Sales of Chinese Art at Sotheby’s Total: $15,532,479

. September 17, 2009

Sotheby’s autumn auction season in New York kicked off this morning with a sale of Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, which brought $4,615,054 and tripled the presale estimate of $1/1.5 million. The sale was 95.4% sold by lot and 99.5% sold by value and was led by A Rare and Important Pair of Huanghuali Compound Cabinets and Two-Drawer Stands from the 17th century, which brought $1,022,500 against a presale estimate of $120/180,000. The day continued with a various-owner sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, which again exceeded pre-sale expectations to bring $10,917,425 (est. $5.1/7.1 million) and was 74.9% sold by lot and 90.9% sold by value. The two sales brought a combined total of $15,532,479 (combined est. $6.2/8.6 million).

Speaking about the sales, Dr. Caroline Schulten, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Sales, North America, said, “We were incredibly pleased with the results of today’s two sales. We saw a high sell-through rate in both sales, reinforcing our strategy of offering clients well-edited sales of high-quality works. In fact, 70% of the lots sold in our various owner sale achieved prices above the high estimate. While our top buyers in both sales today came from Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, we saw active participation and strong underbidding from our European and American clients. We were also excited to see many new collectors from around the world emerging in the market.”

Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections
Leading off the sale of Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections was a series of approximately 40 lots of Chinese furniture, mostly of huanghuali wood and dating to the 17th and 18th centuries, all of which sold and many of which hammered down at prices far above their estimates. Two clients in the saleroom battled for A Rare and Important Pair of Huanghuali Compound Cabinets and Two-Drawer Stands from the 17th century, sending the price to $1,022,500 (lot 10, est. $120/180,000). A Huanghuali Display Cabinet from the 17th/18th century was sought after by absentee bidders, telephone bidders, and clients in the room, and was ultimately sold to a client in the room for $338,500 – ten times the presale estimate of $25/35,000 (lot 18). No less than four clients in the saleroom and one telephone bidder competed for a Huanghuali Low Table estimated at $8/12,000, which climbed to $194,500 and sold to a collector in the room (lot 24).

Carpets from the Sackler Collections exceeded expectations as well, bringing over $440,000 for the group, well above the pre-sale high estimate of approximately $250,000 and led by a Ninghsia Carpet, West China, which sold for $78,000 (lot 62, est. $25/35,000).

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art was led by a Fine and Large Pale Celadon Jade Vase and Cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, which more than tripled its estimate to bring $926,500 (lot 260, est. $250/300,000). A ‘Famille-Rose’ ‘Ladies of the Han Palace’ Lantern-Shaped Vase, Jiaqing Iron-Red Seal Mark and Period from the Collection of Gordon Getty was pursued by multiple bidders in the room and on the telephone, and ultimately purchased by a client in the saleroom for $902,500, far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $250/350,000 (lot 222). Also among the top lots was a Series of Sets (Lian Huan Tao) painted by Lin Fengmian from the Collection of Monsieur and Madame M. Helle, which sold to a client on the telephone for $818,500, exceeding the estimate of $90/120,000 (lot 175). An auction record was set for a Coromandel Screen when a Twelve-Panel Black Lacquer Coromandel ‘Mansion of Prefect Fenyang’ Screen, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, sold for $602,500 (lot 131, est. $80/120,000). An Important Pale Celadon Jade Brushpot, Bitong, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, which has descended in the family of famed collector Heber R. Bishop, brought $662,500 after a lengthy battle between its purchaser on the telephone and another client in the room (lot 251, est. $300/400,000), and A Rare Large Bronze Figure of an Eleven-Headed and Multi-Armed Avalokitesvara, Ming Dynasty, 17th Century that was formerly in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston sold for $314,500 (lot 129, est. $200/250,000).

Category: Auction News

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