Few individuals have shaped the Chinese antiquities market as forcefully as the legendary collector, dealer and connoisseur Sakamoto Gorō (1923–2016), whose career spanned almost 70 years. Unlike his contemporaries, Sakamoto learned the trade through trial and error instead of apprenticing or inheriting a family business. He studied as many art books as he could and sought advice from renowned dealers, who were impressed by his pluck and courage. In 1947, at the age of 24, he set up his first shop in Tokyo. While his journey was not without its failures, Sakamoto’s diligence, discriminating eye and ability to forge long-lasting relationships soon propelled him to the top. In 1972, he broke the world record for any Chinese porcelain for an underglaze-blue and copper red Yuan dynasty wine jar. This purchase palpably increased the appreciation for quality in the market. This September, Sotheby's will offer a selection of early Chinese art from his unparalleled collection during Asia Week. Click ahead to see highlights from the upcoming sale, as well as some of the most impressive Sakamoto lots Sotheby's has sold in recent years.
Chinese Art Through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō: Early Chinese Art
13 September | New York
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