Bonhams dominates Asian Art Week with $48m Chinese & Japanese sales

Bonhams took the lead position on Asian Arts in Europe with outstanding sales of Chinese Art (£24.8m), and Japanese Art (£6.1m), giving a combined total of £30.9m (nearly $48m) for 'Asian Art Week'.

The result boosts London as a key destination for Asian art buyers.

The outstanding highlight of the week was a magnificent turquoise Imperial vase, decorated with chrysanthemums, part of Bonhams huge 700-lot sale, which sold for £9,001,250, making it the highest priced Asian artwork in London this year.

After keen and protracted bidding by three separate phone buyers it was knocked down for £9,001,250 to a round of applause from the packed saleroom. Its pre-sale estimate was £5m to £8m.

During 'Asian Art Week' Bonhams achieved the highest sales figures for both Chinese and Japanese sales, the highest priced item and tellingly the highest percentage of lots sold.

The company has also been holding very successful sales of Chinese art in Hong Kong for four years and opened a representative office in Beijing this year, with one in Singapore due to open shortly.

These results in 'Asian Art Week', place Bonhams in a unique position in Europe, heading Asian Art sales for all auction houses. Colin Sheaf, Head of Asian Art at Bonhams, said: "This is the latest milestone in Bonhams growing international strength and it occurs in one of the most exciting collecting areas.

"All things in classic Chinese taste are currently in huge demand and in this week's sale Bonhams simply had the best material and more of it than anyone else."

The vase recently sold for £9,001,250, making it the highest priced Asian artwork in London this year – click here to read our full report


Speaking of the Imperial vase, Asaph Hyman, Senior Specialist with Bonhams Chinese Art Department, said: "It has been a very great privilege to have sold such an extraordinary work of art.

The interest in Chinese art continues to grow and the number of remarkable objects coming to auction is astonishing. Bonhams will continue its efforts to offer the market the rarest items of Chinese art."

Other Chinese sale highlights included a blue and white pear-shaped vase from the Qianlong period which made £505,250 and a very fine rare enameled nine dragon vase of the Qianlong period at £385,250.

Japanese art proves its worth in Europe

The world records for inro (traditional Japanese cases consisting of nested boxes) and netsuke (miniature carvings) sold at auction have both been broken during the sale of the Harriet Szechenyi Collection of Japanese Art that took place at Bonhams, New Bond Street.

The sale realised £4.6 million with 87% sold by lot and 96% by value. Bonhams' second Japanese sale in this week made £1.5m, making a total of £6.1m for Japanese art.

"This two day auction at Bonhams was the most important and highest value sale of Japanese art ever held in Europe," said Suzannah Yip, Head of the Japanese Department at Bonhams.

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