Southeast Asian gilt-bronze Lotus bowl Buddha brings 36 times estimate


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BOSTON – Artfact Live! is off to another strong start in 2011. With high-quality sales in almost every category, January’s results marked a 39 percent increase in online sales volume and a 46 percent increase in online demand when compared to 2010.

Highlights include Braswell Galleries’ Annual New Year’s Auction with more the 600 online bidders and more than $100,000 in online sales; I.M. Chait’s Jan. 16 Asian and International Fine Arts Auction with online bidders from 24 countries driving almost a million dollars in online demand; and National Book Auctions’ Jan. 9 Books and Ephemera sale which marked the Ithaca-based auction house’s most successful Artfact Live! sale — with more than 76 percent of the lots offered selling online.

Jan. 1, J Levine Auction & Appraisal LLC: “New Year’s Day Premier Antique Auction,”
Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978), Untitled; Price Realized: $17,000

Born in 1891 in Georgia, Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978) was a successful Washington avant-garde painter whose 1972 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art marked the first solo exhibition of an African-American woman in the museum’s history. Dated 1971, Woodsey’s untitled acrylic on canvas represents the artist’s later style when she turned away from more representational modes in favor of the abstract expressionism embodied in the work of Washington Color School Painters – a dominant force in the visual arts community of Washington, DC throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Estimated at $10,000 to $15,000, the work sold online for an impressive $17,000.

Jan. 15, Stair Galleries: “Asian, Ethnographic Including Oceanic, Tribal, African”
Southeast Asian Gilt-Bronze Covered Bowl on Stand with Seated Figure of Buddha; Price Realized: $22,000

This Southeast Asian gilt-bronze bowl was the surprise sale of Stair Galleries’ Jan. 15 auction. Shaped in the form of a lotus, the bowl was topped by a seated Buddha figure whose hand touches the earth – a gesture meant to represent a renunciation of worldly desires. Estimated at $300 to $600, bidding quickly shot up to $12,000 and rose to an astounding $22,000 before finally selling online for more than 36 times its high estimate.

Jan. 18, Keno Auctions: “American & European Paintings & Furniture”
Régis François Gignoux (1816-1882), “The Artist at Work in the Mountainscape” Price Realized: $11,250

Following the success of their May 2010 Inaugural Sale, Keno Auctions was poised to set records once again with their January 2011 auction. Among the top selling lots were Winslow Homer’s “Five Boys at the Shore,” which sold for $414,800, and a rare and previously undocumented William and Mary Veneered High Chest of Drawers c. 1705-1725, which set a world record when it sold for $317,200. Online sales were also brisk with more than 350 bidders from over 18 countries. Among the top online sales was an 1848 oil on canvas by French artist Régis François Gignoux (1816-1882). Entitled “The Artist at Work in the Mountainscape,” the painting sold online for $11,250 (all prices include buyer’s premium).

Jan. 22, Antique Helper: “Superhero Museum Auction”
Batmobile Model
Price Realized: $12,000

When the collection of the American Superhero Museum came up for auction on Jan. 22, Batman and Superman aficionados took notice. Online for just four days, the sale attracted hundreds of online bids from collectors around the world. The top-selling memento of the now-defunct museum was a life-size replica of the 1989 Batmobile from Batman starring Michael Keaton. Built on a 1985 Corvette chassis with a Corvette engine, the car was estimated to bring between $5,000 and $10,000; the Batmobile sold online for $12,000.

Founded in 1989, Artfact is the largest global marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate auctions. On Jan. 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 auction house partners. Currently, over 1,000 auctioneers actively list their catalogs with Artfact.com and its U.K. sister site Invaluable.com, reaching the Artfact community of more than 10 million collectors and dealers worldwide. Artfact’s industry leading database includes more than 58 million complete auction results totaling more than $204 billion in value, including information on more than 500,000 international artists. ?

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The consignor had a more-than-pleasant surprise when their Asian gilt-bronze covered bowl with figural Buddha cover realized $22,000 against a presale estimate of $300 to $600.
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