Published: April 1, 2008
It was clear at the preview of I.M. Chait’s second annual Asia Week sale in New York City that the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based gallery had established itself as a player in the round of highly popular Asia Week events. At the preview, collectors took a hands-on approach to examining the porcelains, ivory and jade carvings and Sino Tibetan gilt bronzes on display in Chait’s New York headquarters on Fifth Avenue.
More than once, a rare Ming dynasty Hongwu period palace vose with a copper red underglaze decoration was removed from its protective glass vitrine in the center of the floor. Even with a catalog low estimate of $1 million, Isadore Chait said, the vase “was a good value,” as there had not been a similar find on the block in many years. On March 20, it took less than three minutes for the bidding on the vase to reach $1,080,000. The phone buyer who won it was a private collector bearing paddle #1.
With Isadore Chait at the podium and sons Joey, Josh and Jake manning the phones and the Internet, buyers around the world and at the Beverly Hills simulcast found the bidding on 275 lots to be brisk and often extremely competitive. One of the day’s biggest surprises swirled around a circa 1700 Kangxi Doucai Meiping porcelain vase decorated with sprays of fruit, foliage and the ruyi fungus mark. Carrying a catalog high estimate of $7,000, the vase had generated so much interest that when the bidding opened to the room, the vase was finally taken for $20,400.
As expected, star lots commanded the day. A massive Warring States bronze vessel with interlocking geometric chilin was claimed by an absentee bidder for $102,500, slightly more than the catalog estimate.
Among the rare porcelains, a Ming dynasty Yongle blue and white dish brought $72,000, a rare Wanli Ming Wucai ewer went off at $66,000, a massive imperial Qianlong blue and white charger with a highly detailed design centering around a five-clawed dragon commanded $54,000, A Yongzheng celadon bowl carved with a band of intertwined bell-shaped blossoms found a buyer at $33,000, and a Tang sancai glazed jar and cover made $18,000, as did an imperial Jaiqing famille rose dish with a poem at its center.
A pair of Japanese bronze guardians, each standing with windblown hair in full armor at 30 inches high, sold to an Internet buyer for $36,000.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. The next I.M. Chait sale will be conducted in Beverly Hills on April 27. For information, www.chait.com or 800-775-5020.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm