In Freeman’s April 13 Asian Arts auction, competitive bidding across the board sent lots soaring past their pre-sale estimates. The sale was led by Lot 28, a pair of Chinese huanghuali armchairs; the handsome pair, exemplars of Chinese craftsmanship from the late Ming to Qing dynasty, achieved $948,000 following an estimate of $80,000-120,000, setting the tone for a sale filled with spirited bidding wars.
“We were delighted to achieve such a strong result for the family who had so carefully preserved these rare and beautiful chairs for nearly 70 years in a local collection,” says Ben Farina, Head of Freeman’s Asian Arts department. “The response to our international marketing was extremely gratifying, leading to an exceptionally long day on the rostrum. We are delighted to have achieved the sale results for our consignors and look forward to curating our next sale.”
The sale’s successes underscore the strength of market demand for Asian art, particularly Chinese furniture, cultural artefacts, design objects, and artwork. In a remarkable testament to this strength, two finely-painted Chinese blue and white porcelain panels sold for $403,200, more than 200 times their pre-sale high estimate (Lot 157; estimate: $1,500-2,000).
Qing dynasty artistry consistently outperformed estimates in Wednesday’s sale, led by porcelain and jade highlights: a rare and unusual Chinese famille-rose-decorated “Butterflies and Blossoms” vase, four-character Yongzheng mark that achieved $189,000 (Lot 7; estimate: $5,000-7,000), and a Chinese creamy-white jade carving of a bear that sold for $107,100 (Lot 78; estimate: $3,000-5,000).
Freeman’s is privileged to offer works from several collections assembled by astute connoisseurs and connect with the next generation of art lovers. As always, the market responds enthusiastically when rare and unusual pieces are offered from esteemed collections.
Wednesday’s auction builds on the successes of Freeman’s 2021 season, in which Chinese works likewise commanded impressive prices, led by the $378,000 sale of an important Imperial pale celadon-white jade “Taishang Huangdi zhi bao” seal. The department is already seeking consignments for its forthcoming 2022 sales.