Published: December 21, 2016
PARIS — Christie’s set a new record for the most expensive work of Asian art to be sold at the firm’s Paris saleroom in its December 14 Asian art sale. A rare Chinese gilt-bronze figure of Buddha Vairocana from the Liao dynasty, Eleventh Century, sold for an impressive $14,358,000 – the top price for a work of art sold at Christie’s France since 2010 and the top lot for Christie’s Paris in 2016.
The firm’s French arm ends the year 2016 with $255 million, realizing the second best year since 2009 (Yves Saint Laurent – Pierre Bergé Collection), with an average sell-through rate of 75 percent by lot and 90 percent by value. The 12 collections presented this year, such as the Zeineb and Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière collection, the Claude Berri collection or the selection of 12 Rembrandt Bugatti bronzes coming from the collection of Alain Delon, have all attracted French and international collectors.
In addition to the Buddha Vairocana, the year’s results include a Thirteenth Century wood Guanyin, which sold for $5.3 million, a painting by Francis Bacon, “Man in Blue VII,” which fetched $6.2 million and a Roman torso from circa First Century BCE, which established a new world record with $3 million. The rarity of the pieces was illustrated by the 14 preemptions registered throughout the year. Two lots were preempted by the Musée du Louvre, including the two mourners from the Duc de Berry tomb, which sold in June for $5.3 million. Prices reported were converted from euros to US dollars at press time and include the buyer’s premium. For information, +33 1 40 76 8408 or www.christies.com.
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