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Property from American museums highlight Asian decorative arts auction at Bonhams
A pair of hexagonal porcelain garden seats with underglaze blue and celadon glaze decoration. Republic period. Each with reeded walls molded as bamboo stalks covered in a celadon glaze surrounding reserve panels of flowers and birds, bats and reticulated cash roundels painted in underglaze blue under a colorless glaze, the bats and cash design repeating on the top. 18 1/2in (47cm) high. Sold for $18,750; Pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000. Photo: Courtesy Bonhams.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams announces it held a highly successful auction of Asian Decorative Arts, November 15 in San Francisco, with more than 500 lots of Chinese art on offer, and with sales totaling more than $1.1 million.

Leading the auction were two lots sold to benefit the Connor Prairie Museum of Fishers, Indiana: a pair of Chinese hexagonal porcelain garden seats from the Republic period (1911-1949) that sold for $18,750, far exceeding a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-3,000, and an 18th/19th century huanghuali brush pot with hardstone inlay which brought $17,500.

Another highlight of the sale, sold to benefit the Harvard Art Museums, was a collection of five calligraphies by various artists from the Qing dynasty that brought $13,750 (pre-sale est. $1,200-1,500).

Of the auction, Dessa Goddard, the Vice President and Director of Asian Art at Bonhams in San Francisco, commented, “Once again, these results show that fresh, private property offered with reasonable estimates inspires strong bidding from all sectors of the international market.”

Buoyant prices were also achieved for Chinese furniture, snuff bottles, textiles, bronzes, ceramics and paintings. A Cizhou glazed stoneware pillow with incised slip decoration, of the Northern Song dynasty, sold for $25,000 (pre-sale est. $3,000-5,000); a Republic period carved marble top altar table achieved $20,000 (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000); and a late 20th century huanghuali altar table brought $17,500 (pre-sale est. $5,000-7,000).

Bonhams has become the premier destination for collections of snuff bottles - with the world-record setting sales of the George and Mary Bloch Collection held in its Hong Kong sales rooms. Solid prices were achieved for the San Francisco sale snuff bottles, notably among the jade bottles offered, with most lots exceeding their pre-sale estimates. One such lot was a white jade snuff bottle, which achieved $5,625 (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000).

Sales of paintings and woodcuts by Chiura Obata (1885-1975), a Japanese-born artist residing in California, have also become a recurring success at Bonhams. Obata’s Setting sun in the Sacramento Valley, dated 1930, brought $7,500 in a solid sale of Japanese prints and paintings offered (pre-sale est. $3,000-5,000).





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