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Sotheby's Asia Week Sales in New York Total $27,649,251
An Enamel On Copper European-Subject Snuff Bottle, Qianlong Mark And Period, Sold for $662,500 (est. $250/350,000). Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Asia week series of auctions at Sotheby’s New York concluded today with the South Asian Art sale which made $7,547,250 to bring the overall total for the week to $27,649,251 well within the $ 21.9/31.2 million estimate. The sales stated on Tuesday with the Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles which brought $4,931,626 and was 83% sold by lot. The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale the following day fetched $15,170,375 and South Asian Art today totaled $7,547,250 and was $72% sold by lot.

Indian and South Asian Art
Zara Porter Hill, International Head of Indian Art at Sotheby’s said: “The vibrancy of the Indian art market returned to Sotheby’s in this sale. Paintings from the 18th century to the latest contemporary art achieved exceptional prices with a number of artist records being set. The result far exceeded the low estimate and was a validation of our strategy. This focuses on carefully curated and strategically estimated high quality sales, and these have produced this year’s consistently strong sell through rates. Competitive international bidding resulted in more than half the sold lots achieving prices in excess of the high estimate. The highlight of the sale was undoubtedly the group of works by MF Husain which was led by Cinq Sens which sold for $782,500 exceeding the $500/700,000 estimate. The four records set today come on top of the three achieved earlier in the year to round off an exceptional year for the department.”

In addition to Cing Sens a number of other MF Husain paintings achieved strong prices including That Obscure Object of Desire, Diptych which fetched $482,500 (est. $400/600,000) and Untitled (Benares) which sold for $362,500 (est. $300/500,000). Further highlights included two contemporary paintings that sold for many times pre-sale expectations - Bhupen Khakhar’s Muslims Around a Mosque II, 2001 which fetched $650,500 to set a new record for the artist at auction (est. $150/250,000) and Munna Apa's Garden by Arpita Singh which sold for $506,500 – also a new artist record (est. $100/150,000). An additional highlight was the world record price for An Illustration from a Gita Govinda series: Radha proceeds to her Tryst with Krishna from 1780 which fetched $290,500 (est. $150/250,000).

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Dr. Caroline Schulten, Sotheby’s Head of Chinese Works of Art said: “This weeks sale saw enthusiastic bidding and strong prices across a range of different categories from porcelain and jades, to furniture and paintings. Collectors from around the world often raised the bidding to multiples of the high estimate in order to secure the very best works. We are delighted with the total of $15,170,375 which exceeded the high estimate. The highlight of the sale was a superb 'Ge' Octagonal Vase (Ba Fanghu) which soared above the high estimate to fetch $1,762,500 (est. $400/600,000). Among the paintings on offer, Yao Shoo’s 'Landscape With Boats' more than doubled the upper estimate to sell for $1,082,500 (est. $300/500,000) and An Important Imperial Painting From The Set Of Seventeen Paintings Commemorating The Victories Over The Muslim Rebellion sold for $992,500 (est. $120/150,000). Among many strong prices for jades in the sale was A Magnificent Jadeite Bird-Shaped Vessel and Cover, Late Qing Dynasty which sold for $632,500 – more than ten times the high estimate.”

The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles
Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, Asian Art said: ‘‘The success of the Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles is a testament to the discerning taste of Mr. Grimberg. Collectors from around the world responded well to this refined and focused collection made up of the finest examples of snuff bottles in a range of different materials, from enamels and glass to hardstones and jade. The sale brought a total of $4,931,626, comfortably within the estimate, and was 83% sold by lot and 90% by value. The highlight of the collection was An Enamel On Copper Snuff Bottle, Imperial, Palace Workshops, Beijing, Qianlong Mark And Period (1736-1795) which doubled the low estimate to sell for $662,500 (est. $250/350,000). The superb bottle would possibly have been owned by the Qianlong emperor who was known for his fascination with European Culture.’’

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