On June 18, 2017, Clars Auction Gallery hosted an important Asian art and antiques as part of their June 17th and 18th Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art Auction. This sale was expected to draw strong national and international bidding on the exceptional single works and collections that were offered but in the end, this sale exceeded all predictions realizing over $5 million and shattering presale estimates not only in the Asian offerings but across the board in all categories. After the sale, Redge Martin, President of Clars commented, “I had called this a Hot June Auction. And it turned out to be very hot – hot sales, hot temperature.”
The Asian Art & Antiques
The star of this special sale was a group of eight scrolls by Chinese artist Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien, 1899-1983). This collection of eight scrolls included landscape paintings, ink and color on paper and one executed with colophon to celebrate Shaoyun [Ma Hongkui] General’s birthday. All were signed and sealed Zhang Daqian and were offered as one lot with an estimate of $200,000 to $400,000. Open to phone and floor bidders only, it was clear from the start that this was going to be a very exciting lot to watch as heated bidding quickly drove this lot higher and higher to finally land at it’s final selling price of $2,919,000.
Astonishing prices on Asian art and antiques continued through the sale. Next, in porcelain, a celadon glazed porcelain zhadou with a lobed hexagonal body rising to a trumpet neck and bearing the Yonzheng mark was offered for $20,000 to $40,000. Once again, tremendous bidding drove this lot higher and higher to its final sale price of $169,400. (Provenance: Estate of Yuet Lai Tsang, Contributing Author of ‘Jian Jin Ji’, Pasadena, CA).
Following this, a Himalayan gilt bronze of Vaisravana, the base marked with a double vajra, was expected to achieve $4,000 to $6,000. The bidding opened at $2,000 but was quickly left in the dust as this lot came to rest at $57,475. Earning the same strong price was a Chinese bamboo vase with trumpet neck. Then came the extensive collection of Chinese Huanghuali furniture which also performed well beyond expectations. Topping this collection was a pair of tall cabinets that commanded the impressive price of $102,850 . Next, and flying past high estimate, was an altar table that sold for $66,500 ; a Chinese large desk also surpassed high estimate selling for $51,475 and more than doubling its high estimate was another smaller Chinese desk that sold for $48,400. Clars has developed an international reputation for obtaining outstanding prices on Chinese Huanghuali furniture.
And the surprises kept coming. From the estate of Estate of Lim Kee Chin, the former Singapore Trade Commissioner, a Chinese tianhuang seal measuring just 1.25” high sold for 3 times high estimate achieving $22,900. In all, the 124 lots of exceptional Asian art and antiques were offered realized a very impressive $4,022,000.