The auction house Skinner reported its auction of Asian Works of Art held in late June grossed $4,822,312.50, including buyer’s premium. Of the 1,700 works offered, 95 percent sold by lot and 99 percent by value, many far exceeding pre-sale high estimates.
Chinese material was especially sought with all four works exceeding the $100,000 mark of Chinese origin. The auction’s top seller was a large jade vase in the shape of a double gourd, which sold for $578,000. Another large jade vase of flattened hu form sold for $501,000. A Huanghuali cabinet from the late Ming/early Qing dynasty sold for $292,000. Finally, topping $100,000 sale price was a Handscroll, “Si ji shang wan tu” (Appreciating the Four Seasons) from the 18th century selling for $106,650. The scroll was part of the personal collection of the late Charles J. Chu, admired professor, painter, calligrapher, curator, scholar, and educator. In total the Chu estate did very well with 120 lots bringing in more than $562,000.
According to James Callahan, director of Asian Works of Art at Skinner, “The market continues to be strong, driven by extreme interest in Chinese work.” Callahan continued, “Skinner’s strategy to keep estimates low works well in attracting the widest possible audience of buyers. For many sought after lots it was an all out bidding frenzy. Such an opportunity truly benefited the consignors.”