CONTEMPORARY CHINESE ART HIGHLIGHT OF CLARS DECEMBER SALE – A painting by Luo Zhongli, a contemporary Chinese artist, was the highlight of Clars Auction Gallery’s December 1 & 2 auction, a diverse sale that featured strong and interesting results across the board. (Please note that all of the prices listed include Clars’s 17% buyer’s premium)

Zhongli’s oil on canvas, “Grandmother’s Love,” fetched $87,750 after a lengthy back-and-forth between two determined phone bidders, far surpassing its $40,000 to $60,000 estimate. The sale emphasized a growing appetite for contemporary Asian art, a fervor Clars staff witnessed firsthand in November, when a collection of four Zhongli paintings sold for an impressive quarter of a million dollars. In both instances, the art ultimately sold to European buyers after a flurry of international bidding and interest, underscoring the broad appeal and intensity of this particular trend. In its upcoming February 2 & 3, 2008 auction, Clars will further test this market with an impressive offering of Chinese contemporary art, including paintings by Zhongli, Chen Danqing, and Tsing-Fang Chen.

This past weekend, Clars also offered an extensive collection of African American prints and paintings. A stylized modern lithograph entitled“Singing Saints,” by Sargent Johnson (American, 1888-1967) sold for $7,605. On the other end of the aesthetic spectrum, the 1951 lithograph “Gideon,” a striking naturalistic portrait by Charles Wilbert White (American, 1918-1979), sold for $5,265.

The sale also featured strong showings for traditional antiques, including a 13’ x 9’ Persian Meshad rug. The intricately patterned rug, c. 1910, fetched $15,210. Another classic antique, a 19th century Italian baroque cabinet, garnered significant interest. The partial gilt cabinet, which featured 18th century columns with acanthus leaf capitals, sold for $3,510. A charming bit of Americana , a working “Teddy and the Bear” mechanical bank with original paint sold for $4095.

As usual, Clars also offered a striking collection of fine jewelry in December. A three stone diamond ring with one yellow diamond, attracted a number of bidders, ultimately selling for $12,870. Likewise, an 18k rose gold Bertolucci wristwatch with a mother-of-pearl dial and diamond accents, received significant interest and fetched $7,020.

Finally, Clars was able to offer an interesting array of traditional Asian art objects in December, including an Imari Meiji period massive fishbowl, which sold for $2,925, and a Meiji period bronze figural sculpture of a maiden and child, which sold for $4,388. A Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figure of a seated deity, Qing Dynasty, commanded an impressive $4972, while a Thai large gilt bronze figure of a Buddha was hammered down for an impressive $2925.

Clars next Fine Antiques and Estate Auction will be held on January 5th and 6th, 2008. Complete information, photos and lot descriptions will be available at prior to the sale. The Saturday, January 5th Gallery Auction begins promptly at 9:30am and the Sunday, January 6th Main Gallery Auction will begin at 10am. Preview is available Friday, January 4th from 1pm to 6pm and 9am each auction day. Bidding at Clars is available in person, online through eBay Live Auctions/www.liveauctioneers, by phone and absentee. Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, CA. (888) 339-7600 or (510) 428-0100.