Published: March 27, 2001
NEW YORK CITY – In a March 20 sale of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Christie’s, a 25-inch-tall ritual bronze wine jar, fenglei, from the late Shang/early Western Zhou Dynasty (circa 1600-1100 BC/circa 1100-771 BC) sold to a private collector for $9,246,000. This represents the highest price ever paid for any Asian work of art at auction.
The Woods Room at Christie’s, Rockefeller Plaza was packed to capacity throughout the sale and the excrdf_Descriptionent was palpable when the wine jar came up for sale. Two telephone bidders competed for the piece from the start and set a pace of deliberate and steady bidding. The previous record stood at $8.5 million for a Korean Choson period dragon jar sold at Christie’s, New York in October 1996.
Theow Tow, international director of Chinese Works of Art department, commented that although the sale was “highlighted by the two top lots – the fenglei and the Alan and Simone Hartman Collection of Tang and Sancai pottery…bidding was steady in all categories and the atmosphere was positive. We are particularly pleased that the market reacted so spectacularly well to the wine jar, an object of impeccable quality, provenance and condition.”
The sale totaled $13,918,370. This is the highest total ever achieved for a sale of Chinese works of art in New York and the second highest total on a worldwide basis, only preceded by the Imperial sale at Christie’s Hong Kong in May 2000.
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