BOSTON, Mass. – With increased traffic, exceptional sales and bidders eager to buy, online sales at Artfact were stronger than ever in March. Asian art and antiques dominated with successful auctions from Doyle New York, I.M. Chait and Freeman’s accounting for almost $1 million dollars in online sales.
Books were another popular category, with more than 700 online bidders registered for Charlton Hall’s Finefrock Collection of Rare Books & Silver and a 62 percnet online sell-through rate during National Book Auctions March 20 sale.
Records were also broken at Vectis Auctions Ltd., which set yet another world record price for plastic figures on March 30th, and Swann Auction Galleries, which posted their best online results since joining Artfact Live! in 2009.
Chinese Kangxi Porcelain Beaker Vase
Price Realized: $23,000
Antique Helper, “March Art & Antiques Featuring Asian Antiques” – March 19, 2011
Collected by royalty, robber barons and artists like James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), Kangxi porcelain is prized for its expressive, detailed scenes which can be at times humorous, bold and insightful. The Kangxi porcelain beaker sold by Antique Helper on March 19th includes a Manchurian hunting scene on the flared neck and base with a flowering branch motif in the middle. Though it was estimated to bring just $3,000 to $5,000, bidding quickly soared as several online bidders competed fiercely for the 17th century vase. Three minutes and sixty-five bids later, the vase sold online for $23,000.
Pair of Chinese Huanghuali Tapering Cabinets
Price Realized: $68,650
Freeman’s, “Asian Arts” March 19, 2011
A member of the rosewood family, huanghuali – literally “yellow flowering pear wood” – can range from reddish-brown to golden-yellow with the finest examples displaying a translucent, shimmering surface with abstract patterns. Among the highlights of Freeman’s March 19th auction was a pair of Chinese huanghuali tapering cabinets estimated at $30,000 to $50,000. With strong online bidding throughout the auction, the cabinets went on to sell online for $68,650 (including buyers premium).
Tomoko and Mother by W. Eugene Smith
Price Realized: $7,600
Be-Hold, “Be-Hold 56” – March 23, 2011
From 1971 to 1973 American photojournalist W. Eugene Smith lived and worked in Minamata, Japan in an effort to bring attention to the effects of Minamata disease – a form of mercury poisoning. Though Smith took thousands photos during his stay, it was a photo of Tomoko Uemura and her mother that was regarded as Smith’s most poignant work. Though Smith wanted the shot to display the full effects the disease had wrought on Tomoko, her mother Ryoko was keen to have her daughter portrayed in a sympathetic manner and suggested using the family bathing chamber for the shoot. Withdrawn from further publication in 1997, the print sold by Be-hold on March 23rd was a vintage print exhibited at the International Center for Photography from 1973-75. Estimated at $2,500 to $3,500, the print sold online for $7,600.
Exceptional Gemstone Ammonite
Price Realized: $45,000
I.M. Chait, “Important Natural History Auction” – March 24, 2011
Arguably the rarest gemstone in the world, ammolite is formed from the nacreous shell linings of Cretaceous ammonites found primarily in North American along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Prized for its fantastic display of shimmering colors, ammolite is one of seven biogenic gemstones — like amber and mother of pearl. The specimen sold during I.M. Chait’s Important Natural History Auction is among the rarest in the world with a full covering of multi-colored iridescence in a variety of colors. Measuring over twenty inches, this remarkable fossilized gemstone sold to an online buyer for $45,000.
Buccellati Torchon Sterling Silver Set in Chest
Price Realized: $13,000
J Levine Auction & Appraisal LLC, “Spring Quarterly Catalog – Fine Art & Estates” – March 26, 2011
With 134 pieces of sterling silver, this Buccellati service for 12 caught the eye of several online bidders. Online bidding soared to $10,000 in the hours before the auction and rose even higher once the sale began. The signed flatware service in the Torchon pattern went on to sell for $13,000 – making it the top selling lot in J Levine’s March 26th auction.
Founded in 1989, Artfact is the largest global marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate auctions. On January 1, 2009, Artfact launched Artfact Live!, its proprietary live auction bidding platform, enabling users to bid real time on auctions being held around the world by its prestigious auction house partners. Currently, over 1,000 fine auctioneers actively list their catalogues with Artfact.com and its U.K. sister site Invaluable.com, reaching the Artfact community of more than 10 million knowledgeable collectors and dealers worldwide. Artfact’s industry leading database includes more than 57 million complete auction results totaling more than $204 billion in value, including information on more than 500,000 international artists. In 2006, Artfact acquired RFC Systems, the leading provider of enterprise software developed specifically for the fine art and antique auction house industry. RFC helps prestigious auction houses around the world manage their businesses by automating their day-to-day operations.
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