San Francisco—Bonhams San Francisco's Asian Decorative Arts auction, March 12, started the spring season on a very strong note. A buoyant group of spirited floor, telephone and internet buyers contributed to the sale's successful $1.7 million result, with 80% of lots sold.
Buyers were not shy to place their bids on fresh properties with conservative auction estimates. Jade carvings, porcelains and paintings remain popular sectors. A 19th century white jade covered vase sold for $13,750, far surpassing its pre-sale estimate of $2,500-3,000. Two white jade plaques, finely carved with traditional Chinese motifs, achieved $15,000, with a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-3,000.
In the paintings section, a hand scroll attributed to Fanlong, 12th century, was sold to a determined telephone bidder for $32,500 (pre-sale est. $3,000-5,000), and a collection of Chinese export paintings from the 19th century fetched $13,750 (pre-sale est. $3,000-5,000).
A pair of 19th century massive cloisonné enameled metal covered urns attracted strong interest in the sale and was sold to an international buyer for $52,500, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $12,000-18,000. A Chinese silver wine pot with Fengxiang Tang studio mark, achieved an impressive price of $25,000, soaring past its conservative pre-sale estimate.
One of the top performing lots in the Chinese ceramics section was a Longquan celadon grotto. Multiple rounds of fast-paced bidding ultimately priced this Ming Dynasty artwork at $62,500, versus its pre-sale estimate of $3,000-5,000. Fine Republic period porcelains maintained their popularity in the current market. A miniature eggshell porcelain vase painted with polychrome enamels by Wang Xiliang, dated 1944, started a bidding battle among multiple bidders before the lot was hammered down for $27,500 (pre-sale est. $3,000-5,000).
A group of fine quality Meiji and Taisho Period bronzes in the Japanese art section also drew enthusiastic bidding. A massive copper alloy brazier sold for $5,625 (pre-sale est. $1,500-2,000).
The sale ended with a small group of Tibetan arts. Buyers patiently awaited the very last lot, a 19th century Tibetan thangka of a lama. The thangka was finally hammered down at $6,250, multiples beyond its pre-sale estimate, putting an emphatic end to Bonhams' first Asian Decorative Arts auction of 2013.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com