Published: March 17, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — More than $262 million was realized for the 31-lot sale of Chinese Art from the Fujita Museum on March 15, topping the record for any Asian Art Week series in auction history.
In a packed saleroom, the sale achieved $262,839,500, with sell-through rates of 94 percent by lot and 99 percent by value.
Attracting thousands of visitors to the Rockefeller Plaza galleries over just five days, the highly anticipated auction, featuring works from Japan’s pre-eminent cultural institution, elicited frenzied bidding in the room and on the phones. The star lot, Chen Rong’s “Six Dragons,” realized $48,967,500, including premium, with six bidders vying for the work and the winning bid coming from the front row of the saleroom.
In a thrilling stretch, four of the top lots of the night, all ritual bronze wine vessels from the late Shang dynasty, soared above their estimates. Beginning with the bronze ritual wine vessel, fangzun, which brought $37,207,500 on a $6/8 million presale estimate and set a world auction record for archaic bronzes, the series continued in quick succession with the wine vessel, fanglei, bringing $33,847,500; the wine vessel and cover, pou, fetching $27,127,500; and the wine vessel, gong, in ram-form, which also sold for $27,127,500.
Registered bidders from 16 countries, with strong representation from Hong Kong, China and the United States, demonstrated the strength of the sale and increasing demand for Asian art in the global market, particularly from buyers based in Asia.
Asian Art Week in New York continues at Christie’s throughout this week, concluding with the Chinese ceramics and works of art auction on March 17.
Watch for further coverage on the week’s events.
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