Cowan’s Auctions is calling its first auction dedicated solely to Asian Art “a huge success” with sales coming in at $1,116,846.25.
“We are delighted with the results of our first Asian art auction,” said Wes Cowan, president and principal auctioneer, of the Aug. 26-27, 2011 sale. “It validated for us the strength of the market for quality Asian antiques. This was a learning experience and believe me, we learned a lot.”
The sale included a wide selection of ivory, jade and porcelain, prints, Chinese furniture, scroll paintings, and reference material. Highlights of the sale included a Sino-Tibetan Bronze Buddha, a Pair of Chinese White Jade Pendants, a Chinese Republic Period Ivory Wrist Rest with Polychrome Insects, a Chinese Carved Jade Duck Seated on a Lotus Flower, a Japanese Cloisonné Vase, Chinese Carved Ivory Vases on Stands and a Gilt Bronze Buddha.
“There were lots of surprises – big, expensive ones,” said Graydon Sikes, specialist of Fine Art.
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The sale’s highest selling lot was a Chinese Bronze Standing Buddha which brought $102,000, 68 times its estimate of $1,000 to $1,500. It is a bronze of a Buddha, with traces of gilt and dark red paint, standing on a lotus flower.
A Sino-Tibetan Bronze Buddha sold for $54,000 – over 13 times its estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. Of Sino-Tibetan origin, this is a finely cast bronze Buddha with red and blue decoration, atop a lotus base.
A Chinese Carved Jade Duck Seated on a Lotus Flower hammered down at $46,800, 78 times its estimate of $400 to $600. Of the 20th century or earlier, this is a finely carved jade of a duck sitting on top of a transparent and thinly carved lotus flower.
A Gilt Bronze Buddha hammered down at $20,400, 29 times its estimate of $500 to $700. Sino-Tibetan, this gilt bronze Buddha is seated in dhyanasana on a double lotus flower, his hair in tight curls covering the domed ushnisha above, with an urna on the forehead and long pierced earlobes.
A Japanese Cloisonné Vase brought $19,200, over 38 times its estimate of $300 to $500. Of the early 20th century, this cloisonné vase has pink and white floral decoration on a blue background, with one character mark stamped on the bottom, along with a U.S. Customs sticker.
A lot of Chinese Carved Ivory Vases on Stands realized $8,400, over 33 times its estimate of $150 to $250. The carved ivory vases on stands each show a dragon relief carving.
The auction featured 796 lots with 2,115 bidders participating from 15 countries. Of the winning bidders, 73 percent bid online and 11 percent bid on the floor; the percentage of absentee and phone winning-bidders tied at 8 percent each. The sell-through rate of the sale was 15.7 percent. Of the lots sold, 37.5 percent sold over estimate.
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