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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.