15th-early 16th century, 2nd-3rd century, Buddha, cloisonné enamel, deep bowl, Francis Newton Souza, Gandhara, gray schist figure, ink and light color on silk, Manjit Bawa, Ming Dynasty, Oval fan, Qianlong-Jiaqing period, Vase And Cover, Xia Gui, Yellow And Pale Brown Jade
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s concluded its Fall Asian Art Week with a combined total of $43,480,025 (£26,522,815 / €33,914,420 / HK$336,970,194) achieved over four days of six sales, September 16-19.
Jonathan Stone, Chairman, Asian Art, said: “The results of September New York Asia Week demonstrate the market’s appetite for top-quality works of art with strong provenance. The continuing international demand for Chinese art was underscored by good sale through rates across all media and epochs. We now look forward to the Asia+ / First Open sale of international contemporary art, the sale of Important Chinese Snuff Bottles and the Pavilion Sale of Chinese works of art in Hong Kong on October 5th and 7th.”
William Robinson, International Head of World Art, commented: “The sales of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art and of Indian and Southeast Asian Art achieved their highest sold percentage by lot for a number of years, indicating an increased buyer confidence across all sectors of the market. It was exciting to see known buyers in the classical sale expanding their interests into categories that had not been of interest to them before. The modern and contemporary sale was notable in that all the top 10 lots were acquired by private buyers, either for institutions or for their own homes.”
RESULTS OF ASIAN ART WEEK SALES | September 2014
FINE CHINESE PAINTINGS TOTAL: $5,242,025 80% BY LOT | 93% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 2 Xia Gui (Active Ca. 1195-1230), Fisherman Returning to Shore in a Storm. Oval fan, mounted and framed, ink and light color on silk. Signed by the artist. One illegible seal; 9 x 10 in. (23 x 25.4 cm.). Estimate: $40,000-50,000 Price realized: $497,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
Provenance: Lot 1, 31 May 1990, Important Classical Chinese Paintings, Christie’s New York.
Notes: Born in Qiantang, Zhejiang province, Xia Gui is considered a master of pure landscape painting. Xia Gui and Ma Yuan (ca. 1160-1225), both academic master painters who served in the Southern Song court, formed the Ma-Xia idiom that defined the Southern Song landscape painting style. Unlike Ma Yuan, who often used landscapes as a tool for conveying poetic or human sentiments, Xia Gui’s focus was on capturing true landscape, and he created a sense of infinite depth on a two dimensional surface, with minimal human presence. Developing Li Tang’s ax-cut strokes to their most advanced and nuanced form, Xia Gui carved entire mountaintops from empty space with a single, sculptural turn of the brush. Many of Xia Gui’s intimate works, such as album leaves and fans, survive today in museum collections.
INDIAN & SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART TOTAL: $3,779,625 83% BY LOT | 75% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 212 An important gray schist figure of Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century. Estimate: $150,000-250,000 Price realized: $509,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
Finely carved seated in dhyanasana with his hands in dhyanamudra in his lap, clad in a voluminous sanghati draped over both shoulders, the face with bow-shaped mouth, aquiline nose, and downcast eyes, the hair finely parted and tied in a bun over the ushnisha, backed by a nimbus, his low throne with remains of five seated Buddhas interspersed by foliage and a worshipper at left; 34 in. (86.4 cm.) high.
Provenance: Private collection, Pennsylvania, acquired by 1970
Notes: This exceptionally well-carved figure beautifully evokes the peace in which Buddha immersed himself during his meditation. Seated on the kusha grass with his hands gently placed in his lap, the folds of the drapery so realistically model the body that the torso seems imbued with breath, as if the figure will gently exhale in the next moment. The face conveys this sense of inner quietude to the viewer. While the sculptor also carved the hair in naturalistic locks, he allowed himself some artistic flourish, so that the curls rise over the ushnisha in overlapping arcs, as if to mimic lotus petals. Overall this figure is a powerful and masterful depiction of the meditating Buddha.
SOUTH ASIAN MODERN + CONTEMPORARY ART TOTAL: $2,708,000 90% BY LOT | 94% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 513 Manjit Bawa (1941-2008) Untitled (Durga). Oil on canvas Painted in 2004 Estimate: $380,000-450,000 Price realized: $425,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
A PIONEERING VISION: WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF SHUMITA AND ARANI BOSE TOTAL: $3,605,375 62% BY LOT | 83% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 416 Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), The Butcher. Oil on satin Painted in 1962 Estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000 Price realized: $1,685,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
RIVERS OF COLOR: CHINESE CLOISONNÉ ENAMELS FROM PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTIONS TOTAL: $5,723,000 94% BY LOT | 99% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 606 A Superb and Very Rare Cloisonné Enamel Deep Bowl, Ming Dynasty, 15th-Early 16th century. Estimate: $300,000 – 500,00 Price realized: $2,629,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
FINE CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART TOTAL: $22,422,000 78% BY LOT | 87% BY VALUE
TOP LOT: Lot 1246 A Rare Yellow And Pale Brown Jade Vase And Cover, Qianlong-Jiaqing period (1736-1820). Estimate: $300,000 – 500,000 Price Realized: $581,000. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2014.
The vase, of oval section, is raised on a pedestal foot, and the sides are carved in low relief with graceful stalks of millet, while the neck is flanked by a pair of dragon-scroll handles that suspend loose rings. The cover is surmounted by an angular scroll finial. The semi-translucent stone is of yellow color with areas of pale milky brown color, one used to highlight a millet stalk. 7½ in. (19 cm.) high
Provenance: Christie’s Hong Kong, 1-2 October 1991, lot 1511.