Published: September 18, 2012
Freeman’s Asia Week auction on Sunday, September 9, outperformed expectations, exceeding the overall estimate with an outstanding performance by top lots, including $1,314,500 for a painting by modern Chinese master Lee Man Fong.
This is Freeman’s fourth consecutive Asian arts auction to top the million-dollar mark for top items. Samuel M. “Beau” Freeman II, chairman, said, “Another great Asian Arts auction. We’re thrilled to be consistently making news now with great pieces that are commanding the attention of the important dealers and collectors worldwide. Impressive results like these just go to show the international market has awakened to what happens here in Philadelphia. Success like this speaks for itself. We expect that momentum to only snowball.”
Earlier in the year, there were indications worldwide that the market for Asian works was softening. This Freeman’s sale proves to the contrary that, though tastes are changing, interest remains strong.
“We’re seeing dealers and collectors narrow the focus of their interest and becoming more selective,” says Rich Cervantes, head of Freeman’s Asian Art Department. “They’re more keen than ever on quality. It’s also clear that we can rely on property associated with a prestigious name, whether it’s the Emperors Qianlong and Daoguang or a modern master like Lee Man Fong.”
Paintings overall did well in the fall sale and Eighteenth Century jade and fine ceramics from Ming to Qing were also strong. In snuff bottles, demand was high for the choicest examples, while furniture and textiles also held their own.
Also in the top five of the sale were a large Chinese flambe glazed porcelain vase, Qianlong mark and period, that took $182,500; a rare Chinese imperial zitan long table, Qianlong period, selling at $134,500; a fine Chinese famille rose peach and bat porcelain vase, Daoguang mark and period, going out at $80,500; and a fine pair of Chinese carved spinach jade table screens on ivory stands, Qianlong mark, Qing dynasty, for $59,375.
Freeman’s next Asian arts auction will be in mid-March. All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
For additional information, www.freemansauction.com or 267-414-1229.
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