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Chinese blue and white dragon vase commands $426,000

Leading all lots in Clars Auction Gallery's $1.6 million June 27-28, 2015 auction was a Chinese underglaze blue and white porcelain stick dragon vase. The vase sold for six times the high estimate, finishing at $426,000.

OAKLAND, CA — Clars Auction Gallery’s June 27 and 28, 2015 sale featured exceptional offerings

Porcelain stick neck vase

Chinese blue and white porcelain stick neck vase, decorated with five striding dragons amid lotus tendrils, and Qianlong mark on base, realized $426,000 — six times its high estimate. (All photos courtesy of Clars Auction Gallery)

of Asian art and antiques and the international bidding community took note.

The highlight of the $1.6 million sale was a Chinese underglaze blue and white porcelain stick dragon vase, which came from the Albert Braun Estate of Pennsylvania. The pear-shaped body of the vase tapered to a slender cylindrical neck and was painted with five striding dragons amid lotus tendrils. The base featured the Qianlong mark and measured 16.5” high. The bidding opened at $25,000 and competitive phone bidding drove the final sale price higher and higher finally selling for an impressive $426,000.

Strong results continued in this category throughout the sale. Intense bidding on a Chinese enameled plaque with a celestial court drove the final price on this lot to $27,300, well over its $400 - $600 presale estimate. Coming from the Dr. Graeme Hanson Collection, a Longquan dish from the Song dynasty, incised with floral sprigs, sold impressively for $22,600 and a Ge type arrow vase flew past its high estimate of $1,200 selling for $17,900.

The exciting June sale also produced a new world record for American artist Julia Thecla (1896-1973). A charcoal and gouache on paper titled "Signal-Sketch (1939),” achieved the new record price of $9,200 soaring past it’s $800-$1,200 estimate.

Another outperformer was a charming watercolor by Birger Sandzen (American 1871-1954) titled “Trees by the River,” which also went well past its estimate of $2,000-4,000 to fetch $6,710. An additional painting that fared well on the day was a nocturnal oil on canvas by Charles Rollo Peters (American, 1862-1928) titled “Gate to the Adobe at Night,” which sold for $7,100 against its $4,000-6,000 estimate. Always a favorite at Clars, Pal Fried’s oil on canvas board (American/Hungarian 1893-1976) titled “Reclining Nude,” also surpassed high estimate landing at an impressive $5,500.

Not to be outdone, the decorative arts and furnishing category also experienced significant results particularly on the two important clocks that were offered. A Chinese export automaton bracket clock

Chinese plaque

Intense bidding on this Chinese enameled plaque drove the final price on this lot to $27,300, well over its $400 - $600 presale estimate.

with shell carved crest and mother of pearl marquetry case, was anticipated to fetch $4,000-$6,000 but soared past high estimate fetching $27,400. Also achieving an excellent final sale price was a French Sevres-style Japy Freres gilt clock which sold for $15,500.

In special collections, a Marilyn Monroe signed black and white school photograph 1941, was a panoramic shot of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School summer class of 1941. This bit of Hollywood memorabilia realized $6,000. Items deaccessioned from The California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, (CA) were also offered. The highlights from this collection included two groups of ancient American arrowheads that realized $7,300, and a Pre-Columbian Zapotec guardian urn, Monte Albon, Mexico, circa AD500-800, which brought $5,400. The entire California Academy of Sciences collection earned $25,800.

Diamonds also did their job this sale with a stunning 3.05ct diamond solitaire and 18k gold ring selling for well over estimate at $25,000. This offering was followed by an elegant Edwardian ruby (2.06cts) and old mine cut diamond (approx. 2.21 cts) ring that also fetched over estimate, selling for $10,700. The June sale also featured the first offering of a special collection of timepieces and pocket watches. Taking the top spot in this first installment was a Lady’s Patek Philippe La Flamme diamond and 18k gold wristwatch, circa 1992, which sold nicely for $9,200. The next offering of this collection will be held on July 26th.

For more information and a complete list of prices realized for Clars’ June 27 and 28, 2015 sale, visit