All but one of the 86 lots of Picasso ceramics sold at Sotheby’s yesterday in London. The estimates and final selling prices were in sync and the demand seems to continue unabated. Continue Reading
With the growing success of Picasso ceramics in the marketplace, Artnet is holding an online auction this week of 59 ceramic pieces by Picasso with estimates ranging from $5000 to $150,000. This Plat Visage Masque Putoise from 1947 is the top lot with a requested opening bid of $150,000.
Christie’s had a white-glove sale for Picasso ceramics in London:
Christie’s Picasso Ceramics auction on 18 June 2013 realised £2,845,750 / $4,459,290 / €3,340,911, selling 100 percent of the 171 lots on offer. This Picasso Ceramics sale was the first annual sale in the category, which follows the success of the Madoura Collection of Picasso Ceramics in 2012.
The top lot in the sale was an exquisite solid gold platter, which sold for £193,875/ $303,802 / €227,609, against a pre-sale estimate of £100,000 – 150,000. Never before seen on the market, this stunning plate weighs over 2.5kg and is made from 22 carat gold.
More sales data later in the week.
$10.8 million and 99% sold by lot. Once again, provenance proves its power in today’s market.
Forbes likes Asian art, especially Chinese works of art like this rare vase that has a remarkably low estimate at Christie’s:
One example of an extraordinary piece with an almost laughably low estimate: a Yongzheng-period (1723-1735) porcelain vase that is only the second of its kind known to exist. The vase’s twin is in a public collection in the Palace Museum in Beijing. Intricately decorated, the piece has a curvy, ribbed, globe-shaped body and trumpeted opening. Christie’s, which is including the vase in its March 18-19 auction of Chinese ceramics and works of art, has pegged its value at just $100,000-$150,000.
“When I saw this piece, I jumped out of my skin,” says Carol Conover, a Chinese art and antiquities dealer in New York. “I’ve never seen one of these out of captivity; I didn’t know there was one extant.” Conover, who ran the Chinese art department at Sotheby’s for 10 years and now serves as director of New York’s Kaikodo Gallery, says she thinks the vase “could conceivably make $2 million or $3 million.”
Why would Christie’s estimate the piece at a fraction of that amount? Christie’s specialist Joe-Hynn Yang admits he’s employing a tool often used by auction houses to woo bidders in a down market. “It’s a come-hither estimate,” says Yang.
Asian Art Sales Offer Buying Opportunity (Forbes.com)
The New York Times takes a closer look at the ongoing rapprochment between the two Chinas through their art and art history. The much publicized meeting between the National Palace Museum in Taiwan and the Palace Museum in Beijing begin:
The director, Chou Kung-shin, will hold talks at the Palace Museum in Beijing, which holds most of the rest of the collection. Ms. Chou said in an interview that she would ask the Palace Museum in Beijing to lend 29 Qing dynasty artworks for a three-month exhibition that opens here in October and would seek cooperation in art conservation, publications and promotions. The Beijing authorities are taking a conciliatory stance on closer collaboration in art in the hope of improving their image on Taiwan, with the goal of dampening opposition to an eventual reunification on terms favorable to the mainland. [ . . . ]
(More of the condensed story after the jump.)Continue Reading
Bloomberg prognosticates on Christie’s Hong Kong week of sales beginning today:
Christie’s International’s Asia President Andy Foster says the company’s Hong Kong art auction that starts this weekend will feature “the finest selection in years” of antiques, paintings and gems. Top collectors like Robert Chang agree — but say they probably won’t buy.
“Market conditions are bad,” said Chang, the doyen of Hong Kong’s Chinese antiques, who set an auction record for a Qing Dynasty ceramic in 2006 with his sale of an imperial bowl for HK$151.3 million ($19.5 million). “These are quality lots, but whether they can sell in this climate is anyone’s guess.”
Christie’s, the biggest art auction house in Hong Kong, will offer 2,500 artworks, antiques and gems over five days that it expects to fetch HK$1.75 billion.
“I feel confident we have done our best to show what a fine collection we have; it’s now up to the market to respond,” said Foster in an interview. “We are in the middle of a downturn, so it’s hard to predict what the results would be.”
Foster said Christie’s has convinced some sellers to lower the reserve price on their lots to speed sale, though the only way for buyers to find these bargains is to turn up for the auctions. He aims for at least half the lots to find new owners.
The five-day sale begins on Saturday evening with an auction of Chateau Latour wines. Top lots feature at the contemporary-art evening sale on Nov. 30 and the antique auction on Dec. 3 [ . . . ]
Lu Feifei, a Shanghai-based art dealer who bought Emperor Qianlong’s jade-hilted saber-and-scabbard for HK$59 million and his parade armor for HK$14 million at Sotheby’s October auction, said he hasn’t got any orders from clients to buy at Christie’s auction and has no plans yet to make purchases of his own.
“Everyone is affected by the current mood in the market,” said Lu, 31. “It may be a tough auction; people are cutting out what they can do without.”
A Chinese 18th-century vase fetched 2.15 million kronor ($269,000), more than 20 times its starting price at Stockholms Auktionsverk, the world’s oldest auction house. The vase, dated 1784 from the Qianlong period, sold at the Fine Arts & Antiques auction that began yesterday, Stockholms Auktionsverk said today. The vase, displaying mountains and pavilions, had a starting price of 80,000 kronor to 100,000 kronor and was picked up by a Chinese collector.
Results from the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
New York’s Asia Week is over but the reckoning is just beginning. Here’s the data from the sales of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at both houses. The data doesn’t include Christie’s sale of snuff bottles in either year.
The interesting numbers are the rise in overall value and the average price. Though the overall value rose slightly more than 10%, the average price only rose 3%. This is especially interesting when the slight decrease in sell-through is factored in.
The chart below gives the real answer. Two pieces bid far above the estimates account for the most of the increase in value suggesting that the top end of the market is propping up the lower end where prices would seem to be weakening. Just look at the shift in proportion of the top ten lots to overall sale value from 35% to 45%.
If you’re looking for the most desirable lot in the sale, it has to be this brush pot that sold for a huge multiple of its estimate.