Published: March 15, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — Poetically and fittingly described by writer Huang Yizheng as “immaculate like piled-up snow,” a rare Anhua-decorated tianbai-glazed meiping vase, a 600-year-old technical marvel of pottery, glaze and design sold for $3,132,500, including premium, at Sotheby’s on March 15.
Undeterred by winter storm Stella, collectors from around the world gathered in Sotheby’s headquarters to view, handle and bid on Chinese works of art. In front of a packed salesroom, 92.9 percent of lots sold in the morning that kicked off the firm’s series of Asia Week New York auctions.
The themed sale, titled Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste, totaled $11.3 million with 61.5 percent selling over the high estimate.
Angela McAteer, head of Chinese works of art in New York, commented, “This was a great way to start our Asian Art sales in New York. This auction of treasures from the Ming dynasty is an indicator of the tremendous global appetite for the highest-quality Chinese porcelain.”
The meiping vase featured a luminous white glaze revealing beautiful incisions of intricate peony scrolls and lotus sprays, perhaps hinting to the promise of spring. It beat its $2.3/2.8 million presale estimate.
A rare and large blue and white reserve-decorated “Peony’ Dish,” one of four known to exist, also found significant interest in the morning auction. Prized for its meticulous application of the blue cobalt glaze, the dish was chased by five bidders in the room and on the telephones. Sold to the room for $2,172,500, the Xuande mark and period work of art surpassed its presale estimate of $1/1.5 million.
Sotheby’s Asian Art New York sales continue through March 18. Watch for further coverage of the week’s events.
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