Results of I.M. Chait’s November 15th Asian & International Fine Arts Auction, which featured strong collections of Han and Tang Dynasty pottery figures, Chinese porcelains and Chinese ivory carvings, reflected the current state of the market. There was steady bidding on most lots and several surprises. Prices quoted below include the buyer’s premium.
Two lots of Tang Dynasty pottery figures with much remaining pigments, commanded the day’s high honors. Lot 246, a monumental and rather amusing model of a pair of Bactrian camels bearing mustached foreigners in pointed caps, commanded $21,350. Moments later, Lot 248, a set of four Tang Dynasty Court Lady Equestrians atop their mounts, each actively engaged in a game of polo, reached the same high.
An unusual rendition of two Tang horses (Lot 247), their legs spread and heads down as if at a water hole, then came in at $15,250.
A partial Sancai glazed pottery equestrian lady (Lot 249) anchored the category. While the beauty was depicted in a green robe and hat that made the most of the sancai glaze, her noble steed, standing four-square, was monochrome glazed. The figural group brought $6,100.
The surprise of the day was a 36-inch tall, carved Chinese ivory Immortal (Lot 214), shown as a bearded scholar holding a tablet. With two tied scrolls hanging from his highly articulated belt, an elaborate headdress and robes decorated with beaded garlands, the figure personified both grandeur and grace. Given the catalog estimate of $8,000 to $10,000, the Immortal looked like it might be the day’s bargain. Instead, it inspired a war that drove the final price up to $19,520.
A monumental and finely carved ivory figure of Guanyin, (Lot 216), carried similar cachet and appeal. Soaring 40-inches above its stand the elegant figure dressed in ornate crown and flowing robes holds a staff pending a basket of roses overhead and a large flowering branch in her hand. Estimated at $6,000 to $8,000, the ivory Guanyin carving commanded $12,200.
Leading the ever-popular jade carvings category was Lot 229, a white jade covered vase. The bulbous form with phoenix and loose ring handles featured an archaistic design and was finely hollowed. It commanded $10,980.
Among the Chinese Porcelains, the top performing item was a pair of finely enameled 18th Century famille rose porcelain bowls (Lot 210). The wide footed bowls featured a design of peaches, pomegranates and lychees and bore the Qianlong mark. The pair fetched $10,675.
Not very far behind, a pair of 18th Century, Qianlong Period, Doucai enameled porcelain plates drew $8,235. The plates featured coral-like elements connected by green scrolling. They were bordered with stylized characters and hallmarked “Cai hua tang zhi,” which means “Made at the Studio of Cheerful Paintings.”
For a complete listing of prices realized at I.M. Chait’s November 15 Asian and International Fine Arts Auction, please visit www.chait.com.
You may also contact the gallery at (800) 775-5020.
I.M. Chait’s next regularly scheduled Asian and International Fine Arts Auction is January 24, 2010.