Bodhisattva breaks $244,000

NEW YORK – No longer out of town guests, I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers of Beverly Hills joined the mainstream Asia Week dealers at the Fuller Building in New York City this year. The move paid off with higher than usual preview traffic and a full gallery at the March 27 sale.

I.M. Chait’s reputation for providing spot-on catalog estimates left few wondering about surprises, particularly since the auction was held on the last day of Asia Week. Sales, overall, were steady and strong.  The day’s marquee item was Lot 180, an elegant gilt bronze Xuande Bodhisattva. With a Xuande mark and of the period, the 15th century Ming Dynasty Bodhisattva had inspired interest throughout the preview week. It sold for $244,000, including buyer’s premium, well within the catalog estimate and a remarkable buy for the lucky purchaser.

Minutes later, Lot 182, an antique Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze Tara, wearing an ornate crown and adorned in beaded garlands inset with turquoise, coral and glass cabochons, brought $25,520. All stated prices realized include buyer’s premium.

The room, comprised of an international crowd, primarily Mainland and overseas Chinese, showed enormous interest in all the top lots. Lot 151, for instance, a blue and white Xuande porcelain sprinkler brought $152,500. A pair of large Tang Sancai glazed horses, Lot 195, with floral decorated saddles and trappings, made $109,800. 

When a carved Rhino horn libation cup of open foliate design, with buds and blossoms came to the floor, it took only seconds for the catalog estimate to be surpassed by three times its amount. Lot 219 went to a phone bidder for $73,200.

The carved ivory items brought enormous interest from the room. Lot 217, a carved ivory Guanyin went to a buyer in the second row for $24,400. The next lot, 218, an antique carved ivory tusk entitled “Procession,” quickly went for the same amount. An archaic bronze gui dating to the early Western Zhou Dynasty, about one thousand years B.C., found its price at $42,700.

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