Published: September 13, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Asia Week at Sotheby’s began with the white-glove sale of Chinese Art Through the Eye of Sakamoto Goro: Early Chinese Art on September 13. Totaling $2,501,500, far above the pre-sale estimate of $1.3/1.9 million, the sale saw bidders in the room, on the telephone and online chase works of art collected and revered by the celebrated Asian art dealer and collector Sakamoto Goro (1923-2016).
This season’s offering of early Chinese art was led by a sancai-glazed ewer fetching $874,000 against an estimate of $500/700,000. Chased by four bidders in the room, this work of art beautifully captures the international spirit and opulence of the Chinese courts at that time with its immaculate sancai glaze and crisp applique decorations. Some have described this particular ewer to be representative of the apex of Tang dynasty pottery.
The Shang Dynasty was also well-represented in this selection. A rare bronze double-own-form ritual vessel (yue), similar to those in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, the Shanxi Provincial Museum, the Shanghai Museum and the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., achieved $730,000. Shaped by the conjunction of two addorsed owls on four stout legs, this ritual vessel beautifully combines form and function with a hint of whimsy.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. A roundup of Asia Week results will appear later on.
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