Yongle period moonflask to make $900,000 at Sotheby's Chinese art auction?

A Ming dynasty, Yongle period (1402-1424) rare blue and white moonflask is among the highlights of Sotheby's Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction on September 11-12.

Given a high estimate of $900,000, it combines elements of Persian and Chinese design, in a manner extremely popular during the period.

For years it was kept on a wooden stand that was employed as a doorstop. Now its true worth has been revealed, we're expecting the new owners to treat this relic with somewhat more care.

Sotheby's moonflask
The 15th century moonflask has a $900,000 estimate

The moonflask gets its name from its curved shape, which is said to resemble the Moon.

A moonflask from the much later Yongzheng period (1722-1735) sold for £30,000 at a UK auction in May, 400% up on its valuation.

The New York sale will also feature an imperial jade seal, produced to mark the Qianlong Emperor's 80th birthday in 1790. It has a $1.2m high estimate.

A Jiajing period (1507-1567) Wucai fish jar, believed to be one of at most three complete examples in private hands, will also auction with a $700,000 valuation.

A pair of 17th century Huanghuali yokeback armchairs, an integral part of classical Chinese living, has an estimate of $250,000.

The auction will be rivalled by Christie's Asian art week, taking place concurrently across town.

The two sales will offer an excellent gauge of the market, which has enjoyed so much success in recent years, buoyed by the growing number of wealthy Chinese repatriating pieces.

China's growing wealth boosted the country's share of global art sales to 30% in 2011, up from 23% in 2010, according to a recent European Fine Art Foundation report. China overtook America as the world's largest art market in the process.

The two auction houses combined to achieve $460m in sales of Chinese antiques and art in 2011.

The Sotheby's sale is expected to achieve $22m in total. Check back with Paul Fraser Collectibles to see how it fares.

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