Auctioneer Press Release Freeman's

Freeman's Asian Art Auction Realizes $2.3M For Carved Chinese Vase

Apr 09,2021 | 08:00 EDT By Freeman's

PHILADELPHIA, PAFreeman’s is delighted to announce the results of its April 8 Asian Arts auction, which featured lively bidding wars between online and phone buyers, resulting in many lots selling well above their pre-sale estimates.

The highlight of the 138-lot auction was the sale of a red-underglaze Meiping “Dragons and Waves” vase, which realized an impressive $2.3 million, far surpassing its pre-sale estimate of $150,000 - $250,000. The auction achieved over $3 million total, with a 91% sell-through rate.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Freeman’s was able to offer such a fine and well-curated collection of Asian art, including various porcelains, jades, and other works of art,” remarked Head of Department Ben Farina. “We were particularly delighted by the reception and performance of the Meiping dragon vase, and feel fortunate to have been entrusted with a number of heirloom collections, which were passed down through several generations.”


The carved and red-underglazed vase that sold for $2.3 million at Thursday’s auction is a rare example of a small group of wares made for the Yongzheng court, inspired by Yongle period (1402-1424) porcelain prototypes. The vase received a high opening bid of $1.2 million, followed by competitive bidding from multiple phone bidders.

The vase came to auction at Freeman’s from the Collection of Sheelah M. Langan (1910-1993) and is dramatically designed in both form and design, featuring incised dragons of varying sizes depicted against stylized crashing waves in underglaze red.


Lot 1, A Chinese blue and white porcelain large bowl Ming Dynasty, Jiajing six-character mark and of the period. Sold for $30,240

The auction kicked off with a bidding war over a Ming dynasty blue and white porcelain large bowl (Lot 1), which sold for $30,240, far surpassing its $5,000 high estimate. This set the stage for several other impressive sale prices for works of Chinese porcelain, including a Chinese puce-enameled porcelain cylindrical brush pot (Lot 16, estimate: $3,000-5,000), which realized $63,000, and a Chinese famille verte-decorated lobed porcelain large bowl (Lot 44, estimate: $4,000-6,000), which realized $22,680. These sales—featuring energetic, aggressive bidding and counter-bidding—underscore the relevance of such artifacts to the contemporary collector.


Lot 82, A large kesi tapestry "Dragons" panel. Sold for $63,000

Porcelain works weren’t the only lots to fare well at Thursday’s auction. Works like the exquisite Large kesi tapestry “Dragons” panel (Lot 82, estimate: $12,000-15,000) elicited strong interest and realized $63,000. The lush Chinese carved twelve-panel “Coromandel” folding screen (Lot 81, estimate: $20,000-30,000) realized $85,050 following a bidding war sparked by strong market interest in folding screens of this kind.


Lot 93, A Chinese carved rock crystal seal. Sold for $50,400

Multiple small Chinese carvings commanded high sale prices, including a Chinese carved rock crystal seal (Lot 93), which sold for $50,400, ten times above its high estimate; a Chinese carved jadeite meiren (Lot 95), which achieved $22,680; and a Chinese carved amber figure of a sage and acolytes (Lot 97), which soared above its $1,000-1,500 estimate to achieve $25,200.


Since 1805, Freeman’s has been part of the fabric of Philadelphia, helping generations of clients in the buying and selling of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, design and more. We host many auctions throughout the year, including sales of single owner collections. Freeman’s, Philadelphia’s auction house. Sharing the world of art, design and jewelry with you, wherever you are.

By Freeman's