The screen had actually been offered in a previous Elite Decorative Arts auction, but the winning bidder, a man from China, was overzealous and couldn’t make good on payment. So the lot was re-introduced in this month's sale and assigned a modest estimate of $30,000-$40,000. The final price realized was $5,000 more than the winning bid in the previous sale, so justice did prevail.
“We've strengthened our bidder approval process, but it's a delicate balance between accepting bidders and requiring additional information or a deposit for approval,” said Scott Cieckiewicz of Elite Decorative Arts. The porcelain screen, a truly gorgeous piece with the four panels mounted in a carved wooden frame and measuring 38 ½ inches by 46 ¾ inches, was the top lot of the sale.
Just under 50 people held bidder cards in person at the event, while thousands more participated online, through LiveAuctioneers.com (1,325 registered bidders) and Invaluable.com (1,316 registered bidders). “There's always a strong internet component whenever we feature Asian items,” Cieckiewicz said. Also, a handful of people submitted left (absentee) and phone bids.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 21 percent buyer's premium for winning bids submitted online, and 18 percent for in-person and phone bids.
Chinese red coral carvings are always a huge hit with collectors and this sale had several great examples. One grouping, depicting a family tree, with birds and a carved flower arrangement, 15 ½ inches tall, was the auction's second top lot, bringing $90,750. Also, a massive hand-carved red coral depicting a Quan Yin, 9 ½ inches tall on a one-inch footed base, topped out at $30,250.
Another Chinese carved red coral rendering of a Quan Yin dressed in a beautiful carved gown standing on a patch of flowers, standing 7 inches tall, changed hands for $5,566; while a large Chinese carved red coral grouping of a Quan Yin with children, boasting a fabulous carved detail of a bird of paradise holding a necklace to the back of the Quan Yin's head, topped out at $6,665.
A large, palace-size Chinese porcelain famille rose fish bowl from the Guangxu Period (circa 1875-1908), 21 ¾ inches in diameter, with cleverly painted fish to the interior and the exterior displaying dragons, birds and flora climbed to $16,520; and a Chinese silver dragon footed bowl with two dragon handles and various panels of dragons and people throughout, realized $3,509.
Japanese lots were highlighted by an ink and brush watercolor painting by the noted and listed French/Japanese painter Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), titled The Bolivian Shepherd, artist signed and dated 1932 ($18,150). Also, an antique Japanese Tsuba Samurai sword guard made of 22kt gold, bronze and copper and showing a puppeteer and a rat in a kimono, hit $4,961.
Also from the Land of the Rising Sun, a pair of 19th century Japanese bronze and mixed metal floor vases, both 30 inches tall with gold peacocks to the front and rooster handles and niello trim to the top and bottom, went for $8,772; and a vintage Japanese heavy bronze planter, 14 ½ inches tall and depicting two warriors holding up a heavy bronze planter, finished at $3,993.
A pair of 18th century Chinese yellow porcelain rice bowls sold as single lots. One, 5 ½ inches in diameter, brought $5,566, while the other, 4 ½ inches in diameter, sold for $3,751. Also, a late 19th century Chinese silver hand mirror with dragon jade handle, 8 inches long, with carved jade floral disk to the top of the mirror and eight small round jade disk inserts, topped out at $4,838.
Two late 19th or early 20th century famille rose covered vases, 17 ½ inches tall and depicting Quan Yin surrounded by foo dog handles and finial, with attached tops, wowed the crowd for $8,722. Also, a rare Chinese antique hand-painted enameled Grisaille-decorated yellow ground planter with a flower and leaf design over yellow ground, circa the Qing Dynasty, made $5,324.
Rounding out just some of the auction's major highlights, a wonderful pair of Chinese sterling silver vases, each one standing 7 ½ inches tall and depicting scenes of warriors among the mountains in relief, with dragon handles, breezed to $4,840; and a Chinese hand-painted enameled porcelain plaque attributed to He Xu Ren, with a winter scene and poem, hit $4,719.
Elite Decorative Arts is now accepting quality consignments for their Decorative Arts Auctions planned for July 12th and 26th, as well as its next Fine Asian Carvings & Works of Art Auction scheduled for Sept. 20th. To inquire about consigning an item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (561) 200-0893; or, you can send them an e-mail inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Elite Decorative Arts and the upcoming slate of auctions, please log on to www.eliteauction.com.