NEW YORK, NY.-
The week of Asian Art sales at Sothebys
New York concluded today bringing a total of $74,077,814, more than doubling the combined low estimate (est. $30/43 million).* There were excellent results in all sales with strong prices for two thousand years of Asian Art spanning from Archaic Chinese Bronzes to Modern Indian Paintings. The highest price of the weeks sales in New York was realized when The Gong Fu Tie Calligraphy by Su Shi, one of the towering figures of early Chinese history, sold for $8,229,000.
Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sothebys Vice Chairman, Asian Art and the lead auctioneer, commented: These sales once again demonstrate New Yorks position as a global center for auctions of Asian Art, with worldwide bidding principally by collectors from the US, Europe, and across Asia driving prices for the very best pieces over their high estimates. Sothebys was the first auction house to hold dedicated sales of Classical Chinese Paintings in New York and this weeks auction led by The Gong Fu Tie Calligraphy demonstrated the continued strength of this market. Elsewhere, collectors keenly competed for masterpieces with the Eberhardt Collection of Chinese Bronzes, the Pair of Tang Dynasty Horses, and Bhupen Khakhars American Survey Officer all significantly exceeding their high estimates.
Magnificent Ritual Bronzes Property from the Collection of Julius Eberhardt
Total: $16,786,000, est. $3.6/5.3 million, 100% Sold
Top Lot: A Ritual Bronze Food Vessel, Zuo Bao Yi Gui, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century BC, $6,661,000, est. $2/3 million
Dr. Tao Wang, Head of Chinese Works of Art at Sothebys New York, said: We are thrilled with the tremendous success of the $16.8 million White Glove Eberhardt auction. Collectors from around the world were drawn to this collection of just ten masterpieces which all sold to total nearly $17 million. Together, they represent the most important group of Chinese archaic bronzes to have appeared at auction since the AlbrightKnox sale at Sothebys in 2007 and have taken their place as one of the great auctions in the field.
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Total: $22,711,064, est. $14.3/19.5 million, 78% sold
Top Lot: A Pair of Magnificent Sancai-Glazed Pottery Horses, Tang Dynasty, $4,197,000, est. in excess of $2.5 million
Dr. Tao Wang, Head of Chinese Works of Art at Sothebys New York, said: We were thrilled to see heated competition from multiple collectors for the pair of Tang Dynasty Horses; the final price of $4.2 million demonstrates that the market once again recognized the importance of the best Tang Sancai. Elsewhere in the sale, we saw strong prices for ceramics, bronzes, and jades with international collectors competing at the highest level to drive the total to nearly $23 million. In addition to the private collectors, I was delighted that the Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired the Wood And Gesso Figure Of Maudgalyayana to add to their wonderful collection of Chinese Art.
Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art
Top Lot: American Survey Officer by Bhupen Khakhars, $401,000, est. $180/220,000
Priyanka Mathew, Head of Sothebys sales of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art in New York, commented: We saw strong prices for high caliber works by senior modern artists including Bhupen Khakhar, Maqbool Fida Husain and Francis Newton Souza, reinforcing the quest for quality in the field. Six bidders fought for the cover lot, Bhupen Khakhars American Survey Officer, which after a prolonged battle, sold for $401,000, almost double the pre-sale high estimate.
Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
Total: $31,319,375, est. $9.4/13.7 million, 84% sold
Top Lot: The Gong Fu Tie Calligraphy, $8,229,000, est. in the region of $1 million Rongde Zhang, Head of Sothebys Chinese Classical Paintings Department in New York, said: I am delighted to begin my time at Sothebys with this $31.4 million auction. The sale of The Gong Fu Tie Calligraphy for $8.2 million will be remembered as a landmark in this auction category. Six collectors from the US and different parts of Asia competed for the piece demonstrating the amazing power of Su Shi nearly 1,000 years after his life. The extraordinary eight hour sale was marked by strong prices for artists across this diverse and wonderful field with Bada Shanren, Zhang Daqian, and many others achieving multiples of the estimates. Calligraphy was also increasingly in demand with collectors driving prices for 15th century poems and letters by the likes of Zhang Jun, Zhu Yunming, and Wu Kuan far beyond the top estimates.