Christie's has richest Asia Week
Updated: 2015-03-24 06:16
By By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)
A rare Chinese doucai ovoid jar from the Yongzheng-Qianlong Period. The piece sold for $509,000 at a Christie's auction, part of the Robert Ellsworth Collection, one of the most important private American collections of Chinese art.[PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY BY CHRISTIE'S IMAGES]
Christie's had its biggest Asian Art Week sales ever, bringing in $161.1 million with the help of the sale of the Robert Ellsworth collection, one of the most prominent private American collections of Chinese art.
A five-day live auction series devoted to the Ellsworth collection brought in $131.7 million, far exceeding the $35 million pre-sale estimate from the auction house.
"This was an historic week for Christie's and for Asian art. The overwhelming response to the Ellsworth Collection, one of the greatest private collections ever assembled, was felt from the international tour to the exhibitions and in saleroom," said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie's Americas, in a March 21 statement.
"It was an honor to work with the Estate of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth who entrusted us with the sale, and the result of the collection so far is not only a testament to Mr. Ellsworth's unparalleled eye and diverse interests in art, but also the global team effort at Christie's," Porter said.
Ellsworth, who died last year at the age of 85, was an American scholar who began his decades-long career as a collector in his early teens. As a boy, he worked at a gallery in Manhattan learning about Chinese art and eventually going on to write books on the subject. He influenced the tastes of many other American and European collectors. Ellsworth had a 22-room apartment near New York's Central Park, where he housed his acquisitions.
The first part of the collection featuring Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian works of art fetched $61.1 million; a second part featuring Chinese furniture, scholar's objects and Chinese paintings fetched $39.1 million. Ceramics, glass, and jade carvings made up a third part, bringing in $8.2 million.
A fourth part featuring metalwork, sculpture and early ceramics brought $15.8 million, and a fifth part with European and Asian art totaled $6.2 million. A final part featuring books from the Ellsworth collection fetched $1.2 million.
"For the last six months, the Christie's team has worked tirelessly to research, catalogue, and present this extraordinary group of objects," Porter said. "The reaction from our international clients has been unparalleled in its enthusiasm."
Jonathan Rendell, Christie's deputy chairman, previously told China Daily that the interest in the Ellsworth collection was unprecedented. The collection was available for public viewing in the week leading up to the first evening auction.
The gallery "was absolutely packed" with collectors and potential buyers, Rendell said. "It felt like there were planes being specially flown from the mainland to bring the collectors."
The auction series for the Ellsworth collection began on March 17 and finished on March 21, with a seventh part online only. Bidding for the online-only objects ends on Friday, and there already are competitive bids on all the available lots, according to Rendell.
The Julia and John Curtis Collection also was featured at Christie's for Asian Art Week. The 95-lot collection was curated by the Curtises over 35 years. Julia Curtis was known for having published extensively on Chinese porcelain production in the 17th century, and the collection showcased pieces from 17th century porcelain artists. The collection fetched $3.9 million.
There were two other auctions focused on Chinese art at Christie's: one on fine Chinese ceramics that totaled $16.9 million, and another on fine Chinese paintings that brought in almost $5 million.
The top item in the ceramics auction was a large enamel dragon jar and cover that sold for $2.5 million, and the top-selling item in the Chinese paintings sale was an early Ming Dynasty landscape ink piece that priced at $425,000.
- Families mourn victims of Airbus A320 crash
- Snow blankets Chicago after spring storm
- Haze descends on Paris
- Tokyo's plans to build new US base possibly scuppered
- Conversation topics only heard in China
- Zhejiang villager creates a world of clay
- Dramatic changes for Chinese miners in the last 30 years
- Top 10 young Chinese entrepreneurs defining the future
Annual legislative and political advisory sessions
Spring Festival trends reflect a changing China
Patent applications lead the world
BC lures Chinese tourists
Festival Special: Apps that make holiday shopping easier
Alibaba places China smartphone business bet with $590m Meizu deal
Today's Top News
Plane crash in France kills 150, black box found
Iconic Chinese play hits America
Christie's has richest Asia Week
China keen to invest in US
Beijing 'welcomes interested nations joining the AIIB'
Innovation is talk of summit on investment
House passes resolution urging Obama to send arms to Ukraine
US to strengthen cooperation on clean energy with China: Pritzker
Geared to go
The place to be