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Sotheby's Series of Asian Art Sales Totals $19,280,279
Rare and Important Pair of Huanghuali Compound Cabinets with Two-Drawer Stands, Qing Dynasty, 17th Century. Est. $120/180,000. Sold for: $1,022,500. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s autumn series of Asian art sales concluded yesterday, bringing the combined total to $19,280,279, double the pre-sale low estimate of $8.8/12.3 million. The series was 78.6% sold by lot. Today’s sale of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, Including Indian Miniature Paintings brought $3,747,800 (est. $2.5/3.5 million) and was 70.8% sold by lot and 90.9% sold by value. Yesterday’s sale of Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections brought $4,615,054 and more than quadrupled the presale low estimate of $1.1 million. The Sackler Collection was 95.4% sold by lot and 99.5% sold by value. The various-owner sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art also exceeded pre-sale expectations to bring $10,917,425 (est. $5.1/7.1 million) and was 74.9% sold by lot and 90.9% sold by value.

Henry Howard-Sneyd, Vice Chairman, Asian Art, said, “The power of the most desirable art, collections and discoveries to attract buyers from around the world to attend and bid in New York auctions was in great evidence at our series of Asian sales this week. The superb international teamwork – complete with up to 12 Mandarin-speaking staff members manning the telephones at one time – led to a total for the week that doubled our pre-sale low estimate and a very superior average sold lot value of over $66,000. These results are a reflection of the development of our Asia division in the Americas, which has been taking place over the past year.”

South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, Including Indian Miniature Paintings Zara Porter-Hill, Head of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, commented, “Today’s sale, which exceeded the pre-sale estimate and was 90.9% sold by value, confirms the growing confidence in the Indian market. We saw international bidding and buying, predominantly from private collectors, with a rejuvenated presence from our trade clients. We are delighted to have sold over 70% of our lots today, continuing the improvement we have achieved in our sold-by-lot percentages throughout this year in New York and London. This high sell-through rate is a testament to our balanced selection of quality works at competitive estimates and demonstrates that the market is underpinned by a broad collector base. Also, we are particularly proud of the exceptional fact that in all three of our 2009 sales over 50% of the lots sold reached prices above the high estimate.”

The top price was achieved by V.S. Gaitonde’s Untitled, which was pursued by four clients and sold to a telephone bidder for $602,500 (lot 22, est. $400/600,000). Strong prices were seen for works by M.F. Husain, whose paintings claimed three of the top ten prices of the day. No less than seven clients competed for his Bewildered Brown, which brought $338,500 (lot 10, est. $80/120,000). Sotheby’s was honored to have Mr. Husain present in the saleroom today on the occasion of his 94th birthday, which the audience celebrated with a round of applause. A group of Indian miniature paintings from the Estate of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was led by An Illustration to a Jataka Series: The Sixth Dream of King Pasenadi, which exceeded the pre-sale estimate to bring $88,900 (lot 62, est. $50/70,000).

Speaking about Sotheby’s two sales of Chinese Works of Art, Dr. Caroline Schulten, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Sales, North America, said, “We were incredibly pleased with the results of today’s two sales. We saw a high sell-through rate in both sales, reinforcing our strategy of offering clients well-edited sales of high-quality works. In fact, 70% of the lots sold in our various-owner sale achieved prices above the high estimate. While our top buyers in both sales today came from Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, we saw active participation and strong underbidding from our European and American clients. We were also excited to see many new collectors from around the world emerging in the market.”

Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections Leading off the sale of Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections was a series of approximately 40 lots of Chinese furniture, mostly of huanghuali wood and dating to the 17th and 18th centuries, all of which sold and many of which hammered down at prices far above their estimates. Two clients in the saleroom battled for A Rare and Important Pair of Huanghuali Compound Cabinets and Two-Drawer Stands from the 17th century, sending the price to $1,022,500 (lot 10, est. $120/180,000). A Huanghuali Display Cabinet from the 17th/18th century was sought after by absentee bidders, telephone bidders, and clients in the room, and was ultimately sold to a client in the room for $338,500 – ten times the presale estimate of $25/35,000 (lot 18). No less than four clients in the saleroom and one telephone bidder competed for a Huanghuali Low Table estimated at $8/12,000, which climbed to $194,500 and sold to a collector in the room (lot 24).

Carpets from the Sackler Collections exceeded expectations as well, bringing over $440,000 for the group, well above the pre-sale high estimate of approximately $250,000 and led by a Ninghsia Carpet, West China, which sold for $96,100 (lot 62, est. $25/35,000).

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art was led by a Fine and Large Pale Celadon Jade Vase and Cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, which more than tripled its estimate to bring $926,500 (lot 260, est. $250/300,000). A ‘Famille-Rose’ ‘Ladies of the Han Palace’ Lantern-Shaped Vase, Jiaqing Iron-Red Seal Mark and Period from the Collection of Gordon Getty was pursued by multiple bidders in the room and on the telephone, and ultimately purchased by a client in the saleroom for $902,500, far exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $250/350,000 (lot 222). Also among the top lots was a Series of Sets (Lian Huan Tao) painted by Lin Fengmian from the Collection of Monsieur and Madame M. Helle, which sold to a client on the telephone for $818,500, exceeding the estimate of $90/120,000 (lot 175). An auction record was set for a Coromandel Screen when a Twelve-Panel Black Lacquer Coromandel ‘Mansion of Prefect Fenyang’ Screen, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, sold for $602,500 (lot 131, est. $80/120,000). An Important Pale Celadon Jade Brushpot, Bitong, Qing Dynasty, 18th century, which has descended in the family of famed collector Heber R. Bishop, brought $662,500 after a lengthy battle between its purchaser on the telephone and another client in the room (lot 251, est. $300/400,000), and A Rare Large Bronze Figure of an Eleven-Headed and Multi-Armed Avalokitesvara, Ming Dynasty, 17th Century that was formerly in the collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston sold for $314,500 (lot 129, est. $200/250,000).

Last Week News

September 18, 2009

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Yale Center for British Art Announces Exhibition of Romantic Drawings

Josh Faught Named 2009 Betty Bowen Award Winner

Major Contemporary Public Art Commission to go on Display as Part of Royal Academy Exhibition

Lady Dai Tomb Exhibition to Open at Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Sculpture Missing from Bernard Madoff's NY Beach Home

Exhibition of Limited Editions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Received Grant to Digitize Collection

V&A Museum of Childhood to Present and Exhibition From Paul Trevor's Eastender Archive

Durham Bids to be UK City of Culture 2013: The North East's Best Kept Cultural Secret

Vauxhall 48-Hour Road Movie Challenge at Branchage Jersey International Film Festival

The Brunei Gallery to Show Contemporary Indigenous Tapestries by the Fancy Stitch Group

Director and Chief Curator of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Presents Young Israel Artist Aram Gershuni

Arts Council England Announces Improved Grants for the Arts

SUNY Plattsburgh Finds, Donates Ancient Fossil to New York State Museum

Lucy Mitchell-Innes Appointed President of the Art Dealers Association of America

Construction Scaffold in Downtown Louisville will Become an Interactive Digital Installation

September 17, 2009

Leading Contemporary Artists Donate to "Art for Africa Auction" at Sotheby's London

"Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" to Arrive in New York City in April 2010

Caravaggio Masterpiece to Make Rare Chicago Appearance at the Art Institute

The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces Noteworthy Additions to a Distinguished Collection

NGV Announces Ah Xian as Recipient of 2009 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award

Landmark Georgia O'Keeffe Exhibition Opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art

First Ever Tableau Vivant Created by Acclaimed Artist John Baldessari to be Shown at Sprüth Magers

artnet Auctions Launches Prints Masterworks Auction

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Portrait of Tommy Lasorda Installed at the National Portrait Gallery

Maura Reilly Named Senior Curator of the American Federation of Arts

Argos Centre for Art and Media and Siemens Arts Program Presents Actors & Extras

Life and Art of Ron Hurley Celebrated with New Publication and Exhibition

Factura 2009: The Third International Painting Festival of Villefranche de Lonchat Set to Open

Jonathan Darby's New Solo Show "Generation Y?" Opens at Signal Gallery

Baibakov Art Projects to be Lead Sponsor of Landmark Kandinsky Retrospective at the Guggenheim

Rare Presentation of More Than 500 Joseph Beuys Multiples On View at LACMA

Art Competition Finalists Explore Australia's Multicultural Identity

Sales of Chinese Art at Sotheby's Total: $15,532,479 Exceeding Expectations

September 16, 2009

Museo del Prado Closes Sorolla Exhibition After Breaking a Ten Year Old Attendance Record

Marlborough Gallery Features Thirty-Three Bronze Sculptures by Russian Born Artist, Grisha Bruskin

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Artists Create Works About Mary Magdalene Inspired by Met's New Opening Night Production

Portraits of Aspiring Olympian and Teenage Prisoner Make Shortlist for Photographic Prize

Works by Iron Sculptor Paul Wiedmer on View at Museum Tinguely

Forty-Five of the World's Most Prominent Dealers will be Present at Pavilion of Art & Design London

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Bob Dylan to Exhibit at the National Gallery of Denmark

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American/Swiss Collaborative Artist Couple Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler Exhibit at Aargauer Kunsthaus

Spencer Museum of Art Showing International Posters for Peace, Social Justice, and the Environment

The Museum of Modern Art Presents the World Premiere of Joan Braderman's The Heretics

Detroit Institute of Arts Big Art Sale October 1 and 2

Two Solo Exhibitions by Ashish Avikunthak and Sakti Burman

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September 15, 2009

Tiffany Exhibition Coming to VMFA in May Opens at Musée du Luxembourg in Paris

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First Monographic Exhibition of Works by Guercino Opens in Switzerland

Actor Robbie Coltrane Portrayed by Peter Howson in Painting to be Offered at Sotheby's in September

Latest Furniture Series by British Designer Max Lamb to be Shown at 20 Hoxton Square Projects

Significant Exhibition of Ansel Adams Comes to the Columbia Museum of Art

Norman White, Winner of the 3rd d.velop Digital Art Award, to Open Exhibition in Germany

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Philadelphia Museum Opens New Sculpture Garden to the Public

September 14, 2009

Exhibition of Works of Art by Joan Antoni Toledo, Founder of Equipo Cronica, Opens

International Group Exhibition Presents the Work of Six Prominent Rising Artists

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September 13, 2009

Palace of Versailles Opens its Doors to Xavier Veilhan's Contemporary Sculptures

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Edinburgh College of Art Takes Over the Streets As Term Starts Back

MoMA Presents a Conversation Between Jazz Impresario George T. Wein and Peter Reed

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1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

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