Perhaps you thought the Chinese appetite for works of art had cooled. Then you didn’t see Bonham’s $12.8m sale in San Francisco just before the holidays where 900 lots were offered and a handful attracted feeding frenzies:
A rare pair of zitan and hongmu recessed leg altar tables, 18th/19th century, from the Carlisle estate soared to $2,714,500 (pre-auction estimate $120,000-$200,000) against fierce bidding on the telephones and a packed room of international buyers.
An elaborately carved zitan and hongmu throne chair, 19th century, brought $1,022,500 (pre-auction estimate $200,000-$300,000), preceded by an unusual huanghuali clothes rack, Qing dynasty, which sold for $338,500 (pre-auction estimate $120,000-$200,000).
A set of four zitan, hongmu mixed wood and cinnabar lacquer mounted side chairs, from the same collection, sold for a remarkable $266,500, more than 20 times its estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.
Works of art and bronzes also captured the rapt attention of the crowd. A cast bronze seated figure of the Buddha, Ming dynasty, from the estate of Dino Bigalli, maestro of the Chicago Civic Light Opera, took center stage, bringing $578,500 (pre-auction estimate $40,000-$60,000).
A set of four grisaille enameled porcelain hanging plaques, Republic period, inspired heated bidding and brought over 15 times its estimate of $12,000 to $18,000, realizing $230,500.
Consignment discovery earns $338K at Asian art, antiques auction (Antique Trader)