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Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

Sotheby's New York

10 A.M., March 20, 2012

Sale 8834

Chinese bronze pot

Lot 17, An archaic bronze ritual food vessel, Early Western Zhou, 11th/10th Century B.C. 5 1/2 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

This March 20, 2012 auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Work of Art at Sotheby's New York has a good selection of early Chinese bronzes, Huanghuali furniture, rhineceros horn cups, and ceramics.

Lot 17 is a very fine Archaic bronze ritual food vessel from the Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th/10th Century B.C.  It is 5 1/2 inches high and was once with J. J. Lally & Co., in New York.  It has an estimate of $120,000 to $150,000. It sold for $314,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The sale total was $20,709,776 with about 70 percent of about 320 offered lots selling.

Henry Howard-Sneyd, vice chairman, Asian Art, and one of the auctioneers for the sale, said afterwards that "today's outstanding total of $20.7 million showed that collectors are prepared to fight for objects with rarity and good provenance when offered at conservative estimates."  The pre-sale high estimate for the auction was $16.8 million.  

Blue bronze pot


Lot 1, Archaic bronze ritual food vessel (gui), Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 10th Century B.C., 5 5/8 inches high

Lot 1 is an Archaic bronze ritual food vessel (gui) from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 10th Century B.C.  It is 5 5/8 inches high and has a blue patina.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $80,500.

Bronze container

Lot 77, Impressive Archaistic Gold-inlaid bronze vessel, (Hu), Qing Dynasty, 18th Century, 24 inches high


Lot 77 is a large and impresive Archaistic gold-inlaid bronze vessel (hu) from the Qing Dynasty, 18th Century.  It is 24 inches high and has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. It sold for $37,500.

Small bronze container

Lot 13, Rare archaic bronze double owl ritual food vessel (you), Shang Dynasty, 12th Century B.C., 5 5/8 inches high


Lot 13 is an extremely nice rare Archaic bronze double owl ritual food vessel (you) from the Shang Dynasty, 12th Century B.C.  It is 5 5/8 inches high.  It was once with J. J. Lally & Co., in New York.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It sold for $1,258,500.


Huge vat

Lot 74, massive Bronze ding, Qianlong mark and period, 38 3/4 inches high

Lot 74 is a "massive" bronze ding with a Qianlong mark and period.  It is 38 34 inches high.  It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000.  It failed to sell.


Embossed pot

Lot 73, an Unusual parcel-gilt cast-bronze "Shou" jar, Late Ming Dynasty, 17th Century, 7 inches high

Lot 73 is a very impressive and unusual parcel-gilt cast-bronze "Shou" jar from the Late Ming Dynasty, 17th Century.  It is 7 inches high and decorated in relief and gilt with 128 different shou characters.  It has a carved carnlian agate top. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $74,500.

Imperially inscribed spinachjade brushpot

Lot 208, Imperially inscribed finely carved spinach jade brushpot, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, dated to the Yimao Year, corresponding to 1795, 6 inches high

Lot 208 is an impressive Imperially inscribed and finely carved spinach jade brushpot from the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, dated to the Yimao Year, corresponding to 1795.  It is 6 six inches high.  The rim of the brushpot is inscribed with a poem composed by the Qianlong emperor and exemplifies the zenith of pictorial carving achieved by craftsmen during his reign, according to the catalogue.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $1,426,500.


Octagonal lobed vase

Lot 242, Rare Guan-type octagonal lobed vase, Jiaqing seal mark and period, 8 1/4 inches high

Lot 242 is an exquisite and rare Guan-type, octagonal lobed vase with a Jiaqing seal mark and period.  It is 8 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $250,000 to $300,000.  It failed to sell.


Celadon jade tripod censor

Lot 261, Archaistic celadon jade tripod censer and cover, Late Qing Dynasty, 6 5/8 inches width

Lot 261 is an Archaistic celadon jade tripod censer and cover from the Late Qing Dynasty.  It is 6 5/8 inches wide and has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.   It is of compressed globular form with two upright, pierced and everted flange handles, that are quite extraordinary, all raised on three lion-mask carbiole legs.  It has a dragon form knop. It sold for $10,000.


Enameled dish

Lot 87,  a cloisonee enamel footed bowl from the drip section of a candelstick, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century and later, 5 1/8 inches high

Lot 87 is a handsome cloisonee enamel footed bowl from the drip section of a candelstick, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century and later.  It is 5 1/8 inches high.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.

Octagonal jade dish

Lot 207, celadon jade cup, Ming Dynasty, 5 7/8 inches long

Lot 207 is a celadon jade cup from the Ming Dynasty.  It is 5 7/8 inches long.  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $110,500.


Celadon jade archaistic rhyton

Lot 203, pale celadon jade archaistic rhyton, Qing Dynasty, 4 3/8 inches high

Lot 203 is a very fine pale celadon jade archaistic rhyton from the Qing Dynasty.  It is 4 3/8 inches high.  It has an estimate of $7,000 to $9,000.  It sold for $28,125.

Celadon washer

Lot 204, celadon jade "Eight Immortals" washer, Ming Dynasty, 17th Century, 6 1/4 inches long

Log 204 is an unusual celadon jade "Eight Immortals" washer from the Ming Dynasty, 17th Century.  It is 6 1/4 inches long. It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It failed to sell.


Two ceramic cups

Lots 93 and 94, famille rose heaven and earth revolving brushpots, Qianlong Seal Mark and Period, 4 3/4 inches high

Lots 93 and 94 are extremely rare famille rose heaven and earth revolving brushpots and were the cover illustration of the catalogue.  They are 4 3/4 inches high. The catalogue notes that "only one other pair and two single examples of revolving brushpots from the Qianlong period are known to exist," adding that "The creation of revolving and interlocking porcelains represented an astonishing triumph of ingenious design and almost miraculous craftsmanship. Lot 93 has an estimate of $120,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $1,986,600.  Lot 94 has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $1,538,500.

"Bidding was ferocious on both piece, with collectors making extraordinary leaps," according to Sotheby's press release after the sale.  "At one stage," it continued, "the auctioneer asked for a bid from the room and was offered $100,000, immediately to be trumped by a Sotheby's specialist bidding for a client by phone yelled out $1 million."


Gray rock

Lot 174, Ying Gong Xian Stuyle scholar's rock, Qing Dynasty, 16 inches long

Lot 174 is a Ying Gong Xian style scholar's rock from the Qing Dynasty.  It is 16 inches long.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.  It sold for $37,500.

Terra cotta man

Lot 21, Gray Pottery Figure of an Attendant, Han Dynasty, 17 3/4 inches

Lot 21 is a very nice painted gray pottery figure of an attendant from the Han Dynasty.  It is 17 3/4 inches high and has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  It failed to sell.


Rhinocerous horn cups

Lots 193, top right, 194, bottom left, 195, top left, 196, bottom right, and 197, center, a group of five rhinoceros horn cups from the collection of Douglas Huber who took them to a Antiques Roadshow shooting in Tulsa and got an estimate of $1 million

The auction included five rhinoceros horn cups from the collection of Douglas Huber who had taken them to an Antiques Roadshow shooting in Tulsa where the group was estimated at $1 million.  Lot 192 sold for $242,500.  Lot 193 failed to sell,  Lot 194 sold for $146,500.  Lot 195 failed to sell.  Lot 196 failed to sell.  Lot 197 sold for $182,500.  Another cup, not from the collection of Mr. Huber, Lot 199, sold for $512,500.

Abstract chair

Lot 138, hardwood armchair with "dreamstone" marble panel, late Qing Dynasty, 42 inches high

Lot 138 is a handsome hardwood armchair from the late Qing Dynasty with a "dreamstone" marble back panel.  It is 42 inches high  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $43,750.

Hooli table

Lot 155, a Huanghuali square table with lotus-leaf waist (Fangzhuo),  Late Ming Dynasty, 38 1/4 inches high

Huanghuali style furniture is all the rage and Lot 155 is a square table with lotus-leaf waist (Fangzhuo) from the Late Ming Dynasty.  It is 38 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $362,500.

Black screen

Lot 161, eight-panel gilt lacquer screen, Qing Dynasty, 19th Century, each panel, 84 1/2 inches high

Lot 161 is a very handsome gilt-lacquer screen from the Qing Dynasty, 19th Century.  Each panel is 84 1/2 inches high.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $30,000.

Bat vase

Lot 99, a Doucai vase and cover, being examined during exhibition, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, 17 3/4 inches high

Lot 99 is a lovely Doucai vase and cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period.  It is 17 3/4 inches high and the decoration of the vase includes bats.  The cover is in the form of an elephant.  It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It failed to sell.

Ivory fan

Lot 168, "Investiture of the Gods" ivory fan, Qing Dynasty, 19th Century, 12 1/8 inches wide

Lot 168 is an elaborately carved "Investiture of the Gods' ivory fan from the Qing Dynasty, 19th Century.  It is 12 1/8 inches wide and was once in the collection of Mme. Chiang Kai Shek.  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.  It sold for $38,375.

 



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