Florida firm Elite Decorative Arts sold a Chinese work of art for $8m but that number was a disappointment, according to Auction Central News. Perhaps expectations about the Chinese appetite for lost works of art have gotten ahead of the market:
A rare Han Dynasty nephrite jade bear sold for a little more than $8 million at an auction conducted Dec. 10 by Elite Decorative Arts.
The Chinese bear, made between 475 B.C.- A.D. 220, exhibited extensive calcification due to centuries of extended burial. The nephrite (greenstone) bear was by far the top lot of the nearly 300 items that changed hands. But the bear was also a bargain for the buyer who wished not to be identified—it carried a presale estimate of $10 million-$20 million.
A combination of factors contributed to the bear’s desirability. It was the largest jade sculpture known of its time. It was made for a significant figure or ruler, with whom it had been buried. The cup-shaped opening at the top of the head meant it was made for a stand or base for a significant object. And it came with impeccable credentials from a Beijing authenticating firm.
Chinese Nephrite Jade Bear Tops $8m at Elite Auction (Auction Central News)