Six sales of Chinese Works of Art totalled HK$603 million/US$77.2 million. Top lot was the highly important Imperial khotan-green jade seal ‘Treasure of the Emperor Supreme’ which achieved HK$91.5 million/US$11.7 million. The Imperial inscribed documentary wutong qin sold for HK$55.6 million/US$7.2 million, setting a world auction record for a Qing dynasty musical instrument. The Chinese Art Through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō: Early Buddhist Bronzes achieved a white glove sale fetching HK$50.4 million/US$6.5 million, over six times the estimate.
The twenty-two bronze votive figures in this outstanding collection, assembled over the past sixty years by the legendaryJapanese dealer Sakamoto Gorō, are not only of sublime beauty, but also of great importance in documenting the transmission of Buddhism into China from the 4th century onwards. Revered and treasured in Japan, this carefully preserved group includes several with documentary inscriptions, including the famous large gilt-bronze figure of Padmapani from the Northern Wei dynasty, dated to 470, extensively exhibited and published in Japan since 1960.