Asia Week New York. $56.1 Million at Sotheby’s Auctions. Asia Week New York is now firmly established as a major event in the global art world calendar.
Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, Asian Art and the lead auctioneer, commented: “Asia Week New York is now firmly established as a major event in the global art world calendar. Following Sotheby’s best ever year for Asian Art auctions in New York in 2013, our week of sales totaled $56,145,252 a solid increase on last March. There was consistent bidding throughout the five sales with a strong sell through rate and an overall sold-by-value rate of 80% driven by collectors from throughout Asia, the US, and Europe doggedly pursuing the rarest objects often to prices several times the high estimates. In addition to the auctions we once again staged the Shuimo / Water Ink selling exhibition which doubled in size from last year and was again enthusiastically received.”
Archaic Bronzes and the Wu Dacheng Jijin. 18 March. $3,491,250 (est. $850,000/1.2 million).
92% Sold By Lot.
Top Lot: 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 (est. $300/400,000)
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 18 and 19 March. $21,311,252 (est. $11/16 million).
67% Sold by Lot.
Top Lot: A Rare Molded Blue And White Barbed Rim Dish, Yuan Dynasty, 14th Century, which sold for $4,197,000.
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.”
Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art. 19 March. $6,663,874.
72% Sold by Lot.
Top Lot: Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, Painting No. 3, 1962, which sold for $2,517,000 (£1,516,356) (est. $2/3 million).
Yamini Mehta, International Department Head, Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art, notes, “Our sale this week had all the hallmarks of a strong result – quality works that were fresh to market with attractive prices. Bidders from around the world responded in kind, with over 90% of our lots sold by value. Over 97% of lots sold achieved prices at or above their pre-sale estimate.”
Priyanka Mathew, Vice President, Head of Sales, Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art, said, “It was an honor to accept the winning bid for our museum-quality Gaitonde which sold for over $2.5 million, a further privilege to be the first South Asian auctioneer to take a bid over $1 million for an Indian work of art. While our sale was uniformly strong throughout, we saw particularly active bidding and engagement for the portraiture section, alongside works by South Indian masters and particularly impressive results for our Contemporary offering.”
Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art. 19 March. $5,794,000.
83% Sold by Lot.
Top Lot: A Very Fine Gilt Copper Alloy Figure Depicting Tara, which sold for $1,025,000 (est. $300/500,000).
Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar, Head of Department, Indian & Southeast Asian Art, noted, “We were delighted with the robust total for yesterday’s sale. We saw phone, online and room bidding from a truly international client base, particularly from Asia, and the packed salesroom demonstrated the hunger from collectors for works that are fresh to the market with excellent provenance. Works from the historic Tamashige Tibet Collection far exceeded our expectations, totaling over $3 million, and doubling the high estimate.”
Fine Classical Chinese Paintings And Calligraphy: 20 March. $18,884,875 (est. $10/14 million).
83% Sold by Lot.
Top Lot: Wang Shouren, Poem “Parting At The Ye River” In Cursive Script, which sold for $2,045,000 (est. $60/80,000).
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.”