Sotheby’s May series of Chinese art sales finished last night and realised a combined total of £6,537,125 / US$8,481,920 / HK$66,158,976 – a sum more than the pre-sale estimate of £3.4-5 million.
Among the sales of Chinese art were a series of important Chinese art that had previously been unseen on the market for 40 years and this, along with the rarity of the pieces, sparked an intense interest from collections.
Returning to Sotheby’s London for the fourth tie was a rare large carved cinnabar lacquer dish that sold for an exceptional £1.57 Million – a sum that’s almost one thousand times the price of what it achieved when it was last offered at auction in 1972. At that time, when early-carved lacquer was still much of a mystery, the dish fetched £1,600.
Robert Bradlow, the Senior Director of Chinese Works of Art at Sotheby’s had this to say. ‘Over the last several days, our exhibition spaces have seen a steady influx of Asian collectors, many of whom made the special trip to London to inspect and enjoy the rich and broad spectrum of works on display. One of the biggest draws was undoubtedly the carved lacquer dish, which had emerged from a private collection after almost half a century. Interest in the piece translated into determined bids this afternoon, in a sale that also saw strong prices for Qing imperial ceramics and good quality jade.’