The September Asian Art sales are over now and there were so many incredible results on display during the course of the season. Strong prices for Asian Art are still led by the Chinese art market, but there were also strong prices from the Japanese, Korean and Himalayan region as well.
By far the highlight of September was at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Asian Works of Art Auction on September 17th where a Rare Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Bowl (lot 255) sold for a stunning $1,452,500!
Titled the ‘Stanley Field Early Ming Bowl’, this bowl was made during the reign of the Xuande Emperor (1426-1435). It was originally owned by the Chicago civic leader, businessman and museum president Stanley Field (1875-1964). He was the president of the Field Museum of Natural History and nephew to the world-renowned entrepreneur Marshall Field (1834-1906).
These types of bowls are extremely popular in today’s market because of their rarity, unusual hexafoil shape, and delicate painting of florals and fruits.
Another strong result at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' sale was lot 30, a Chinese Zitan Throne Chair. The proceeds for the sale of this chair is going towards the funds for the Heritage Museum of Art, located in Chicago’s Chinatown. Hence, it had very reasonable starting estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.
The chair’s elegant form and use of rare zitan wood made it very attractive for potential bidders, and they quickly pushed the chair to a final realized price of $90,750.
Selling through Bidsquare was Lot 552, a Large Chinese Embroidered Silk Inset Mother-of-Pearl Inlaid Hongmu Screen which produced another stunning result. Against an estimate of $2,000 to $4,000, it sold for $27,720.
The silk scene depicts a complex network of colorful birds and foliage. The frame and stand can also be considered a work of art by itself! It is ornately inlaid with precisely carved mother-of-pearl fragments to form scrolling vines and auspicious characters.
Another solid result at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, that sold through Bidsquare, was lot 253a, a Chinese Blue and White Porcelain Vase. This vase is painted in the Ming-style with its bold use of lotus blooms and scrolling vine designs. These types of vases started appearing in the 17th Century and was a popular motif that was often used throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries.
Over in Boston, Skinner held their Asian Works of Art auction on September 14th where the top selling piece in the sale was lot 83, a Chinese Red and Green Enameled Double Gourd Vase.
Originating from a prominent New England Estate, this Ming Dynasty vase was produced during the Jiajing reign (1522-1566). Its rarity and desirability is in the unusual color palette.
Vases of this type are usually decorated in the blue and white scheme. However, this version has a design of red lotuses on a green ground, which have very few recorded examples. With a conservative estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, this double gourd vase sold for $369,000!
Through Bidsquare, Skinner sold lot 145, a Set of Twelve White Porcelain Wine Cups for $5,843 against an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. Because of their white color, these cups would have probably been used during ancestral worship ceremonies. It is extremely difficult to find twelve cups of this immaculate form and color simultaneously, hence the strong price.
Lastly, is lot 149, a Chinese Famille Verte Powder Blue Vase - this attractive vase, awarded to the Bidsquare platform, contains twelve large vignettes depicting the ‘hundred precious antiques’ and harks back to Chinese export designs from the 18th Century Kangxi period.
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Anthony Wu is an Asian Art consultant, researcher, writer based in Toronto, Canada. After working eleven years as the Asian Art specialist at two of Canada’s largest regional auctions, he started his own art advising firm where he consults for various auction houses, museums, and private clients in Canada and the USA. He is a certified Chinese Fine Art appraiser with the Appraisers Association of America.