed by the sale of another mountain that was charming in its depiction of horses beneath willow trees. It fetched $19,522.
Traditional items like a pair of Qianlong lapis lazuli table screen, carved with traveling figures in a mountainous landscape, found interest at $30,500. And a large pair of antique Chinese inlaid plaques composed of finely carved jades and hardstone brought $31,720.
Small and delicate items had their day, too. An antique carved bamboo brushpot with continuous openwork relief of sages and attendants in a bamboo grove appealed to collectors of scholars objects. The pot, estimated at a modest $3,500, rocked the room when it soared to $20,740. And an unusually sparsely carved horn or bamboo wine cup blew through its $3,000 high estimate to make $21,960.
All prices reported include the 22 percent buyer’s premium. For information, www.chait.com or 800-775-5020.
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