Published: March 30, 2004
Several lots at Sotheby’s Asian Week auctions proved to be surprises with one pair of vases bringing ten times the low estimate during the Chinese Works of Art auction on March 23.
The vases, a pair of soft paste examples with six character Qianlong sealmarks, were carved and molded with three Indian lotus, hibiscus and camela blooms with scrolling stems and serrated leaves. In a crackled cream glaze, the vases carried a presale estimate of $25/35,000, yet became the top lot of the $5.1-plus million auction when they hammered at $299,200.
Indian and Southeast Asian Art was offered the following day with strong prices also posted for this sale, which grossed $3.14 million for the 203 lots offered.
The top lot came as a monumental high relief carved standing Buddha, gray schist, Gandhara, was sold. The Buddha is the tallest known freestanding Gandhara statue to have survived from the region. Estimated at $200/300,000, brisk bidding ensued as the lot was offered with it being knocked down at $736,000.
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