A fine huanghuali and burlwood table. The single rectangular-sectioned floating panel of intricately figured burlwood surrounded by framing members with elegantly tapered ice-plate edges supported by a tall waist above simply rendered aprons with beaded edges buttressed by large 'giant's arm braces' atop gently inwardly curving hoof-form feet, the elements other than the burlwood floating top panel comprised of huanghuali wood of honey hue with a grain of attractive whorl. 22 1/2 x 32 x 43in (57 x 81 x 109cm). Sold for $458,500. Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams held a successful two-day auction of Asian Works of Art, June 19-20 in San Francisco, achieving over $ 5.5 million in sales. The auctions' over 700 lots of predominantly Chinese art attracted a strong international bidding audience and brought strong prices in all categories.

The first of the two sale days was devoted to Fine Asian Works of Art. This 400-lot session saw strong prices in Qing dynasty and Republic period jade carvings, with the cover lot, a fine pair of Republic period spinach jade landscape plaques (est. $10,000-15,000) selling for over 10 times its estimate at $116,500. An elegant 18th century carved nephrite censer brought $98,500, against an estimate of $12,000-15,000.

Furniture and works of art and paintings were the target of frenzied bidding on the telephone, the internet and overseas. A huanghuali and burlwood table, composed of 18th century elements, soared to $458,500, bought by a Mainland Chinese buyer (est. $40,000-60,000). A fine Canton enamel floriform covered box, Qianlong mark and period, from the George Taber collection of Pittsburgh, Penn., was the subject of heated bidding, achieving $206,500, 10 times its estimate of $20,000-30,000. Works by Zhao Shaoang, Pu Ru and Qi Baishi all commanded strong prices. A rare landscape by Chen Shaomei (1907-54) engendered fierce competition on all fronts, achieving $122,500 (pre-sale est. $4,000-6,000).

The second day of Asian Decorative Art followed the same pattern, with jade and furniture creating the most interest. A group of three jade carvings brought an amazing $86,500 (est. $1,200-1,800). A zitan veneered chair of the 19th century was the subject of heated bidding, selling over the phone for $43,750 against an estimate of $2,000-3,000. Snuff bottles and Chinese textiles, which brought consistently high prices in the previous day, continued to be the target of collectors, with a group of two jade snuff bottles from a West Coast collection achieving $40,000 (est. $700-900).

Dessa Goddard, Director of Asian Art, at Bonhams North America observed that "the market continues to be extremely competitive for great, fresh objects in all categories. Clearly reasonable estimates attract buyers to the sales room and engender excitement at auction, as buyers are being showered daily by auction catalogues from all parts of the world." 


A group of three jade carvingsImage: Courtesy of Bonhams

The first a small covered vase of flattened oval form with reticulated dragon on the shoulder, a pair of mock ring handles separated by a lotus petal band that repeats along the lower body and the foot, the off-white matrix displaying some russet patches, now with applied wood stand; and two circular bi, one of pale gray-green with composite lingzhi and dragon heads in raised relief reversed by a field of joined C-hooks, the other of off-white hue with russet staining carved in relief with a chilong reversed by joined C-hooks (both chipped). 6 1/8in (15.5cm) height of vase. Sold for US$ 86,500


A zitan veneered and hongmu armchair. Late Qing/Republic period. Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

The rectangular waisted seat supported by four sturdy legs terminating in square feet carved with leiwen designs and connected by horizontal stretchers and aprons also carved in stylized archaistic patterns, the elaborately rendered arms connecting to the back centered by an inset floating panel also carved in raised relief in stylized geometric patterns ofkuilong (stains & holes to matting, top section removable). 37 1/2in (95cm) high. Sold for US$ 43,750


Two jade snuff bottlesImage: Courtesy of Bonhams

The first 1820-1900 a greenish-white jade 'coin' bottle of rounded rectangular shape with a flat rim and oval foot ring with a convex base, carved with two sides of a 1796 eight-reales coin, one face incorporating the brown russet skin; the second a later black jade bottle of flattened circular shape resting on a concave oval base and inlaid to either side with a white jade disk carved with each side of a 1795 eight-reales coin. 2 1/2 and 2 1/8in (6.3 and 5.2 cm) high. Sold for US$ 40,000

Provenance: Ted Adameck
Robert Kleiner 


A pale green jade carving of an elephant and figural group. Qing dynasty. Image: Courtesy of Bonhams

The elaborately saddled and caparisoned pachyderm standing between two boy attendants, one carrying a large blooming stem of flowers beside the beast's cocked head, and one holding a tasseled staff next to his tail, the stone of green-white hue with mottled icy inclusions. 3 1/2in (9cm) high. Sold for US$ 35,000

Bonhams. 20 Jun 2012 10 a.m. California, San FranciscoJades & Hardstones