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Asia Week

Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

Christie's

2:30 P.M., March 25, 2010

Sale 2405 (Lots 1000-1083)

10 A.M., March 26, 2010

Sale 2297 (Lots 1084-1456)
Gold funerary mask

Lot 1292, funerary mask, gold, Liao Dynasty (907-1125), 8 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

This auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art March 25 and 26, 2010 at Christie's is highlighted by some excellent early bronzes, an impressive gold funerary mask, a fine pair of candle-holders and an exquisite pair of finials and many good works depicting Buddha.

Lot 1292 is a spectacular gold funerary mask from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125). It is 8 inches high and has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. There are four gold straps attached to the back edge above the forehead attached to a metallion to form a "net" that would have fit over the top of the head. It sold for $146,500 including the buyer's premium. The sale was quite successful with 87 percent of the 372 lots offered March 26, 2010 selling for a total of $22,605,250 and 96 percent of the 82 lots from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection selling March 25, 2010 for $4,005,250.

"Our tremendous achievement this week," Theow H. Tow, Deputy Chairman of Christie's Americas and Honorary Chairman of Christie's Asia, said, "is a clear testament to the immense strength of Asian Art, with success across all categories. Christie's sales totaled $60 million this week, the 2nd highest total for Asian Art Week at Christie's New York with a 73% market share and Chinese Works of Art totaled $40 million, the highest ever achieved at Christie's New York. We have continued to attract an international and diverse range of buyers who look for exceptional and rare works of good provenance that are attractively estimated. Our totals show that the demand continues to be strong among worldwide collectors and reinforcing market confidence as we go forward into the year."

Tang silver-gillt basin

Lot 1271, gilden silver basin, Tang Dynasty (618-907), 10 7/8 inches in diameter

Lot 1271 is an impressive gilded silver basin, 10 7/8 inches in diameter, from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The catalogue notes that "only one other silver-gilt basin and with this decoration of twin fish in the center, a symbol of marital harmony, appears to have been published. The lot has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 1288 is an "important and very rare" winged gold cup, Western Han Dynasty (3rd-2nd Century B.C., 4 3/4 inches long. It is from the collection of Robert H. ellsworth and had been in the collection of A. W. Bahr of Weybridge, England. It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000. It failed to sell.

Ritual bronze wine vessel

Lot 1004, ritual wine vessel, bronze, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th Century B.C., 5 1/4 inches high

Lot 1004 is a fine bronze ritual wine vessel from the Early Western Zhou Dynastry, 11th Century B.C. It is 5 1/4 inches high and was once in the collection of the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $43,750.

Mask-form bronze horse fitting

Lot 1010, mask-form horse fitting, bronze, Western Zhou Dynasty, circa 1100-771 B.C., 10 3/8 inches high

Lot 1010 is a stunning bronze mask-form horse fitting, bronze, Western Zhou Dynasty, circa 1100-771 B.C. It is 10 3/8 inches high and has a conservative estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It sold for $13,750.

Ritual bronze food vessel

Lot 1270, ritual food vessel, gui, Early Western Zhou Dynasty (Late 11th-Early 10th Century, B.C.), 10 inches long

Lot 1270 is a handsome bronze ritual food vessel from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty (Late 11th-Century-Early 10th Century, B.C.). It is 10 inches long. It has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $386,500.

White jade Buddha

Lot 1104, figure of Buddha, white jade, 18th to 19th Century, 9 1/4 inches high

Lot 1104 is a white jade figure of Buddha from the 18th to the 19th Century. It is 9 1/4 inches high. It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It sold for $2,322,500!

kneeling limestone bodhisattva

Lot 1063, figure of a kneeling bodhisattva, limestone, 10th/12th Century, 42 inches high

Lot 1063 is a large and very handsome limestone figure of a kneeling bodhisattva from the 10th/12th Century. It is 42 inches high and was once in the Avery Brundage Collection. and was on loan to the Princeton University Art Museum fro 1969 to 2008. The catalogue notes that "The image of Amitabha, the Buddha of the Western Paradise, in the crown of this magnificent figure identifies him as an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the most venerated and benevolent of all bodhisattvas." The mate to this figure is still in the Avery Brundage Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. It has a modest estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $914,500.

Seated wooden Buddha

Lot 1240, seated Buddha, wood, Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty (13th-16th Century), 43 inches high

Lot 1240 is an impressive seated, wooden Buddha from the Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty (13th-16th Century). It is 43 inches high and has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $18,750.

Guanyin

Lot 1305, Guanyin, gilt bronze, Late Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty (14th Century), 31 inches high

Lot 1305 is a fine gilt bronze of Guanyin from the Late Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty (14th Century). It is 31 inches high and has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It failed to sell.

 

Guanyin

Lot 1302, Guanyin, gilt bronze, Ming Dynasty (16th-17th Century), 32 7/8 inches high

Lot 1302 is a gilt bronze figure of Guanyin from the Ming Dynasty. It is 32 7/8 inches high. It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $56,250.

Candle-holders

Lot 1179, pair of hardstone and glass-inlaid gilt-bronze phoenix-form candle holders, Qianlong Period (1736-1795), 7 3/4 inches high

Lot 1179 is an impressive pair of hardstone and glass-inlaid gilt-bronze phoenix-form candle holders, Qianlong Period (1736-1795). The candle-holders are 7 3/4 inches high and the lot has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $314,500.

Cloisonne tripod censor

Lot 1183, tripod censor, cloisonne, Qianlong Period (1736-1795), 21 1/2 inches high

Lot 1183 is a fine cloisonne tripod censor from the Qianlong Period (1736-1795) that has a four-character mark within a double circle. It is 21 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $182,500.

kingfisher feather embellished finials

Lot 1242, pair of kingfisher feather-embellished gilt-metal finials, late Qing Dynasty, 20 3/8 inches high

Lot 1242 is a pair of kingfisher feather-embellished gilt-metal finials, late Qing Dynasty. One of the most flamboyant lots in the auction, the finials are 20 3/8 inches high. The estimate is $4,000 to $6,000. The lot failed to sell.

Six poster canopy bed

Lot 1226, Huanghuali six-poster canopy bed, Jiazichuang, 18th Century, 88 7/8 inches high

Lot 1226 is a Huanghuali six-poster canopy bed, Jiazichuang, 18th Century. It is 88 7/8 inches high. The catalogue notes that a similar bed is in the collection of the Palace Museum but that the carving on this bed is more elaborate. It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold for $362,500.

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