Asian Decorative Arts Fever at iGavel – artmarketblog.com

Asian Decorative Arts Fever at iGavel – artmarketblog.com

Chinese Imperial Bamboo Brushpot, 18th c.

Chinese Imperial Bamboo Brushpot, 18th c.

Recent results from auctions of Asian art conducted by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong show that there is high demand for modern and contemporary Asian art and that there are plenty of Asian buyers with plenty of money to spend. Also proving popular are Asian decorative arts, Asian antique decorative cultural objects and ethnographic works of art, the best of which are in very high demand at the moment as is evident by the success achieved by iGavel (http://www.igavel.com) with their recent online auctions of such items. In fact, the prices being achieved by iGavel are astonishing. Take, for instance, an auction conducted by iGavel in March where a pair of large Chinese porcelain panels sold for US$16,000 (hammer price) against an estimate of US$500-$1000 and a Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze buddha made US$11,000 against an estimate of US$500.00 to 800.00. In April, an Antiques, Asian & Tribal auction produced even more astounding results with one of the top lots, a Chinese 17th/18th c. parcel gilt & polychromed iron seated figure of an immortal, selling for US$38,500 after 44 bids against an estimate of US$5000-7000. Also selling for many times their estimates were:
– A Chinese gilt decorated archaic style bronze water buffalo-form incense burner which sold for US$28,000 against an estimate of US$1000-1500
– A Chinese carved pale green jade teapot circa 18th which sold for US$19,900 against an estimate of US$3000-5000

Chinese White Jade Figure of Buddha

Chinese White Jade Figure of Buddha

The May Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art sale saw iGavel raise the bar even higher when a record price of US$105,010 (US$126,012.00 including premium) against an estimate of $80,000-$120,000 was paid for an amazing recently rediscovered Chinese 18th c. imperial bamboo brushpot that had been mounted as a lamp. Fierce competition saw the starting price of $7500 rapidly rise with a total of 51 bids being taken before a new buyer was found. Lark Mason, the founder of iGavel and an Asian art expert, was responsible for the identification of the brushpot which depicts the cultivation of cotton. It took 40 bids to decide a new owner for a modern gilt bronze figure of Maitreya which sold for US$21,000 against an estimate of US$3000-5000 and 21 bids for a Chinese 18th/19th c. White Jade Figure of Buddha, formerly of the Pan-Asian Collection, which reached US$13,500 against an estimate of US$2000-3000. Other exception results included:

-A set of ten modern Chinese celadon jade zodiac figures which sold for US$10,000 against an estimate of US$700-$900
-A 19th c. Chinese porcelain flambe glazed bottle vase which sold for US$8610 against an estimate of US$800-$1200
-A 20th C. Chinese spinach jade tripod censer and cover which sold for US$6500 against an estimate of US$500-$800
-A 20th C. Chinese carved green jade vase and cover which sold for US$5000 against an estimate of US$400-$600

According to iGavel, mainland Chinese buyers dominated the bidding which suggests that there is a high demand in China for objects that have cultural or historical significance for the Chinese and that there is plenty of money in China to purchase these items. Buying back objects of cultural and historical significance that have been taken out of the country appears to be high on the agenda for Chinese collectors in the same way that the Russian collectors started buying back their heritage a few years ago. It is encouraging to see that the global financial crisis appears to have not affected the market for art in the Asia region as much as many would have predicted and that buyers are showing an interest in a wide range of objects from the contemporary to the classical.

It is great to see that buyers are willing to spend so much money online via iGavel, a reflection perhaps of iGavel’s focus on quality and authenticity. The success that iGavel has had with their auctions of Asian art may be partly due to buyers in Asia being able to purchase items online all of which have guarantees for authenticity and condition. Also adding to the legitimacy of the items being offered for sale by iGavel is the fact that the founder of iGavel, Lark Mason, is a highly respected expert in the Asian Art field known to many from his appearances in the PBS series, The Antiques Roadshow. All in all, iGavel should be congratulated for the success that they achieve with their online auctions.

For more information on iGavel visit http://www.igavel.com
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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April 2009 Global Art Auction Highlights – artmarketblog.com

April 2009 Global Art Auction Highlights – artmarketblog.com

gavelBelow are the results from some of the most successful art auctions of April 2009. From these results we can see that the art market continues to show signs of strength and optimism. The results of the Russian and Asian art sales are particularly pleasing and have been successful enough to suggest that the market for Russian and Asian works is as strong as it has ever been albeit slightly more discriminating. Asian buyers were the dominant force in all the Asian art sales with works from all period and all periods of Asia attracting plenty of interest. Another stand out sale was the auction of the collection of GIORGIO SOAVI by Sotheby’s Milan which again proved that works with excellent provenance that are fresh to market and are from private collections continue to be highly desirable. The Russian sales indicated that works by Svetoslav Roerich and Nicholas Roerich are in demand while the Asian sales indicated that works by Lin Fengmian and Indonesian artist I Nyoman Masriadi are highly desirable.

Christie’s Russian Art Sale
New York – Friday, April 24, 2009
Sold: $13,225,125 £8,996,683 €10,019,034
Lots Sold: 269 Lots Offered: 390 Sold by Lot: 69% Sold by $: 80%

lot 313: Svetoslav Roerich
‘Portrait of Nicholas Roerich in a Tibetan Robe’ 1933
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST
Estimate: US$900,000 – 1,100,000
Purchase Price: US$2,994,500

lot 312: Nicholas Roerich
‘The Greatest and Holiest of Tangla’ from the ‘Shambhala series, 1929
Estimate: US$300,000 – 500,000
Purchase Price: US$1,426,500

lot 317A: Nicholas Roerich
‘Sharugon Monastery, Tibet’
Estimate: US$40,000 – 60,000
Purchase Price: $242,500

lot 329: Pavel Tchelitchew
‘Portrait of Edlji Dinshaw’
Estimate: US$80,000 – 120,000
Purchase Price: US$230,500

289 Robert Falk
‘Landscape with stones’ 1911
Estimate: US$100,000 – 150,000
Purchase Price: US$218,500

Sotheby’s Milan GIORGIO SOAVI COLLEZIONISTA Sale
21 Aprile 2009
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium): 2,283,500 EUR
Sold by Value: 90.0 %
Lots Offered: 149
Sold by Lot:94.0 %
Lots Sold/Unsold:
140 / 9 of 149

Lot 22: Alberto Giacometti
‘Giorgio Soavi’ 1963
Estimate: 400,000-600,000 Euro
Purchase Price: 600,750 Euro

Lot 119: Giuliano Vangi
‘Senza titolo’, terracotta, 1986
Estimate: 4000-6000 Euro
Purchase Price: 66,750

Lot 67: Gianfranco Ferroni
‘Natura morta con panneggio’ 1983-84
Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 Euro
Purchase Price: 39,150 Euro

Lot 40: Graham Sutherland
‘Senza titolo’ 1973
Estimate: 8,000 – 10,000 Euro
Purchase Price: 31,950 Euro

Lot 69: Gianfranco Ferroni
‘Grande natura morta’ 1982 (244)
Estimate: 5,000 – 7,000 Euro
Purchase Price: 31,950

Lot 146: Luciano Ventrone
‘Autunno’ 1991
Estimate: 3,000 – 4,000 Euro
Purchase Price: 31,950

Christie’s
International Modern and Contemporary Art

Dubai – Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Sale no: 7802

Lot 26: Parviz Tanavoli (Iranian, b. 1937)
‘The Wall and the Script’ 2007
Estimate: US$120,000-180,000
Purchase Price: US$218,500

Lot 88a: Erol Akyavaş (Turkish, 1932-1999)
‘Alma Ausente’ 1959
Estimate: US$70,000-100,000
Purchase Price: US$194,500

Lot 123: Mohammed Ehsai (Iranian, b. 1939)
‘Untitled’ 1994
Estimate: US$80,000-120,000
Purchase Price: US$152,500

Lot 21: Abolghassem Saidi (Iranian, b. 1926)
‘Trees’ 1982
WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST
Estimate: US$80,000-110,000
Purchase Price US$146,500

Lot 84
Afshin Pirhashemi (Iranian, b. 1974),
‘X-Series’ 2008
Estimate: US$40,000-60,000
Purchase Price: US$122,500

Lot 135
Mahmoud Mokhtar (Egyptian, 1891-1934)
‘Au Bord du Nil (On the Banks of the Nile)’ circa early 1930s
Estimate: US$60,000-80,000
Purchase Price: US$104,500

Sotheby’s Russian Art
22 APR 09
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium): $13,842,175 (£9,446,004)
Sold by Lot: 64.9% Lots Offered: 308
Sold by Value: 71.8% Lots Sold/Unsold: 200 / 108

Lot 8: Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky,
‘Columbus Sailing from Palos’ 1892
Estimate: US$1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Purchase Price: US$1,594,500

Lot 29: Boris Grigoriev
‘Preparing Crepes: A Pair’ circa 1935
Estimate: US$500,000 – 700,000
Purchase Price: US$1,258,500

Lot 57: Alexandre Iacovleff,
‘Samurai’
Estimate: US$85,000 – 125,000
Purchase Price: US$602,500
RECORD FOR A WORK ON PAPER BY THE ARTIST AT AUCTION

Lot 44: Nicholas Roerich
‘Secrets of the Walls’ 1920
Estimate: US$150,000 – 200,000
Purchase Price: US$530,500

Lot 45: Nicholas Roerich
‘Monhegan, Maine (Hope)’ From The Series Ocean, 1922
Estimate: US$250,000 – 350,000
Purchase Price: US$434,500

Lot 27: David Davidovich Burliuk
‘Blue Rider’
Estimate: US$100,000 – 150,000
Purchase Price: US$302,500

Lot 53: Svetoslav Roerich,
‘Three Boddisatvas’ circa 1920s
Estimate: US$60,000 – 80,000
Purchase Price: US$266,500
RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION

Lot 33: Alexander Volkov
‘Morning in Shakhmardan’ 1944
Estimate: US$120,000 – 180,000
Purchase Price: US$218,500

Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Contemporary Asian Art

06 APR 09
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium): 66,434,000 HKD (8,501,559 USD)
Sold by Lot:74.0%
Sold by Value: 81.4%

Lot 677:Zeng Fanzhi
‘Mask Series: Man with Flower’ 1998, oil on canvas
Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,620,000 (463,251 USD)

Lot 709: Huang Yongping
‘Sixty-Year Cycle Chariot’ 1999-2000, copper, iron, wood, cloth
Estimate: HKD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,380,000 (432,539 USD)
*** Auction record for the artist ***

Lot 725: Yayoi Kusama
‘Pumpkin’ paint on fibre-reinfored plastic, 2007
Estimate: HKD 1,500,000 – 2,000,000
Sale Price: HKD 2,720,000 (348,078 USD)
***Auction record for a sculpture of the artist ***

Lot 661: Yue Minjun
‘Archaeology’ 2005, oil on canvas
Estimate: HKD 550,000 – 700,000
Purchase Price: HKD 2,060,000 (263,618 USD)

Sotheby’s Hong Kong
20th Century Chinese Art

06 APR 09
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium): 92,693,750 HKD (11,862,019 USD)
Sold by Lot: 80.0%
Sold by Value: 97.9%

Lot 527: Lin Fengmian,
‘Fishing Harvest’ Oil on Canvas
Estimate: HKD 3,000,000 – 3,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 16,340,000 (2,091,030 USD)
***Auction record for the artist***

Lot 522: Lin Fengmian
‘Chinese Opera Figures: Heroines of the Yangs – Mu Guiying Taking Command’ Oil on Canvas
Estimate: HKD 1,500,000 – 2,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 8,420,000 (1,077,507 USD)

Lot 525: Chang Yu (Sanyu),
‘Potted Peonies’ circa 1955, oil on isorel
Estimate: HKD 3,300,000 – 3,800,000
Purchase Price: HKD 6,260,000 (801,092 USD)

Lot 526: Zhu Yuanzhi (Yun Gee)
‘The Last Supper’ oil on silk mounted on board, circa early 1930s
Estimate: HKD 2,500,000 – 3,500,000
Purchase Price HKD 6,020,000 (770,379 USD)
***Auction record for the artist***

Lot 544: Zhu Ming, Taichi Split
‘Bronze Sculpture’
Estimate: HKD 3,800,000 – 4,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 5,900,000 (755,023 USD)

Lot 521: Lin Fengmian
‘Chinese Opera Figures: Stealing The Royal Horse’ Oil on Canvas
Estimate: HKD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Sale Price: HKD 5,540,000 (708,954 USD)

Lot 524: Lin Fengmian
‘Chinese Opera Figures: Autumn River’ Oil on Canvas
Estimate: HKD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 5,540,000 (708,954 USD)

Lot 523: Lin Fengmian
‘Chinese Opera Figures: Heroines of the Yangs’ Oil on Canvas
Estimate: HKD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000
Sale Price: HKD 5,060,000 (647,528 USD)

Lot 559:Wu Guanzhong
‘Pear Tree’ oil on board, 1964
Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 4,220,000 (540,033 USD)

Lot 545: Zhu Ming
‘Tai Chi Series’ 1991, Copper
Estimate: HKD 2,000,000 – 3,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 4,100,000 (524,677 USD)

Lily Lee, Sotheby’s Head of 20th Century Chinese Art, commented after the sale: “In this sale we had the privilege of offering a magnificent group of works from a number of notable European, American and Asian private collections – including those of Ambassador Lorenz Petersen and Monsieur and Madame Helle – and as a result a large proportion were entirely fresh to the market and in excellent, original condition. Buyers recognised that such works, which had in some cases been in private collections for over 50 years, offered a rare and unparalleled opportunity and so responded by competing strongly to try and secure them. Eight of the top ten selling works in the sale had never appeared at auction before. We are delighted to have exceeded our pre-sale high estimate by such a comfortable margin and to see 84% of the sold lots realise prices in excess of their high estimates, is extremely heartening for the market. In addition, it was exciting to break the auction record for Lin Fengmian twice in the same sale, first with the HK$8.4 million achieved for Chinese Opera Figures: Heroines of the Yangs (Lot 522) and then with the HK$16.3 million for Fishing Harvest (Lot 527) – which virtually doubled the record set minutes before.”

Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings

05 APR 09
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium):28,445,500 HKD (3,646,858 USD)
Sold by Lot:76.8%
Sold by Value: 86.1%

Lot 58: I Nyoman Masriadi – Negosiasi (Negotiation)
1,700,000 (217,948 USD) 600,000 – 800,000 Asian Private

Lot 92: I Nyoman Masriadi
‘Ingin Menang Harus Curang’ (Want To Win, Must Cheat)
Estimate: HKD 450,000 – 650,000
Purchase Price: HKD 1,580,000 (202,564 USD)

Lot 110: Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès
‘Marché De Légumes’
Estimate: HKD 450,000 – 650,000
Purchase Price: HKD 1,340,000 (171,794 USD)

Lot 119: Affandi
‘Man With Geese
Estimate; HKD 700,000 – 900,000
Purchase Price: HKD 1,220,000 (156,410 USD)

Lot 118: Affandi
‘Man With Cockerel’
Estimate: HKD 625,000 – 825,000
Purchase Price: HKD 1,220,000 (156,410 USD)

Lot 102: Anita Magsaysay-Ho
‘Tuyo Vendors’ (Dried Fish Vendors)
Estimate: HKD 500,000 – 750,000
Purchase Price: HKD 1,040,000 (133,333 USD)

Lot 114: Sudjana Kerton
‘4th Of July’
Estimate: HKD 235,000 – 285,000
Purchase Price: HKD 920,000 (117,948 USD)

Lot 120: Hendra Gunawan
‘Clothes Vendor’
Estimate: HKD 300,000 – 500,000
Purchase Price: 860,000 (110, 256 USD)

Lot 55 I Nyoman Masriadi
‘Mother Earth’
Estimate: HKD 500,000 – 700,000
Purchase Price: HKD 860,000 (110,256USD)

Lot 88: Ronald Ventura
‘Oh Boy!’
Estimate: HKD 120,000 – 180,000
Purchase Price: HKD 836,000 (107,179 USD)

Mok Kim Chuan, Sotheby’s Head of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings, commented after the sale: “This is a very solid performance and we are delighted to exceed our pre-sale high estimate once again and achieve a healthy sold by lot rate of 77%. When assembling the sale we were extremely careful to price works attractively and the results show that with the right pricing, quality works in this field will continue to receive a great deal of competition. We saw some exceptional prices achieved today, particularly for top quality paintings by modern masters such as Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès and Sudjana Kerton. Works by the Contemporary Indonesia artist I Nyoman Masriadi were also highly sought after – with two more than doubling their pre-sale high estimates – and Oh Boy! by the ever popular Contemporary Filipino artist Ronald Ventura was contested for by at least 15 bidders and was the subject of a five minute bidding battle. The market for Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art remains vibrant and we were delighted to see interest from American and European collectors.”

Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Fine Chinese Paintings

05 APR 09
Grand Total (Including Buyer’s Premium): 129,775,500 HKD (16,607,371 USD)
Sold by Lot: 89.2%
Sold by Value: 95.5%

Lot 410: Fu Baoshi
‘Drunken Monk’ ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 1943
Estimate: HKD 3,200,000 – 5,000,000
Purchase Price: 6,260,000 (801,092 USD)

Lot 323: Li Keran
‘Mount Jiuhua’ ink and colour on paper, framed, 1979
Estimate: HKD 2,800,000 – 4,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,860,000 (493,964 USD)

Lot 424: Qi Baishi
‘Flowers and Insects’ ink and colour on paper, album of six leaves
Estimate: HKD 2,300,000 – 3,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,620,000 (463,251 USD)

Lot 444: Li Huayi
‘Landscape’ — 15, ink and colour on paper, framed
Estimate: HKD 850,000 – 1,200,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,500,000 (447,895 USD)

Lot 408: Xu Beihong
‘Horse’ ink and colour on paper, framed, 1942
Estimate: HKD 800,000 – 1,200,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,500,000 (447,895 USD)

Lot 224: Lin Fengmian
‘Lady among the Summer Blossoms’ ink and colour on paper, ramed, 1982
Estimate: HKD 1,500,000 – 2,500,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,260,000 (417,182 USD)

Lot 341: Wu Changshuo
‘Gourds and Chrysanthemum’ ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 1925
Estimate: HKD 800,000 – 1,200,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,140,000 (401,826 USD)

Lot 425: Qi Baishi
‘Farm Rake’ ink on paper, hanging scroll, 1927
Estimate: HKD 1,500,000 – 2,000,000
Purchase Price: HKD 3,020,000 (386,469 USD)

Lot 337: ‘Pan Tianshou’
‘Pavillion and Withered Trees’ ink on paper, hanging scroll, 1961
Estimate: 2,400,000 – 4,000,000
Purchase Price: 2,900,000 (371,113 USD)

Lot 225:Lin Fengmian
‘Mountain Scenery’ ink and colour on paper, framed
Estimate: 1,200,000 – 1,800,000
Purchase Price: 2,660,000 (340,400 USD)

Lot 230: Wu Guanzhong
‘Yosemite’ ink and colour on paper, framed, 1989
Estimate: 1,000,000 – 2,000,000
Purchase Price: 2,660,000 (340,400 USD)

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Asian Art Market Update- artmarketblog.com

Asian Art Market Update- artmarketblog.com

"Karma" by Do-Ho Suh

"Karma" by Do-Ho Suh

In 2007, China redistributed the cards in becoming the third auction market globally. Beijing and Hong Kong have rapidly established themselves as new growth relays and the scene of some particularly aggressive investment over the past two years. The most impressive sale results have been achieved at Poly International Auction and China Guardian. In Hong-Kong, it is Sotheby’s and Christie’s who largely dominate the market, rocking the art market twice a year with their sales of modern and contemporary Asian art: Sotheby’s opens the proceedings in April with Christie’s following in December. The two auction houses had great hopes of 2008 but the year proved to be one of the most disappointing.

Christie’s and Sotheby’s had become accustomed to seeing their Hong Kong sale proceeds increase by several million dollars every six months. Between April and May 2007, they recorded more than USD 120 million, followed by USD 173 million in the October to November period. In the spring of 2008, proceeds soared to USD 198 million. However, the first warning signs were already discernable: nearly 20% of the lots were bought in at Christie’s compared with the usual ratio of between 9% and 14%. In the autumn, their unsold rate reached a high of 35%!

Asian contemporary art, and Chinese in particular, is being hit by the negative fall-out of two years of speculative price rises. It is worth remembering that, on 9 April 2008, Sotheby’s sold 90% of the works in the Estella collection. A private Asian collector spent the equivalent of USD 5.4 million on a work entitled Bloodline: The Big Family No. 3 by Xiaogang ZHANG, a new record for the artist. Six months later, only one of the four Xiaogang ZHANG canvases presented by Sotheby’s was to find a buyer in Hong Kong, with no-one prepared to bid higher than its low-end pre-sale estimate (USD 2.75 million, Bloodline: Big Family No.1). Still in the spring of 2008, Fanzhi ZENG achieved the world record for a contemporary Chinese artist. The work in question was the Mask series 1996 No.6 diptych which changed hands at Christie’s for close to USD 8.6 million (HKD 67 million), five times its pre-sale estimate. On 30 November 2008, Christie’s hoped to repeat this major exploit in again betting on Fanzhi ZENG with From the Masses, to the Masses. This work, created in 1993, had been billed as a “historic work”, heralding the famous Mask series, so sought-after in the market. Advertised as the headline lot of the Asian contemporary art evening sale for a secret pre-sale estimate, the star of the Chinese contemporary art scene would not find a buyer that night… The following day the rate of unsold contemporary works reached 43% at Christie’s. As for modern art, nearly 52% of the lots offered on 1 December were bought in. Only a few private Asian collectors were prepared to bid up for abstract masters like Wou-ki ZAO and Teh-Chun CHU. The best result was achieved by a Wou-ki ZAO abstract work, Hommage à Tou-Fou, sold for the equivalent of USD 5.16 million, a new record for the artist. A readjustment is under way but Asian art prices are maintaining a high level that was unimaginable even three years ago. The first million-ticket sales were effectively recorded in 2005, with prices accelerating in 2007 before peaking in the first half of 2008.

The global economic crisis has put an end to the speculative frenzy and, with collectors becoming more cautious and more demanding, the estimated ranges indicated in the spring of 2009 are going to have to be revised down.

Copyright@Artprice.com

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.