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Bonhams June Fine Asian Works of Art Sales in San Francisco bring over $5.5 million
A fine huanghuali and burlwood table. The single rectangular-sectioned floating panel of intricately figured burlwood surrounded by framing members with elegantly tapered ice-plate edges supported by a tall waist above simply rendered aprons with beaded edges buttressed by large 'giant's arm braces' atop gently inwardly curving hoof-form feet, the elements other than the burlwood floating top panel comprised of huanghuali wood of honey hue with a grain of attractive whorl. 22 1/2 x 32 x 43in (57 x 81 x 109cm). Sold for $458,500. Image: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams held a successful two-day auction of Asian Works of Art, June 19-20 in San Francisco, achieving over $ 5.5 million in sales. The auctions' over 700 lots of predominantly Chinese art attracted a strong international bidding audience and brought strong prices in all categories.

The first of the two sale days was devoted to Fine Asian Works of Art. This 400-lot session saw strong prices in Qing dynasty and Republic period jade carvings, with the cover lot, a fine pair of Republic period spinach jade landscape plaques (est. $10,000-15,000) selling for over 10 times its estimate at $116,500. An elegant 18th century carved nephrite censer brought $98,500, against an estimate of $12,000-15,000.

Furniture and works of art and paintings were the target of frenzied bidding on the telephone, the internet and overseas. A huanghuali and burlwood table, composed of 18th century elements, soared to $458,500, bought by a Mainland Chinese buyer (est. $40,000-60,000). A fine Canton enamel floriform covered box, Qianlong mark and period, from the George Taber collection of Pittsburgh, Penn., was the subject of heated bidding, achieving $206,500, 10 times its estimate of $20,000-30,000. Works by Zhao Shaoang, Pu Ru and Qi Baishi all commanded strong prices. A rare landscape by Chen Shaomei (1907-54) engendered fierce competition on all fronts, achieving $122,500 (pre-sale est. $4,000-6,000).

The second day of Asian Decorative Art followed the same pattern, with jade and furniture creating the most interest. A group of three jade carvings brought an amazing $86,500 (est. $1,200-1,800). A zitan veneered chair of the 19th century was the subject of heated bidding, selling over the phone for $43,750 against an estimate of $2,000-3,000. Snuff bottles and Chinese textiles, which brought consistently high prices in the previous day, continued to be the target of collectors, with a group of two jade snuff bottles from a West Coast collection achieving $40,000 (est. $700-900).

Dessa Goddard, Director of Asian Art, at Bonhams North America observed that "the market continues to be extremely competitive for great, fresh objects in all categories. Clearly reasonable estimates attract buyers to the sales room and engender excitement at auction, as buyers are being showered daily by auction catalogues from all parts of the world."

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