'scrolling foliage' yaozhou dish, box with cover, Buddhist lion, Celadon Jade, celadon-glaze, gilded bronze figure, marriage bowl, Northern Song dynasty, Qianlong four-character incised seal mark, Qing dynasty, Wanli six-character underglaze-blue mark, wucai, Yamantaka
A Chinese wucai box with cover, Wanli six-character underglaze-blue mark to the base recess. decorated in the reserves with dragon motifs, the interior painted with various flowers and plants, 29cm x 23.5cm x 10.5cm. Sold for AU$ 152,500 (€107,934). Photo: Bonhams.
SYDNEY.- Asian art continues to thrill, with heated bidding for a Chinese Wucai box at Bonhams in Sydney last night pushing the hammer price to more than 50 times its lower estimate.
Intense bidding in the room, on the telephones and on the internet pushed the price of the 16th century porcelain to an extraordinary $152,500 including buyer’s premium, far exceeding an estimate of $3,000-$5,000. The treasure was secured by an international collector.
The result comes just two months after Australia’s Asian Art department sold a rare Ming Dynasty porcelain ‘dragon box’ for $146,400, which was then a new Australian record for Chinese porcelain of this type. But last night’s result beat that price again.
Bonhams’ Asian Art specialist, Yvett Klein, said the Asian market often turned up surprises, as niche collectors battled it out for the most coveted items.
« The Wucai box is superbly decorated inside and out with plants, flowers and dragon motifs, » Ms Klein said. « But, most importantly, the box bears a Wanli six-character mark on the base, which implies it is imperial porcelain, most likely used in the royal households of Ming Dynasty China. »
Overall, the auction had strong results, with total sales of $506,000, with 77% sold by value and 70% by volume.
Top five results:
Lot 55, A Chinese wucai box with cover, Wanli six-character underglaze-blue mark to the base recess. decorated in the reserves with dragon motifs, the interior painted with various flowers and plants, 29cm x 23.5cm x 10.5cm. Sold for AU$ 152,500 (€107,934) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.
Lot 116, Chinese carved celadon-jade marriage bowl, Qianlong four-character incised seal mark to the base, Qing dynasty; the stone of greenish－celadon tone with natural inclusion, gently rising from a shallow foot rim, carved intricately to the centre in high relief with two carps, the exterior punctuated by a triple bow-string band, 13.4cm diam., 2.2cm high, 265g. Sold for AU$ 18,300 (€12,952) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.
Lot 149, A Chinese gilded bronze figure of Yamantaka, incised double-vajra mark to the base, 18.5cm high. Sold for AU$ 15,860 (€11,225) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.
Lot 104, A carved celadon-glaze ‘scrolling foliage’ yaozhou dish, Northern Song dynasty, the underside carved with a band of scrolling foliage between two borders, the base recess glazed in the centre, 20.5cm diam. Sold for AU$ 15,250 (€10,793) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.
Lot 120, A Chinese carved celadon jade figure group of a Buddhist lion and a child holding a branch of ruyi, 13cm wide, 535g Sold for AU$ 14,030 (€9,929) inc. premium. Photo: Bonhams.