The 2017 edition of Asia Week New York wrapped up on March 18th with stunning numbers across all Asian Art categories. Over 424 million USD worth of Asian Art was sold and new world records were set for Chinese Archaic Bronzes, Classical Chinese Paintings and Indian works of art.
To coincide with the New York events, Bidsquare and our partners featured numerous Asian themed auctions towards the end of Asia Week, and the results were extraordinary!
On March 18th, Skinner Auctions in Boston, MA held their Asian Works of Art auction. Their highest realised item, Lot. 281, a Rare Pair of Lemon Yellow-Glazed Wine Cups with Yongzheng marks (1723-1735) sold for $456,000 USD against a conservative estimate of $30,000/$50,000 USD.
They came from the Estate of Walter F. Goodman (1922-2013), a Yale and Columbia alumni who worked as a trust officer at the Bank of New York and was an associate producer at NBC. Additionally, he was a renowned dog breeder of Skye Terriers that collectively won over 300 awards.
His collection was passed down from his father Maurice Goodman (1882-1939) a notable collector of Chinese art during the early 20th Century. Many pieces were reputedly purchased from the legendary collector and dealer A. W. Bahr (1877-1959), a specialist in Chinese porcelain, works of art and painting.
Wine cups of this type are known for their fine potting, bright colors and delicate shapes. The depiction of an unusual four-character Yongzheng reign mark within a double square suggests that these cups were made during the early part of the Yongzheng reign. These yellow-glazed cups are exceedingly rare and remained in perfect condition for nearly 300 years. Because of their color, the immediate Imperial family would have used them.
Another top piece from the Goodman Estate was Lot. 282, a Peachbloom Water Coupe dated to the 18th Century, and with a six-character Kangxi mark (1662-1722). Also known as beehive pots, (in Chinese taiba zun), this vessel would have been part of a group of eight peachbloom glazed wares that were used for the Chinese scholar’s desk. They are extremely desirable by Chinese art collectors who sought these vessels for the difficult-to-fire peachbloom glaze and their sophisticated forms. This vessel sold for $123,000 USD against an estimate of $10,000 - $20,000 USD.
From a different consignor, Skinner’s sold Lot. 442, a Large “Mountain-Water” Landscape painting attributed to Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) the Chinese 20th Century master. This large scene showcases his ‘traditional’ style of painting with craggy mountains, huts and scholars in the foreground, and islands and boats in the background. With an estimate of $50,000 - $70,000 USD, the price soared to $336,000 USD.
On March 20th, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, IL had their sale of Asian Works of Art. The top two items were both paintings attributed to Chinese early 20th Century painting masters from the Estate of Mr. Julius Wei Wu Xue of Kenilworth IL. He was the chief structural engineer for the Chicago Federal Center and he also established his engineering and architectural firm - J.W. Sih and Associates, Inc. in 1965.
Lot. 531 was from this estate. Titled ‘Shrimp’ After Qi Baishi (1863-1957) and supposedly painted by the artist when he was 93 years old, it features his signature depiction of crustaceans. The painting realised a price of $266,200 USD despite its low estimate of $1,000 - $2,000 USD.
Also from the collection was Lot. 529, a Painting of a ‘Galloping Horse’ Attributed to Xu Beihong (1895-1953). It sold for $121,000 USD against an estimate $1,000 - $2,000 USD. During the 1920’s. Xu Beihong was one of the first Chinese artists to use traditional subjects such as horses, eagles and lions, and combined the forms with Western ideas of expression, dynamism, and anatomy.
Another surprising pieces from this auction was Lot. 384 A Yellow Peking Glass Vase. It was reputedly from the Estate of Alan Abraham of Michigan, a recently deceased art collector, raconteur, world traveler, and author. He collected high-end Chinese antiques including porcelain, glass, jade and paintings and owned a gallery in Detroit during the 1960’s.
This rare vase is elegant in its faceted profile and the base bears a four-character wheel-cut mark from the Qianlong reign (1736-1795). Glass is one of the few undervalued categories remaining in Chinese art, and it was during the early Qing Dynasty that modern recipes of glass-making were introduced to the Imperial Palace workshop, the Zaobanchu, by visiting Jesuit priests.
This workshop was responsible for producing all household goods used for the palace, and their glass department produced this type of vase in various colors including, red, blue and green. Yellow examples are the most desirable since it is associated with Imperial royalty. The vase realised a price of $102,850 USD against an estimate of $800 - $1,200 USD.
With Asia Week over, the Asian Art market trends and prices are etablished for the rest of the season. Please visit On the Square to see other Asian items that will be up for sale in the coming weeks!