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Sotheby's Chinese Art Sales in New York total $43.7 million, exceeding high estimate
The Tian Mian Fu Yi Jiao, An Important and Very Rare Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel. Late Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century BC. Height 9 3/8 in., 23.8 cm. Est. $400/600,000. Sold for $2,405,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- This week at Sotheby’s, the auctions of Chinese Art brought a combined total of $43,687,377 million – comfortably exceeding the high estimate for the three sales of $31.3 million. The top lot of the week at Sotheby’s was A Rare Molded Blue And White Barbed Rim Dish, Yuan Dynasty, 14th Century, which sold for $4,197,000, dwarfing the $200/300,000 estimate after it was sought by eight bidders in the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction which took place on 18th and 19th March. The Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy sale on 20th March was led by the Wang Shouren album, Parting At The Ye River which sold for $2,045,000, many multiples of the $60/80,000 estimate.

Dr. Tao Wang, Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby’s New York said: “This was an extraordinary week in New York. Time and time again, we saw multiple bidders – sometimes as many as ten on a single lot - drive prices for the very best Chinese Works of Art far over the estimates. Collectors both in China and elsewhere continue to seek pieces that have been hidden in private collections, such as the Barbed Rim Dish which has never appeared on the market and went on to sell for $4.2 million. The other story this week was the ever-growing appeal of Archaic Bronzes such as those in our special auction, and the distinguished Tian Mian Fu Yi Jiao which fetched $2.4 million.”

Rongde Zhang, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Classical Paintings Department in New York, said: “Throughout our sale we saw collectors go to great lengths to pursue the rarest pieces, often sending prices far in excess of the high estimate. There was tremendous pre-sale interest in the album of poetry by Wang Shouren but the $2 million price was still a wonderful surprise.”

Sotheby’s Asia Week started with the special sale of Archaic Bronzes and the Wu Dacheng Jijin. All but one lot sold, bringing a total of $3,491,250, comfortably exceeding the high estimate. The auction was led by The Ji Zu Yi Zun: A Superb And Important Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel, Late Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century BC, which sold for $1,265,000, against an estimate of $300/400,000, while The Wu Dacheng Jijintu Scroll, Qing Dynasty, Late 19th Century, fetched $605,000, several times the pre-sale expectations of $100/150,000.

The Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art sale saw particularly enthusiastic bidding for ceramics, bronzes, and furniture driving the total to $21,311,252 (est. $11/16 million). The $4.2 million Barbed Rim Dish, the outstanding highlight of the week at Sotheby’s, was one of a number of ceramics that exceeded the high estimates, with A Rare Wucai 'Fish' Jar, Jiajing Mark And Period, fetching $845,000 (est. $200/300,000), and A Fine And Rare Celadon-Glazed Cylindrical Vase, Yongzheng Mark And Period, selling for $665,000 (est. $150/250,000). Other highlights included A Pair Of Zitan Demilune Tables (Yueyazhuo), Qing Dynasty, 18th/19th Century which achieved a price of $725,000 (est. $200/300,000), as well as a series of bronzes such as An Important And Very Rare Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel, Late Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century BC which fetched $2,405,000 (est. $400/600,000).

The Classical Chinese Paintings sale brought the outstanding total of $18,884,875 (est. $10/14 million) with 83% of lots sold. In addition to the Wang Shouren, there were strong prices throughout the diverse sale with Hongren’s Views Of Mount Huang fetching $665,000 three times the estimate; Poems In Cursive Script by Zhan Jingfeng selling for $617,000, against an estimate of just $20/25,000; and Su Shi Returning Drunk by Chen Zihe fetching $605,000 (est. $50/70,000). Top calligraphy pieces included Wang Da’s Calligraphy In Regular Script which fetched $509,000, dwarfing the $8/12,000 estimate, and Copy Of Mi Fu's Colophon To Ouyang Xun's Calligraphy by Wang Duo which also exceeded the estimate to sell for $509,000.

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