Sotheby’s Achieves €13.2m for Sale of Asian Art in Paris

. June 12, 2010

Sotheby’s sales of Asian Art in Paris totalled €13.2m ($15.9m), well ahead of pre-sale total estimate of €3.9-5.5m and a 106% increase on the corresponding sale in June 2009. The sale was 93.8% sold by value and 71% of lots cleared their high estimate.

The auction’s star lot was a magnificent gilt-bronze figure of Amitayus that brought €1,016,750 ($1,216,694) against an estimate of €200,000-300,000. This Qing Dynasty sculpture, portraying the Buddha of Eternal Life thought to preside over the Western Paradise, was published in Ulrich von Shroeder’s reference work on Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, and dates from the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722).

Ritual objects were among the sale’s most keenly contested lots. A gilt-bronze bell and stand from a European collection, dating from the 13th year of the reign of Qianlong (1748), posted the day’s second-highest price of €744,750 ($891,205) (est. €60,000-80,000).

A superb selection of carved rhinoceros horns confirmed the high prices obtained by this type of items on the Hong Kong market in April, led by a 17th-18th century Qing libation cup at €528,750 ($632,729) (lot 160).

The sale concluded with the Arts of Japan. Two superb prints by Tôshûsai Sharaku, portraying the actors Ichikawa Ebizo IV in the rôle of Takemura Sadanoshin (lot 295), and Arashi Ryuzo II in the rôle of the usurer Ishibe kinkichi (lot 296, est. €200,000-300,000), fetched the section’s highest prices of €336,750 ($409.972) and €228,750 ($273.734) respectively. These two prints are amongst the best designs by this very enigmatic artist who only produced over a period of one year in 1794 and 1795.

Category: Fine Art

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