Ivory sweeps Chait’s Jan. 20 sale

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – I.M. Chait’s Jan. 20 International Fine Arts Auction featured a diverse field of properties that included Chinese jade carvings, Japanese woodblock prints, jewels and monumental Chinese ivory carvings.203 AT 2-27.jpg At day’s end, all categories showed respectable results, but the highly detailed ivory sculptures of fantastical beasts, revered deities and imaginative florals captured the attention of bidders around the world.

The top lot in I.M. Chait’s Jan. 20 auction was this remarkable ivory tusk carving of Shoulao and Guanyin. Standing 47 inches tall, the pair made $21,000, not including buyer’s premium.

Lot 203, a pair of carved ivory tusks portraying Buddhist deities Shoulao and Guanyin led the day when it commanded $21,000, not including buyer’s premium.

Lot 204, a mammoth fossil tusk 58” long portrayed a landscape populated with animated figures on horseback, bearing weapons and standards, and charging a fortified gate. Collectors pushed its price to $18,000.

Lot 205, a large Bodhisattva with attendants and a Fo dog tugging at her robes, commanded $14,000, more than twice its catalog estimate. 208 AT 2-27.jpg

A Chinese carved ivory flower-filled basket with scrolling arched handle suspending three chains, one of which is holding up an openwork pendant with a bird perched on a branch; the other two chains attached to a circular structure encasing a highly reticulated concentric "puzzle ball" fetched $13,000.

Leading the Chinese jade group was Lot 252, a carved white jade mountain of seated Guanyin in landscape beneath a phoenix above. It drew $4,500.

In a marketplace that is seemingly obsessed by the works of modernist designers, a set of six Danish wood chairs by Hans J. Wegner were undervalued at $750. That was offset, however, by the sale of a J. Robert Scott coffee table that went slightly above estimate at $1,200.

265 AT 2-27.jpgSecond in Chait’s New Year opener was Lot 265, a remarkable multi-colored sapphire necklace and earring suite of butterfly-shaped links with diamonds and South Sea pearls. It brought $18,750.

For a complete list of prices realized, visit www.chait.com.

In March, I.M. Chait will bring its auction of important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art to New York City.

For more information, call 800-775-5020, or go online to www.chait.com.