Sotheby’s France Asian Art Sale of Asian art was a triumph, garnering a total of €13 million, with 77% of lots sold and 95% by value. A packed saleroom provided the stage for several magnificent and dramatic bidding battles.
The first session featured several magnificent imperial porcelains. The most sought-after was an exceptionally rare Famille Rose porcelain bowl painted with flowering prunus and peach tree branches, bearing a Yongzheng mark, which came close to the million-euro mark when it fetched €987,000.
For the first time, the Asian Art sale at Sotheby’s Paris included a comprehensive selection of Chinese classical and modern paintings and calligraphies from European collections.
The dispersion of a private German collection of classical paintings, calligraphies and rubbings assembled in China between 1894 and 1922 was greeted with an enthusiastic response from collectors and totaled €6.5 million: 94.6% of lots sold, and 100% by value.
The highest hammer price of the day, €1,443,000 went to a calligraphy, a poem by Tao Yuanming attributed to Zhao Mengfu. The winning bid was greeted by a round of applause in the packed room.
A rare set of three 15th-century gilt-bronze Buddhas from a European private collection leads the June Paris Asian Art sale. The sale presents rare Chinese and Himalayan Buddhist bronzes, fine and rare imperial porcelains, jades, lacquerware and cloisonné enamels. A selection of classical and modern Chinese paintings and calligraphies from French and European private collections formed in the first part of the 20th century completes the sale. One of the highlights of this section is a fine and rare scroll titled 'Spring on Xiang River' by Xia Chang (1388-1470), collected in China between 1894 and 1922.