Christie's Superb Jade Carvings from an Important European Collection concluded on September 15 with a predictably intense session of bidding and some thundering prices.
In total the sale made $8,596,100 despite only 36 lots being on offer, (92% were sold by value). In fact over half of this was achieved by just two lots.
The top lot, as expected, was a very rare white jade archaistic vase and cover, Qianlong/Jiaqing period (1736-1820). This outstanding vase is carved from fine stone of even white tone and exhibits an unusual shape, as well as a bold combination of low and high relief carving.
It was expected to be the runaway top lot with an estimate of $750,000-1,000,000, and it certainly didn't disappoint with a living bidding session pressing it up to $2,658,500. It was bought by an Asian collector.
Whilst an animal-form water pot was expected to be one of the highlights at $120,000-180,000, it turned out it was a little more coveted than that.
A very rare and finely carved white and russet jade animal-form Qianlong-period water pot, it is in the shape of the mythological animal bixie, meaning 'avoid evil' (pictured top right).
The piece is finely carved in an archaistic style with a snarling expression. The details are enhanced with finely incised hair markings, floppy curved ears on a stone of soft, lustrous white tone with satiny polish and some added pale russet highlights.
Where they are being pursued by evil, or merely in need of a low-maintenance pet, bidders were very keen on little bixie and chased it to $2,098,500, with the winner again being an Asian collector.
Christopher Engle, Co-Head of Department, Chinese Works of Art, New York, enthused: "We were delighted the sale was so well received and that such strong prices were achieved for the exceptional animal-form water pot and the faceted white vase and cover.
"It is clear that the market continues to appreciate well provenanced works of art of superb quality from private collections. Fine jades that are fresh to the market remain extremely sought after in this popular collecting area.
"We look forward to the continued sales of works of art from this collection in our Hong Kong and London rooms.