OAKLAND, CA.- Clars December 15th and 16th auction was led by an exceptional array of Asian fine art, antiques and decorative art which came to the sale from several fine California estates, private collections and institutions. Two important paintings by Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983) sparked what would become an international event drawing highly competitive bidding from around the globe and fueling more than $1,040,000 for the Asian collections offered alone. Exceptional results were seen throughout this weekend sale and across all categories making this Clars most successful December auction in their history, with a 48% increase over the previous year. 

The two much anticipated works by Zhang Daqian were offered in a special session on Sunday evening. 

The first work presented was titled The Lotus Pond, 1967. This signature ink and colors on paper featured a scholar standing on a bridge amid the lotus pond. Presented with an estimate of $150,000 - $200,000, fierce bidding quickly drove the final sale price on the work to over twice its estimate fetching $443,250. 

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Lot 8596. Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983), The Lotus Pond, 1967, ink and color on paper, sight: 54.5"h x 26.75"w, overall (frame): 55.25"h x 27.25"w. Estimate $150,000 - $200,000. Lot sold $443,250. Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

of a scholar standing on a bridge amid a lotus pond, the upper right with a poetic colophon, followed by cyclical date dingwei (=1967) sixth month, signed and with one artist seal.

Provenance: featured on the back cover of the May 10-31, 1970 exhibition catalog at Laky Gallery, Carmel, CA.

The second Daqian painting, also an ink on paper, featured a scholar on a boat gazing at a waterfall. Offered with an estimate of $30,000 - $50,000, this work also performed well selling for $43,050.  

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Lot 8597. Zhang Daqian (Chinese, 1899-1983), Scholar on Boat, ink on paper, sight: 37"h x 13"w, overall (framed): 50.25"h x 19.25"w. Estimate $30,000 - $50,000. Lot sold $43,050.  Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

the right with colophon dedicated to Kuangwen, cyclical year renchen (=1952) fifth month, signed 'Zhang Daqian Yuan', followed by two seals.

A nonstop trend of the Asian lots offered soaring well past estimate became the norm of this sale throughout both the Saturday and Sunday sessions. A Chinese bronze Gui ritual food vessel estimated to bring $5,000 – 7,000 commanded $52,275. A Chinese blue and white plant container expected to earn $400 – 600 went out at a whopping $43,050 and a Chinese hardstone rectangular palette dish flew past its high estimate of $5,000 selling for $33,825.  

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Lot 8555. Chinese bronze gui (ritual food vessel); 11.5"w. Estimate $5000 - $7000. Lot sold $52,275Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

the low slung body cast with a band of stylized zoomorphs bracketing small taotie masks to the center, all flanked by loop handles issuing from the heads of mythical beasts, the splayed base repeated with a similar register of zoomorphs, the interior well with a cartouche; together with a wood stand and a lid set with a jade finial, openwork carved with egrets in a lotus pond.

Provenance: property from a San Francisco Bay Area estate.

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Lot 8570. Chinese underglazed blue porcelain bulb container; 8.75"w. Estimate $400 - $600. Lot sold $43,050Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

 the exterior depicting villagers and travelers along the river bank, raised on four small supports, with wood stand, planter.

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Lot 8527. Chinese hardstone palette dish; 9.75"w. Estimate $3,000 - $5,000. Lot sold $33,825Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

the long rectangular shallow vessel of celadon hue, carved with two fish in relief in the center, with tapering walls and raised on four small supports, with wood stand.

Provenance: property from a San Francisco Bay Area estate.

Rare Huanghuali furniture also proved its ever-increasing value with a Chinese folding chair fetching $30,750 against its $6,000 – 9,000 presale estimate. 

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 Lot 8624. Chinese huanghuali horseshoe back folding chair; 42.5"h. Estimate $6,000 - $9,000. Lot sold $30,750Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

the narrow back splat with a reticulated chilong in a lobed reserve and a qilin panel, the rope seat fronted by a pair of meandering chilong, the crossed supports with a hinged foot rest with brass fitting of linke double coins.

Rounding out the top highlights in this category was a Japanese hanging scroll from the Edo period. Presented for $800 – 1,200, this anonymous work skyrocketed to $33,825.  

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 Lot 8616. Japanese hanging scroll, anonymous, Edo period, Landscape, ink and colors on silk, landscape scene with figures by the pavilions on the bank, painting: approx. 62"l x 35"w, scroll: 93(+)" l x 43.5"w. Estimate $800 - $1200. Lot sold $33,825Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

JEWELRY & TIMEPIECES 
The jewelry and timepieces offered also saw highly competitive bidding with exceptional results. 

Topping these offerings was a rare Patek Philippe 18k yellow gold Lorgnette pendant watch with a 14k yellow gold slide necklace. Offered with an estimate of $10,000 - $15,000, this exquisite timepiece outperformed fetching $24,600. 

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Lot 7867. Patek Philippe 18k yellow gold lorgnette watch with 14k yellow gold pendant-slide necklace, 1848. Estimate $10,000 - $15,000. Lot sold $24,600Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

Dial: round enamel, white, black Roman numeral hour markers, black outer minutes track, blued brequet hands
Movement: key set and wind, 8 jewels, cylinder escapement, No. 3139
Case: 18k yellow gold lorgnette, Patek & Co., A Geneve, No. 3.139, Aiguilles, hinged lid and thumb piece at bail, thumb piece for lorgnette on side, opens to reveal (2) fold out lenses, measuring approximately 32 X 33 mm, ((6) French owl hallmarks throughout, (2) French Bigorne marks), inside 3.139, engraved entirely with scroll motifs and flowers, with (2) initial shields (front and back), measuring approximately 3.25 X 1.75 X 0.50 inches, 8.74 X 23.5 X 11.8 mm, gross weight 48.91 grams
Chain: 14k yellow gold, 2.2 mm, box and wheat link, 56 inches with double sided black enamel slide and terminated by a screw down locking hook, gross weight 43.21 grams
Accompanied by a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives, Stating Manufacture Date: 1848, Sale Date: March 30th, 1850.

Another exciting outperformer was a diamond and platinum ring which featured an old European-cut diamond weighing approximately 3.85 cts., accented by 20 single-cut diamonds. Estimated to bring $3,000 – 5,000, this ring flew out for $20,910.  

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Lot 7809. Diamond and platinum ring featuring (1) old European-cut diamond, weighing approximately 3.85 ctsEstimate $3,000 - $5,000. Lot sold $24,600. Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

accented by (20) single-cut diamonds, weighing a total of approximately 0.20 ct., set in a platinum mounting, size 5.75, gross weight 3.77 grams.

Rounding out these highlights was a set of two jadeite bracelets that topped high selling for $12,300. 

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 Lot 7923. Set of 2 Light Gray Jadeite bracelets. Estimate $8,000 - $12000. Lot sold $12,300. Courtesy Clars Auction Gallery.

Including 1) jadeite bangle, measuring approximately 70.94 X 9.71 X 13.74 mm, widest internal diameter 51 mm, weighing 327.07 cts., accompanied by a GIA Jade Report #6197806323, Dated October 23, 2018, Stating Light Gray Jadeite Jade, No indications of impregnation; together with 1) matching jadeite bangle, measuring approximately 71.27 X 9.95 X 13.51 mm, widest internal diameter 52 mm, weighing 323.77 cts., accompanied by a GIA Jade Report #1196742650, Dated October 23, 2018, Stating Light Gray, Jadeite Jade, No indications of impregnation.
Provenance: Property from a Beverly Hills estate.

FINE ART 
Fine art saw successful sales on several works offered. From Spanish painter Emilio Sanchez-Perrier (1855-1907), his oil on canvas titled Boating Along a Quiet River, Acala, 1886, sold well for $14,760. 

In prints, the top sellers included A Storm, a gouache and lithograph on paper by Howard Hodgkin (British 1932-2017) which flew past high estimate selling for $8,125. Coming in next was Untitled (from Pop Shop VI), 1989, by Keith Haring (American 1958-1900) which sold for $7,380. 

DECORATIVE ARTS 
Mont Blanc led the way in this category’s offerings. A Mont Blanc limited edition Stars and Stripes skeleton pen, edition 2 of 50, was created for the 225th anniversary of Old Glory and was one of Montblanc’s most celebrated creations. This beautiful work of art in fine writing implements sold for nicely over estimate for $15,000. 

Clars’ will kick off their 2019 sales on Saturday and Sunday, January 19th and 20th, 2019 with their Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry and Asian Art Auction. The sales will begin promptly at 9:30am on Saturday and Sunday. Previews for this sale will be held Friday, January 18th from 1pm to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 am and by appointment the week prior.