Interest in Lipton Collection Spans the Globe, Drives $1.3 Million Result

Freeman’s December 10th sale of The Collection of William Lipton: Chinese Objects in Literati Taste, Furniture & Other Asian Works of Art drew attention from around the world, with bidders traveling to Philadelphia from China, Taiwan, Monaco, England and across the United States to view the collection and participate in the sale. Nearly 700 lots were offered in the day and evening sessions, 80% of which sold successfully for a result of $1,315,000. Exhibitions in Hong Kong and London and an international promotional campaign helped Freeman’s to continue its track record of success with single-owner sales, following upon the presentations of the collections of Eugene Fleischer and Phillip Pfeiffer earlier in the year.

Notable trends made evident by the full phone banks and crowded auction room floor were the strong demand for hardwood (especially Huanghuali) furniture and high quality Huanghuali brush pots. The sale’s top lot, presented as the final lot of the evening session, was a fine 17th century Huanghuali side table from the late Ming Dynasty which sold to a bidder from China for a mid-estimate $59,750. Another Huanghuali table from the same period sold for $42,000 against a $20,000-30,000 estimate to a New York buyer.

The largely-unreserved day session was the source of many international bidding wars, including another Huanghuali small recessed-leg table from the late Qing Dynasty, which returned to China for $19,100 against an estimate of $2,000-3,000. Amongst the many other results in excess of presale estimates was a pair of unusual late 18th century Chinese porcelain plaques on oyster shell grounds with tielimu frames, estimated at $600-800 and selling for $8,350. The rare and unusual offerings throughout the day were consistently popular, including a fine Chinese sandalwood head rest bearing several poetic inscriptions, which sold to the room against the London trade for $15,500 (estimate $8,000-12,000).

The Literati objects from Mr. Lipton’s collection were viewed extensively during both the Philadelphia and Hong Kong exhibitions, and bidders were especially enthusiastic about the many fine brush pots. An 18th century Zitan pot with an inset pebble sold to Taiwan for $21,500 and a fine and large Huanghuali pot, 17th/18th century, doubled its low estimate with a result of $12,000.

Freeman’s next sale of Fine Asian Arts will take place on March 15th, with consignments currently being accepted.