Brush pot earns $17,500 at Asian art, antiques auction

SAN FRANCISCO – Bonhams announces the results of its highly successful Nov. 15, 2011, auction of Asian Decorative Arts in San Francisco, with more than 500 lots of Chinese art on offer, and with sales totaling more than $1.1 million.

Leading the auction were two lots sold to benefit the Connor Prairie Museum of Fishers, Ind.: a pair of Chinese hexagonal porcelain garden seats from the Republic period (1911-1949) that sold for $18,750, far exceeding a pre-auction estimate of $2,000 to $3,000, and an 18th/19th century huanghuali brush pot with hardstone inlay that brought $17,500, carrying a pre-auction estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.

Pair of hexagonal porcelain garden seats  A pair of Asian hexagonal porcelain garden seats with underglaze blue and celadon glaze decoration. Republic period. Each with reeded walls molded as bamboo stalks covered in a celadon glaze surrounding reserve panels of flowers and birds, bats and reticulated cash roundels painted in underglaze blue under a colorless glaze, the bats and cash design repeating on the top. 18 1/2 inches high. Sold for $18,750 (presale estimate $2,000-$3,000). Photo courtesy Bonhams.

Another highlight of the sale, sold to benefit the Harvard Art Museums, was a collection of five calligraphies by various artists from the Qing dynasty that brought $13,750 (auction estimate $1,200-$1,500).

Of the auction, Dessa Goddard, the Vice President and Director of Asian Art at Bonhams in San Francisco, commented, “Once again, these results show that fresh, private property offered with reasonable estimates inspires strong bidding from all sectors of the international market.”

Cizhou glazed stoneware pillow with incised slip decoration  A Cizhou glazed stoneware pillow with incised slip decoration. Northern Song dynasty. Of bean shape with forward slanting top surface decorated with a tiger, the cream colored slip to the sides incised with floral decoration on impressed fish-roe ground. 10 1/2 inches long. Sold for $25,000 against a pre-auction estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

Buoyant prices were also achieved for Chinese furniture, snuff bottles, textiles, bronzes, ceramics and paintings. A Cizhou glazed stoneware pillow with incised slip decoration, of the Northern Song dynasty, sold for $25,000 (auction estimate $3,000-$5,000); a Republic period carved marble top altar table achieved $20,000 ($2,000-$3,000); and a late 20th century huanghuali altar table brought $17,500 ($5,000-$7,000).

Bonhams has become a premier destination for collections of snuff bottles, with most lots exceeding their pre-auction estimates at the San Francisco sale. One such lot was a white jade snuff bottle that achieved $5,625 (auction estimate $2,000-$3,000).

Huanghuali brush pot, $17,500.  A huanghuali brush pot with hardstone inlay 18th/19th century, the inlay Late Qing/Republic period Of cylindrical section in dark wood with attractive whorls to the grain surrounding an interior metal lining; the sides with an ivory and hardstone inlaid tableau of the 18 luohan engaged in various pursuits in a garden setting; the base bearing a six-character Qianlong mark in mother-of-pearl. 9 1/2-inch diameter. Sold for $17,500 against pre-auction estimate of $1,000-$1,500.

Sales of paintings and woodcuts by Chiura Obata (1885-1975), a Japanese-born artist residing in California, have also become a recurring success at Bonhams. Obata’s “Setting Sun in the Sacramento Valley,” dated 1930, brought $7,500 in a solid sale of Japanese prints and paintings offered (estimate $3,000-5,000).

For more information on Bonhams’ Asian art and antiques auctions, visit Bonhams online.

Further reading on Asian art and antiques: Asian Market Report: Massive influx of cash boosting Asian art and antiques


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