NEW YORK—Closing Asia Week 2012 at Bonhams was the March 20 Fine Japanese Works of Art auction, which realised a sale total of $1,485,188. With a combined sales total of $5,711,313, Bonhams continues to lead the market across all three Asian sale categories, including works from China, India, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia.
Dessa Goddard, Bonhams Vice President and Director of Asian Art in North America, comments on Bonhams participation, "We are delighted with the Bonhams sale results and with our contribution to the success of Asia Week New York 2012. These three sales are a testimony to our continued presence and leadership in the global market for Asian art."
Highlighting the Fine Japanese Works of Art auction and taking three spots among the top lots were a fine group of cloisonné enamels, which are said to have inspired the highly recognised Art Noveau Tiffany aesthetic. Leading the sale was a fine cloisonné enamel vase by the workshop of Hayashi Kodenji (1831-1915). Selling for an impressive $104, 500, this elongated ovoid form featured a masterfully executed pair of birds in a flowering landscape on a dark blue background. A 20th century vibrantly coloured moriage cloisonné by the workshop of Ando Jubei claimed $60,000 against its pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000. Jubei artfully detailed growing orange persimmons against a pale blue background. The third highest lot to this section of the sale was a trio of enamel vases by the workshop of Namikawa Yasuyuki selling for $50,000 (pre-sale est. $5,000-$7,000).
The second highest lot in the auction was a fine and large Satsuma bowl by Yabu Meizan which sold for $64,900 (pre-sale est. $10,000-$15,000). This stunning bowl featured a continuous celebration scene of the Kyoto's Gion festival, featuring numerous ceremonial floats, including one of Mt. Fuji - complete with animals of the zodiac around its base.
An attraction to collectors of sword fittings was property from the collection of Clarence McKenzie Lewis Jr. A treasure to the collection was an important 17th century Umetada school sentoku tsuba by Umetada Mitsutada. Selling for $47,500, this tsuba featured inlaid large leaves and fruits and is highly recognised among this collecting community.
Forty-nine woodcuts from the Hoeido Tokaido series by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) sold for $50,000 (per-sale est. $20,000-$30,000). This series included 48 stations with both the first and second versions of Totsuka, each signed Hiroshige ga.
Other highlights to the sale include a fine and large gold-lacquer and simulated metal three-case inro by the Kansai family selling for $40,000 (pre-sale est. $20,000-$30,000); an impressive gold-lacquer writing box and matching table by Unryuan selling for $37,500 (pre-sale est. $30,000-$40,000); and a deep silver punch bowl by Toshunaga selling for $31,250 (pre-sale est. $8,000-$12,000).
Julie Saunders Guinta
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