By Michele Leight
Christie's from Rockefeller
Plaza with the flags of many nations fluttering in a March wind
inspired thoughts of spring, which continued in the galleries
filled with exotic collectibles assembled for Asia Week, a riot
of flowers strewn across porcelain vases, leaves carved in translucent
jade, and cherry blossoms finely embroidered on beautiful silk
kimonos in timeless designs derived from nature.
uncertain economic times
the diversity of these beautiful Asian treasures were a reminder
that stock markets, GDP's and economies can rise and fall, but
art endures, inspires and rejuvenates, despite the sobering effect
of the past few months.
diversity of the offerings
was impressive, reflected in the fact that Christie's had five
catalogues for the week compared to two at Sotheby's.
Fida Husain (b. 1915),
for example is one of the most famous contemporary Indian painters
and he was represented by Lot 1001, "Culture of the Streets,"
a collection of 32 photographs numbered '3 and executed in 1981,
and by a large untitled oil on canvas, Lot 1043. Each photograph
in Lot 1001 measured 10 7/8 by 13 7/8 inches. Twelve of the photographs
were exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London in 1982. Detail from
Lot 1001,"Culture of the Streets" by M. F. Husain, illustrated
at the top of the story
originally aspired to
be a filmmaker not a painter, and "Culture of the Streets,"
comprises iconography that is deeply imbedded in and inseparable
from the visual, emotional and psychological landscape of India.
There is no escaping the deliciously tawdry billboard art that
advertises the latest movie or hottest movie stars in a land of
one billion avid movie buffs - many of whom hail from the masses
whose main escape is the local cinema hall where for a few hours
life's mundane realities can be put on a back burner.
with a 35 mm SLR camera,
Husain captured the glamour of the movie stars depicted here from
a series of billboards in Madras but which occur in any Indian
city, town or village - juxtaposing the hypnotizing fantasies,
fabrication and escape that cinema represents - with the reality
of poverty and urban decay. The result is a potent cocktail of
urban grit and the dream worlds created to appease and delight
struggling artist, Husain
painted billboards of Indian cinema, a tradition that persists
today for other artists as he has soared to unimaginable heights.
Layers of these billboards form an unforgettable backdrop in a
nation grappling with the inevitable dualities of tradition and
prosperous modern identity. Most often, a fruit or vegetable vendor,
or a day laborer sucking on a cheroot sits in front of these
has an estimate of
$12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $12,500 including the buyer's
premium as do all results mentioned in this article.
was consigned by the
Harry N. Abrams family and was exhibited at the Worcester Art
Museum in 1974. A detail of the work was the cover illustration
for the catalogue for the South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art
auction. It is a Picasso-esque composition, one of many paintings
in this sale with a New York theme or association:
catalogue entry for this
lot noted that Husain "traveled extensively in Europe after
1952 to experience Western art history firsthand through the works
of Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Constantin Brancusi
and Marcel Duchamp amongst others. Husain later became a recipient
of the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation grant in 1959 for a
stay in New York. In his autobiography, he states that he accepted
the honor in the hopes of understanding the assault of Jackson
Pollock and the Op-Art and Pop Art movements of the day on the
prevailing European consciousness, which he likened to the brash
new superpower of America exerting its force in the art historical
pantheon." It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000.
It failed to sell. Another Husain painting, "Gandhi,
Man of Peace," Lot 1066, has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It sold for $152,000.
Reddy (b. 1956) references
ancient Indian sculptural traditions with his "supersized"
heads such as Lot 1037, a 34 1/4 by 34 1/2 by 22 inch polyester,
resin and fiberglass work. The catalogue entry notes that "the
artist cleverly imbues his sculptures with a sense of serenity
and the brash faces remain docile and oddly domestic." It
has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It failed to sell.
by Francis Newton Sousa could be perceived as a metaphor for the
fiasco in the current financial and housing markets. Atypically
bright and colorful for Sousa, Lot 1301, "The Tree Arch on
the Road to Hawley Lake, Arizona," looks surprisingly like
the work of Van Gogh. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It sold for $47,500. In contrast somber,
Lot 1029 is a portrait of "Tom B. Scott Jr., Vice President
U.S. Savings & Loan League," painted in a style more
readily associated with Sousa and it has an estimate of $200,000
to $300,000. However, it alludes to subject matter (financial)
that might have something to do with why this wonderful painting
passed! In happier economic times it should do well.
portrait by Sousa,
Lot 1032, "Portrait of H.K. (Harold Kovner)," in also
executed in impressive Van Gogh style. An oil on canvas, it measures
24 1/8 by 20 inches and has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It sold for $56,250.
in the auction with several works is Rameshwar Broota (b. 1941).
His "Face," Lot 1010, is one of the strongest paintings
in this auction, a marvelous, primordial face whose mysterious
"head-and-body-stocking" texture is achieved through
a meticulous, subtractive process of scraping away thickly applied
layers of paint with a blade. An oil on canvas, it is 25 inches
square and was executed in 1993. The catalogue notes that this
work is one of the last from the artist's "Man" series,
"which plays tribute to an injured man, perhaps a warrior,
whose brooding stance and statuesque quality appears fossilized,
frozen in time and space." "The figure," the entry
continued, "exudes strength against the odds and looms from
its dark surroundings with a translucence of dignity. Rameshwar
Broota's reverse technique of 'extracting' forms and imagery from
the canvas began in the late 1970s." It has an
of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $80,500.
1071, a winsome, 50-by-70-inch
oil on canvas painted by Broota in 1980, the artist uses the Havaldar,
or police officer - always visible in India - in the guise of
an snoozing anthropomorphized gorilla to make satirical comments
about his social environment and systems. A "pillar of society"
is depicted in a compromising situation, but the artist deploys
humor as he exposes a serious subject - a law-enforcement officer
shirking his responsibility. Broota's witty "exposes"
recall George Bernard Shaw's famous comment, "if you want
to tell people the truth you had better make them laugh, or they
will want to kill you!" The lot has an estimate of $200,000
to $300,000. It sold for $158,500.
Broota work, "Transplantation,"
Lot 1009, is a 54 1/2-inch-square acrylic on canvas depicts
"surgeon" apes wielding unusual "tools." It
has an estimate of $140,000 to $180,000. It sold for $170,500.
plateau-ing in prices for
South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art after their meteoric rise
in the last few years is inevitable after the downturn on Wall
Street, but this in no way diminishes its continued importance
in the impressive pantheon of Asian art history that plays out
so dramatically in the auction galleries during Asia Week, whereby
walking from one gallery to another one traverses thousands of
years of art history. Contemporary Indian art continues to cause
great excitement globally, and thankfully the greatest artists
have never spent much time worrying about the price their work
is fetching. If they had there would be no Van Gogh - who never
sold a canvas during his lifetime - and no great art.
is Vasudeo Gaitonde's
beautifully spare "Untitled," which has an estimate
of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $482,500. Like
Broota's monochromatic canvases it contrasts with many of the
vivid paintings in the gallery. This masterpiece by Gaitonde has
a unique New York connection - a theme that runs through this
sale said Dr. Hugo Weihe: "Having already participated in
group exhibitions in New York at Graham Gallery (1959) and Gallery
63 (1963), in 1964 Gaitonde was awarded the J.D. Rockefeller III
Fund Fellowship to work in America. This work comprises monochromatic
tones which ebb and flow across its horizontal surface, reflecting
the artist's interest in American Abstract Expressionism at the
height of its development."
most of his superbly executed
paintings, Subodh Gupta's "Untitled," Lot 1021, represents
his instantly recognizable, iconic kitchen utensils dangling from
the roof of a store. The impressive, 66-by-90-inch oil on canvas,
created in 2004, carries a double meaning. The utilitarian homeliness
of these commonplace middle-class household objects is used as
a foil for the complex contradictions presented by globalization
and India's economic ascendance in contemporary India. The artist
was born in 1964, It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $176,500.
is a strong work by
Jayashree Chakravarty (b. 1956) that is highly textured like some
of Anselm Kiefer's work. An Acrylic and oil on canvas, it measures
29 by 45 7/8 inches. It has an estimate of $18,000 to $25,000.
It sold for $50,000.
above is trio of
paintings by female artists: Nalini Malini's Lot 1007, "Family
of Street Performers," sold for $5000, Anju Dodiya's Lot
1072, "Untitled," sold for $7,500 (estimate of $10,000-15,000)
and Chitra Ganesh's "Sugar and Milk" fetched $5,000
paintings in the sale
by Bengali artist Jamini Roy (1887-1972) did consistently well,
with none passing and each selling at or above their high estimate.
These include Lot 1038, which has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000
and sold for $7,500; Lot 1039, which has an estimate
$5,000 to $7,000 and sold for $8,125; Lot 1040,
an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000 and sold for $9,375,
three of folk art horses; and Lot 1041, which depicts three female
musicians in Roy's sophisticated "take" on traditional
Bengali folk art style and has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000
and sold for $13,125.
the auction, which totalled
$2,159,500, Hugo Weihe, International Director, International
Specialist, Head of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, said that
"This morning's sale of South Asian Modern +Contemporary
Art was led by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's superb Untitled, 1965, which
achieved $482,500. We were also pleased to see further strong
results for Maqbool Fida Husain's Ghandi- Man of Peace at $152,000
and Rameshwar Broota's Face at $80,500. Buyers continued to be
selective and to focus on quality with solid results for mid-level
price ranges. The sale was well attended with international bidders
in the room, on the phone and on Christie's LIVE™."
these auctions includes
works of art with high price tags, there are many affordable gems
woven into the mix, like "Culture of the Streets," by
Maqbool Fida Husain, one of India's most recognizable artists,
with a modest estimate of $12,000 to $18,000, which sold for $12,500,
and a pair of exquisitely carved "beads" from The Arthur
M. Sackler Collection, one illustrated at the top of the story
(Lot 313, estimate $6,000 to $8,000).
up the price scale is
Lot 1201, "A Gray Schist Figure of a Winged Atlas,"
from Gandhara, a unique and mysterious sculpture that is one of
the highlights of the Star Collection. It has an estimate of $120,000
to $180-000 and it sold for $170,500, and Lot 1287,
A Large and Important Bronze Group of Shiva and Uma as Somaskanda,"
an exquisite piece from Tamilnadu, with an estimate of
Lot 1287 failed to sell.
is a shimmering gilt
copper figure of Padmapani from Nepal. The 14th Century work is
10 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.
It sold for $182,500.
more earthy lot from
the same collection is Lot 128, an "important" buff
sandstone figure of Sachika (another form of the goddess Durga),
from India, Rajasthan. It is dated to 1179 and is a dramatic
depiction of a goddess with a foot on a buffalo's head while a
lion bites its hindquarters, her multiple arms encased in bracelets.
This marvelous sculpture stands 33 inches tall and has an estimate
of $200,000-300,000. It sold for $242,500. The
been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum, the Kimbell Art
Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert
is a striking bronze
head of Buddha in Ayutthayta style from Thailand. It is 13 inches
high and is dated to the 15th Century. It has an estimate of $50,000
to $70,000. It sold for $62,500.
1425 is a 36-inch-high
sandstone statue of Vishnu from Khmer, Angkor Period, Baphuon
style. The 11th Century work has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000.
It sold for $98,500
auction has numerous fine
the most lovely is Lot
1318, "Adoration of Sita and Rama, a 17 3/4 by 14 3/4 inch
panting that was executed in Kangra or Mandi circa 1840. It has
an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It failed to sell.
lusciousness of India is
captured in a gorgeous miniature painting of a princess with attendants
observing fireworks that rain down like a waterfall from sparklers.
Dressed in gold brocade, the princess is entertained by musicians
under a moonlit sky, and holds a flask of wine in her hand. Life
does not get much better than this, assuming her prince is about
to visit. Lot 1339, "Princess Observing Fireworks in the
Moonlight," measures 14 3/4 by 11 3/4 inches and has an estimate
of $70,000-90,000. It sold for $86,500.
1305, a rare silver model
of a chariot, is one of those "must have" collectibles,
an over-the-top open chariot in the best Indian tradition,
in a dizzying combination of goddesses, celestial figures and
winged mythical creatures. It is 18 inches high and has an estimate
of $40,000-60,000. It sold for $43,750. In the
is Lot 1280, "A Gray Stone Figure of a Female Attendant."
winsome vignette of Indian
and South East Asian Art treasures captures the diversity of the
Indian sub-continent, and includes Lot 1303, a stunning mask of
a mustachioed Shiva baring fangs from Karnataka, with an estimate
of $20,000 to $30,000. It is 15 3/4 inches high and sold for
$40,000; a delightful folk art bronze of a female deity from
Bengal seated side-saddle on a lion, Lot 1304, which has an estimate
of $18,000 to $25,000 and sold for $18,750, and Lot
"A Stone Brahmanda, 'Cosmic Egg,'" with an estimate
of $1,500-2,000 that sold for $2,750.
Director, International Specialist, Head of Indian and Southeast
Asian Art, said: "The sale of Indian and Southeast Asian
Art including Highlights from the Star Collection realized $3,042,750
and was led by an important Indian buff sandstone figure of Sachika,
which achieved $242,500. The top three lots of the sale were sculptures
from The Star Collection, carefully curated highlights that attracted
global clients and achieved a combined total of $595,500. We were
also pleased to see top prices for Himalayan bronzes and Gandharan
co-ordinator Sung Hee Park guided members of the press through
auction highlights from China, Korea, Japan and South East Asia,
and first up on the tour was Katsura Yamaguchi, International
Director Japanese and Korean Art, who focused on Lot 39, "Nine
Erotic Scenes from Secret Games in the Spring Palace" displayed
behind velvet curtains that tastefully concealed erotica from
the potential gaze of passing children. While these paintings
are certainly not imagery to view with grandma, they were as
painted as if the artist were depicting a vase of peonies or the
boudoir of geishas. Mr. Yamaguchi said that in the 18th century
when these erotic scenes were painted, girls were married off
as young as14 or 15. The paintings were often commissioned by
the girl's family and were sometimes never opened by the daughters.
He observed the fine attention to detail in works of art of this
quality were especially prized as a record of the clothes, props,
hairstyles and combs of the times. . The 9 paintings were by Katsukawa
Shunsho (d. 1792) and were on a handscroll that measures 18 13/16
by 27 9/16 inches. The lot has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000.
It failed to sell.
"Ebon Komachi-biki," or "Picture Book: Pulling
Komachi," a complete album of twelve illustrations, the last
of the artist's three erotic masterworks, with an estimate of
$200,000-250,000, sold for $242,500.
auction has numerous beautiful
scrolls of beautiful Japanese women. One of the most spectacular
is Lot 33, "Standing Beauty," a 27 1/2 by 16 7/8 inch
hanging scroll by Matsuno Chikanobu (fl. 1716-1735). It has an
estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. It sold for $50,000.
blue and white abstractions of her gown are magnificent.
is a fine hanging scrhool
of a "Beauty holding a fan and a cat" by Utagawa Hiroshige
(1797-1858). It measures 40 3/4 by 18 1/2 inches and has an estimate
of $150,00 to $200,000. It failed to sell.
helmet of Lot 94, "A
Nimai-Do Suit of Armor," from the 18th Century, illustrated
above, is finely carved with scrolling foliage. The armor has
an estimate of $20,000 to $25,000. It sold for $23,750.
an impressionistic painting by the Korean artist Kim Sou (Kim
Heungsou), (b. 1919), who went to Paris to study at Academic de
la Grande Chaumiere, and exhibited regularly at the Salon d'Automne.
He also taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, among
other American colleges. It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
It failed to sell.
in this auction is Lot 507, a rare glazed white ware lampstand
from the Sui/Tang dynasty, 6th/7th Century. It is 12 1/4 inches
high and has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. The column is
wrapped by the coiled bodies of two dragons. A similar lampstand
is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It
sold for $30,000.
remarkable work is
Lot 521, a bronze ritual food vessel, fangding, Early Western
Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century B.C,. 9 1/8 inches high. It has
an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. The catalogue notes that Ding
vessels with this decoration are very rare but a slightly larger
example is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It sold for
cover of the catalogue
for this auction is Lot 534, a "magnificent" large painted
and gilded wood figure of Vaishravana from the Yongle/Xuande Period
(1403-1435). The work is 22 1/2 inches high and has an estimate
of $300,000 to $400,000. It failed to sell.
art "with a past"
beyond the impressively historical always garner curiosity. "An
Important and Rare Large Wucai Fish Jar," Lot 719, with its
plump yellow carp floating amidst plants is just that kind of
piece, from the property of the Harvard Art Museum sold to benefit
the Asian Acquisitions Fund. It once belonged to the writer Henry
James (1843-1916) and would fit right into a gorgeously over-stuffed
room in any of his famous novels. Fish are symbols of abundance
and prosperity in Chinese art, and they are found on the earliest
works such as this one, which was also in the collection of Charles
Dana (1819-1897). It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.
It sold for $242,500.
modern collectors shy
away from "perfect" pieces and like works that show
some ravages that conjur the crises of Donatello. Such a work
is Lot 535, an unusual carved wood figure of a standing Luohan
from the Yuan/Ming dynasty, 12th-16th Century. It is 28 3/8 inches
high and has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold
is the perfect gift
to give Zhang Ziyi in honor of her spectacular beauty and talents.
It is a rare jade, jardstone, and kingfisher feather-embellished
cloud collar from the Late Qing Dynasty. It is 32 1/2 inches wide.
Eat your heart out, Tiffany's! It has a modest estimate of $10,000
to $15,000. It sold for $23,750.
cutest work in the auction
is Lot 440, a "well-carved" pale beige jade archaistic
'champion' vase from the 18th/19th Century. It is 5 7/8 inches
high and has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. The catalogue
entry notes that "The name 'champion' vase is a pun on the
world ying (falcon) and xiong (bear), the two creatures, or mythical
variations on the two, joining the adjacent vases and together
forming the world yingx-iong, 'champion' Alternatively, this type
of vessel is also known as a 'nuptual cup...as it is believed
that during the Ming dynasty, it was used as a ritual wine vessel
during the wedding ceremony. The double cylinders were filled
with wine to be drunk by the bride and groom as part of the marriage
rites." It sold for $50,000.
impossible to think of
Chinese art without fine blue and white porcelain, and a prime
example from the estate of Walter Hochstader is illustrated above
amidst alluring red lacquer, glossy wood furniture and ancient
sculpture. Lot 518, "An Important and Very Rare Blue and
White Basin," Yongle Period, circa 1403-1425 is a technical
marvel considering when it was created, as well as a beautiful
collectible, with an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It is 10
1/8 inches in diameter and a virtually identical one is in the
collection of the Shanghai Museum. "The well-painted fruit
that adorn the exterior sides of the current basin mark a new
style of decoration that became established in the Yongle reign.
Grapes and melons had been included in the landscape element designs
in the centre of large Yuan dynasty dishes....However, other fruit
were rarely used to decorate porcelains prioer to the Ming dynastry."
This basin sold for $2,322,500, the top lot of the Chinese
sales of Fine Chinese Ceramics
and Works of Art including Jades from the Fine Arts Museums of
San Francisco, achieved $18.3 million and was 91% sold by value,
77% sold by lot.
Director of Chinese Works of Art and Joe-Hynn Yang, Head of Department,
Chinese Works of Art, New York said after the auction that they
were "extremely pleased with the results of Fine Chinese
Ceramics and Works of Art including Jades from the Fine Arts Museums
of San Francisco, which totaled $18,323,463 and far exceeded pre-sale
estimates." "We were delighted," they continued,
"to see wide international participation, which was a testament
to the prestige of the collections offered, including those from
the Estate of Walter Hochstadter, a North American Chinese Family
Collection, the Harvard Art Museum, and other private collections.
Combined, the sales were 91% sold by value and reflected the continuing
popularity of exceptional Chinese works of art, with spectacular
results for an important and very rare blue and white basin, Yongle
Period, at $2,322,500; a very rare and important doucai petal-lobed
vase at $1,818,500; and a magnificent white jade carved brush
pot at $722,500. The three Chinese sales totaled $29,196,263,
and encouragingly demonstrated a continuous and strong market
demand for quality, rarity and excellent provenance."
Bass took several exquisite jade pieces from the Sackler Collection
out of their glass cases, including Lot 313, one of two beads
in the lot illustrated at the top of this article. The intricate
carving of this unique bead includes abstract dragons that are
recognizable despite their scale, is shown in the palm of Mr.
Bass's hand. Lot 313 has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It
sold for $40,000.
the excellence and
also from The Arthur M. Sackler Collection is Lot 357, "A
Very Rare and Important Painted White Marble Buddhist Votive Stele,"
Northern Qi Dynasty, a mystical and beautiful sculpture that was
highlighted as one of the stars of the sale by Joe Hynn-Yang,
Christie's Head of Department, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art.
Visitors and enthusiasts of the museum might recognize this sculpture
from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was on loan from
March 1965 to October 2008. It will be missed. It has an estimate
of $300,000 to $500,000. It sold for $1,725,900, the top lot
of this sale.
illustrated is a stunning
green jade dagger, Lot 233, "A Very Rare Turquoise-Inlaid
BronzeGe-Halberd Blade," Shang Dynasty, with an estimate
of $20,000-30,000/sold for $68,500. Lot 399, (not illustrated),
also from the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, "A Rare Yellow
and Pale Russet Jade Archaistic Hinged Twin Bi" (Quing Dynasty,
1644-1911) with a modest estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, fetched
a staggering $422,500, reflecting the popularity of jade and
high prices realized for the most desirable pieces.
Chinese galleries, Elizabeth
Hammer, Christie's specialist Chinese Paintings, spoke of the
unusually naturalistic brushwork in Bada Shanren's "Birds
and Ducks," a stunning set of four hanging scrolls in ink
on satin from The Arthur M. Sackler Collection, one of the most
memorable lots of Asia Week. These panels are so contemporary
it is hard to imagine they were created when they were (circa
1688-1692). The artist spent many years as a Zen monk in a monastery
which probably influenced the simplicity, directness and intuitive
naturalism of his brushwork, and the abstract placement of wildlife
that appear to hang in space. Mystery and lack of artifice pervade
these beautiful scrolls, which would not look out of place beside
a Clifford Still or Morris Louis. Lot 334 has an estimate of $300,000
to $500,000. It sold for $1,725,900, the second
price fetched for this sale. Lot 881, in the foreground, "A
Rare and Unusual Rootwood Table," has an estimate of $10,000
to $15,000. It sold for $20,000.
the most beautiful objects
in the Sackler auction is Lot 224, an "unusual" bronze
halberd or finial from the Zhou dynasty, circa 1100-256 B.C. It
is 15 inches high and has a very modest estimate of $4,000 to
$6,000. It sold for $32,500.
superb piece is Lot
213, a rare bronze two-sided chariot fitting from the Late Shang/Early
Western Zhou dynastry, circa 1100 B.C. It is 4 1/2 inches high
and has a modest estimate of $5.000 to $7,000. It sold for
Asia Week achieved
a total of $36 million over four days of sales from March 17-20,
2009. Theow H. Tow, Deputy Chairman of Christie's Americas and
Asia said: "We are pleased with the continued strength of
Christie's Asian Art Week which presented exceptional works of
art to an international audience. The market for Asian Art has
been deepening and expanding over the past several years and Christie's
is thrilled to be leading the way. Our dedicated and talented
specialists put together well-edited sales with important works
that achieved strong results. In particular, the sale of Fine
Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections was a triumphant
success. The results achieved honor Dr. Arthur M. Sackler's
and his visionary aesthetic. Spirited bidders in the room competed
against determined buyers on the telephone, and on Christie's
LIVE™. We were also pleased to see numerous works of art
at the mid-level range performed within or exceeded their estimates
across the board."
successful sale of Fine
Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections achieved $10.8
million and was 99% sold by lot, 99% sold by value. The top lot
of the sale was a very rare and important painted white marble
Buddhist votive stele, Northern Qi dynasty, realizing $1,728,900.
Tow, Deputy Chairman,
Christie's Americas and Asia said: "We are thrilled with
the outstanding sale of Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler
Collections. The results have proved beyond a doubt that rare
and exceptional works with excellent provenance continue to generate
huge interest and demand from collectors throughout the world.
Competitive and consistent bidding came from international buyers
in a packed room and on Christie's LIVE™. Clients responded
confidently to the museum-quality pieces of rare bronzes, jades,
and paintings with a rate of 99% sold by lot and value. The superb
white marble Buddhist votive stele became the centerpiece of the
sale at $1,728,900. Exceptional prices were further achieved for
the exquisite hanging scrolls of Birds and Ducks by Bada Shanren
at $1,202,500; a rare yellow and pale russet jade archaistic hinged
twin Bi at $422,500; and a bronze tripod ritual food vessel and
cover, Gui at $218,500. It is also gratifying that members of
the original Christie's team that worked on the Important Works
of Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in December 1994
were involved in this sale. We look forward to tomorrow's sale
of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art."