On 17 September at Sotheby’s New York the week of Asian Art sales started with Magnificent Ritual Bronzes – Property from the Collection of Julius Eberhardt which totaled $16,786,000 – almost four times the low estimate (est. $3.5/5.3 million) with 100% of lots sold. Multiple bidders in the packed salesroom competed for every piece, all ten of which exceeded the high estimate. The top lot of the morning was A Ritual Bronze Food Vessel, Zuo Bao Yi Gui, Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century BC, which sold for $6,661,000, more than double the high estimate of $3 million and one of the highest prices ever paid for a Chinese Bronze at auction.
Dr. Wang Tao, Head of Chinese Works of Art at Sotheby's New York said: "We are thrilled to have opened our week of Asian Art sales with the tremendous success of the $16.8 million White Glove Eberhardt auction. Collectors from around the world were drawn to this collection of just ten masterpieces which all sold to total nearly $17 million. Together, they represent the most important group of Chinese archaic bronzes to have appeared at auction since the Albright-Knox sale at Sotheby's in 2007 and have takent heir place as one of the landmark auctions in the field."
The remarkable highlight of the autumn Asia week auctions in New York is a single-owner sale of ten extraordinary archaic bronzes from the famed collection of Julius Eberhardt. Distinguished by their provenance, the majority of them come from the collection of A.J. Argyropoulos (1894-1978), the Greek Ambassador to China after World War II, acquired through the legendary Shanghai dealer T.Y. King, and exhibited in the seminal 1954 Mostra d'Arte Cineseexhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice.
The group includes the 'Zuo Bao Yi Gui', a magnificent ritual food vessel, of particularly rare form, estimated to sell for $2-3 million. Additional highlights are the 'Fu Bing Jue', a pair of jue ritual wine cups of rare exaggerated curvilinear form; the 'Mu Xin Zun', a superbly cast zun ritual wine vessel; and the 'Zuo Ce Huan You', a highly important you ritual wine vessel with a thirty-five character inscription. Both the 'Mu Xin Zun' and 'Zuo Ce Huan You' were once in the celebrated collection of Pan Zuyin (1830-1890), a senior official, scholar and Compiler of the Hanlin Academy. A group of bronzes of this quality and strong provenance present a rare opportunity for collectors and connoisseurs; one unlikely to be matched for many years to come.