David David-Weill collection achieved a final result of €5 million, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of €1.2-2 million, with 85 % of the 59 lots sold. Combined with the result of the Asian arts sale, it totalled nearly €12 million.
According to Caroline Schulten, director of the Asian arts department: “A remarkable sale with remarkable results. It is rare to find such iconic objects on the market with such an old and prestigious provenance: the source of so much knowledge in Europe about classical Chinese art.”
The key piece in this collection was the large bronze Taotie mask from the late Shang/early Western Zhou dynasty, which garnered the highest bid of the day at €783,000 (lot 10). Extremely rare in terms of its menacing expression and fine condition, this exceptional piece is one of the largest known masks from this period.
At €507,000 the bronze ritual tripod food vessel (Li Ding) from the same collection achieved the sale’s second highest result (lot 21, estimate: €150,000-250,000).
Sotheby's is honoured to offer Treasures of Ancient China from the David David-Weill Collection for sale on 16 December in Paris during our Asian Art sale. Bringing together archaic jades and bronzes, this exceptional ensemble perfectly summarises the vast collection of early Chinese art formed in the first half of the 20th century by David David-Weill (1871-1952).
This enlightened connoisseur and important benefactor of Chinese art in France formed his collection at a time when objects from Chinese archaeological sites first appeared on the art market in the West. David David-Weill was a true visionary in many ways who began collecting Chinese art long before its aesthetics became known to a wider audience in the West. His refined taste focused on early Chinese art, in particular archaic jades and bronzes, which formed the most important group of his collection, like the rare large archaic bronze ritual food vessel dating to the late Shang dynasty, circa 1200 BC (estimate €150,000-250,000).