RESULTS: Sotheby's NY Chinese Works of Art Sale

After a rather typically slow August and part of Septemeber, the fall sales by the major houses in the large markets are now starting.  This week in NY both Sotheby's and Christie's are having Asian sales.  As we know from following recent trends and sales, the Asian market has been very aggressive for quality pieces over the past couple of years. The key questions is well the growth and strength continue through the fall season.  I would say the first sales results posted by Sotheby's were good, but nothing to get overly excited about.  I think within expectations sums it up nicely.

The Sotheby's Fine Chineses Ceramics and Works of Art sale totaled $22.68 million including buyers premium which was comfortably within the pre sale estimate of $18.9 million to $27 million.  Sotheby's was also pleased with the Fine Chinese Classical Paintings sale which totaled $6.5 million including buyers premium with a total of $29.18 million for the two sales.

The ceramics sale offered 335 lots with 225 selling and 110 bought in, for an only fair sell through rate of 67.2%.  The sale sold by value only 69.5%, this being lower because of the rather large buy in rate.  The top selling lot was A Rare and Important Gilt Bronze Votive Stele of Buddha selling for just over $1 million including buyers premium against a pre sale estimate of $600,000 to $800,000.

All of the top ten lots sold for above the pre sale estimates, including a 17th century recessed leg long table (Quiotouan) selling for $722,500 with buyers premium against a pre sale estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.

Sotheby's reported on the sale
15 September 2011 - Sotheby’s fall 2011 Chinese Art Sales in New York concluded yesterday with Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art which brought $22,683,375, within the $18.9/27 million estimate. This, along with the $6,502,000 total from the Fine Chinese Classical Paintings auction on Tuesday, brings the total for sales of Chinese art this week at Sotheby’s to $29,185,375. Yesterday’s sale was led by A Rare And Important Gilt-Bronze Votive Stele Of Buddha, Northern Wei Dynasty, Dated 471 AD which fetched $1,022,500, comfortably exceeding the $600/800,000* estimate. There were also strong prices for jade and furniture, as well as works from important private collections.

A Fine White Jade Imperial Washer, Qianlong Mark And Period led a group of works from the Estate Of Mr. And Mrs Walter F. Dillingham, Hawaii when it doubled the estimate to sell for $782,500 (est.
$250/350,000). Property From An Important Asian Collection also performed well, with A Rare Set Of Four 'Huanghuali' Lowback Armchairs (Meiguiyi), Qing Dynasty, 17th / 18th Century fetching $506,500 (est. $120/180,000). This was just one of a number of superb prices for furniture which also included A 'Huanghuali' Recessed-Leg Long Table (Qiaotouan), Qing Dynasty, 17th / 18th Century that sold for $722,500 (est. $300/500,000). A Magnificent Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup With Hawks, Qing Dynasty, 17/18th Century which carries the signature of the 17th century master carver You Kan was a further highlight and fetched $722,500 (est. $300/500,000).

The sale today follows the highly successful auction of Classical Chinese Paintings on 13 September which was led by Running Script Transcription of an Epitaph, written for Minister Chen Xinyi by Dong
Qichang (1555-1636) who is known as the most influential artist of his time. The painting sold for $782,500 (est. $200/300,000). Other highlights included Thatched Hut in Autumnal Mountains by
Dong Bangda, which sold for $386,500 (est. $180/250,000). Du Qiong’s Dwelling in the Mountains of Dongyuan also soared above the estimate when it sold for $362,500 (est. $20/30,000).

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