Yongle Buddhist bronze figure auctions with 333% increase on estimate

Bonhams' Asia Week auctions have seen an outstanding early result, with a Chinese Yongle period (1360-1424) gilt bronze figure making a 333.3% increase on estimate in New York yesterday (September 16).

Buddhist gilt bronze statue
The piece was cast at the imperial studios in Beijing, and was intended to be taken to to Tibet on one of the many missions from the Chinese capital

The sale formed part of the auction house's Chinese Art from the Scholar's Studio auction. The figure, a statue of the Buddhist bodhisattva Shadakshari Lokeshvara, sold for an impressive $1.3m, having been estimated to make around $300,000.

The elegant figure was produced by China's imperial workshops, and then brought to Tibet as part of a series of missions made between 1408 and 1419.

The sale provided a superb indicator of what lies ahead at Asia Week, with huanghuali furniture remaining extremely popular. An 18th century recessed leg table sold for $362,500, more than triple its pre-auction estimate.

Huanghuali wood table
The market for huanghuali furniture remains buoyant, as the demand for the rare wood continues to increase

Huanghuali is an exceptionally rare Asian wood that is nearing extinction, with less than 10,000 pieces of furniture remaining. In Spring's Asia Week sales, Christie's sold a massive huanghuali table for $9m, resulting in one of the top sales of the entire event.

Further impressive sales yesterday included a rare cast bronze incense burner and cover in the shape of a goose, which made $326,500 to quadruple its pre-auction estimate. Dating to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the piece is prized as a unique example of its type, retaining its exquisite lotus-form base.

Paul Fraser Collectibles will be bringing you all the latest results from Asia Week over the coming days - sign up to our free weekly newsletter to ensure you don't miss out.

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