Jade mountain exceeds estimate to make Chait’s Asia Week a success

NEW YORK – I.M. Chait’s third annual Asia Week auction, held March 22, brought out buyers who, in today’s conservative financial climate, were able to sweep entire categories at prices within or slightly higher than catalog estimates. But one item exceeded the estimate.

In the final accounting, the day’s success turned on the catalog cover lot, an 18th century Imperial jade mountain. Formerly in the Summer Palace collection, it had been sold at Christies London in 1995. The jade mountain, with sages in discussion and a poem inscribed above, commanded $195,200, including buyer’s premium.

Taking the day’s second top price was a dramatic coral and underglaze-blue, 15th century Ming Xuande porcelain bowl. Being among the more photogenic of the top lots, it had been featured in much of the pre-sale media coverage. So with little hesitation on auction day, a collector took the bowl for $97,600, including the 22 percent buyer’s premium.

Buyers expressed enthusiasm when a heavy carved Chinese ivory model of the Imperial Nine Dragon wall inspired a bidding war. Carrying a catalog high estimate of $6,000, bids on the ivory wall were buffeted back and forth in the room before closing at $45,750, including buyer’s premium.

For more information about this or any other I.M. Chait auction, visit www.chait.com.