The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Steady business for art dealers at Asian Art in London
An imperial yellow silk cushion of ruyi-head shape embroidered with lotus and peony blossoms on a trellis and leaf-filled ground, China, Qianlong period (1736-95). Height: 33cm. Jacqueline Simcox Ltd.

LONDON.- The 20th Anniversary of Asian Art in London launched with 400 people at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (DCCH) “East Meets West” selling exhibition. The following evening at Sotheby’s Institute and titled, “Modern & Contemporary Asian Art: can London become a global hub”. Over 2,000 viewed online, while attendance of 150 at Sotheby’s Institute itself included author, presenter, financial expert & art collector Alvin Hall, who had flown in from New York to participate.

If AAL isn’t already a global hub for contemporary art, it’s certainly on its way with Kamal Bakhshi exhibiting at the DCCH, selling several Japanese contemporary works for over £10,000.

Taking place during the AAL late night opening weekend, the AAL Gallery Hops in Kensington Church Street, St James & Mayfair were oversubscribed, as was AAL’s Gala Party attended by over 450 guests in the newly opened Joseph E. Hotung Gallery at the British Museum, which brought the 11 days of AAL 20th Anniversary celebrations to a close.

In an increasingly discerning market, there was a world record at Bonhams, for four rare Ming, (16th/17thc) folding chairs at £5.29m, while an exceptional Japanese lacquer plaque from the Misumi Collection, sold pre-auction. Sotheby’s exquisite pair of Yongzheng period Famille Rose, ‘sanduo’cups, made for the Emperor, found a buyer at £1.92m. Christie’s also saw totals of a similar amount with “enthusiastic bidding confirming mounting global interest”, with a bronze ritual wine vessel (You) selling four times top estimate at £608,750.

Dealers taking part in both permanent and rental galleries had steady business. Many offered major works including Priestley & Ferraro, whose AAL 2017 Art Award winning Yongle (1403-1424) period, Imperial dragon & lotus bowl stand, carried a seven- figure price tag. It is the only dragon-decorated example, known to exist. Simon Pilling, specialist in Japanese art including contemporary works, sold half his exhibition within the opening days to new clients and Institutions. Indian & Islamic dealer Simon Ray sold 21 major works, with further sales pending. Raquelle Azran, dealer in Vietnamese contemporary fine art, sold a major work on opening night, with further sales to follow & couldn't move for visitors the final evening of her AAL exhibition. Chinese export porcelain specialists Cohen & Cohen, sold well into seven figures, including all their Beijing enamels and their finest Famille Rose vases. Prahlad Bubbar’s stylish Man Ray portrait of the Maharajah of Indore sold for five figures, as did Francesca Galloway’s miniature of a caparisoned Elephant, from the Louisa Parlby album, one of a group, which ranged in price from £10,000-50,000. Runjeet Singh’s star exhibit a 17th century pierced dagger-blade, also brought a 5-figure sum. Joost van den Bergh showing Indian Stone & Bronze Sculpture said it was “his most successful AAL to date”! Daniel Eskenazi said: “We were very pleased with the response to our exhibition showing Six Dynasties art from the Norman A. Kurland collection. We had extremely positive comments both from existing clients, as well as from first-time visitors.” Longtime AAL participant Ben Janssens said, "it really has become an unmissable event for everyone"!

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