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Top three lots in Asian Work of Art auction fetch more than $1M

The top three lots in the June 18 Asian Works of Art auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers together fetched $1 million, with a Chinese bronze ceremonial gong realizing $722,500 alone.

CHICAGO -- A Chinese bronze ritual gong vessel sold for $722,500 on June 18 during Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ sale of Asian Works of Art from the Collection of Phillip

Ritual gong vessel

A Chinese Bronze Ritual Gong Vessel, the beast form vessel having a fitted cover depicting the animal's scrolled horns above protruding round eyes, the face with C-scrolls and flanked by small tapering ears, commanded $722,500.

and Kay Cha. The auction brought international collectors out in force, staking their claim on Chinese works of art assembled by the couple over a period of over thirty years. The sale included paintings, ceramics and furniture from both the Chas’ private collection and Asian House, their Chicago gallery.

The auction’s top three lots alone grossed more than a million dollars. The gong vessel attracted numerous buyers who flew into Chicago to view it firsthand, and had been in the Chas’ personal collection for several years after having been purchased decades ago from the storied Gurie Gallery in Montreal. A gui vessel, also with Gurie Gallery provenance, sold for $266,500, and a yu, an unusual ritual vessel covered with pointed bosses, brought $182,500. Each of these bronzes bear archaic inscriptions and were part of the Chas’ personal collection, kept and admired in their Chicago home for several years.

“Mr. and Mrs. Cha are two of the warmest, most generous, and intelligent people that anyone could meet. The success of this auction reflects their discerning taste and intuition in this field,” said Phyllis Kao, Director of Asian Works of Art.

Another highlight of the sale was an important Chinese painting on silk, which sold for $55,440 after a long struggle between telephone and online bidders. The painting depicts Vanavasa meditating in a grotto, and once hung in the Chas’ sitting room.

An Asian Works of Art auction is scheduled for September 22-23, and consignments are being expected through July 24. For more information contact Phyllis Kao at 312-280-1212 or visit