Auction - Mixed results for Chinese antiques at Christies

Christie's got its second white glove auction (ie 100% sold) with its sale of the Songzhutang Collection’s rhinoceros horn carving, setting two world record for such carvings at $5.12 million, one for a three-string’ rhinoceros horn vase and another for an ‘Orchid Pavilion’ rhinoceros horn libation cup (Photo). However, its Imperial Sale of Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art only sold 64.7%, a very disappointing result in the current ‘buy-buy’ environment. Still the sale gathered $56 million, nearly doubling the pre-sale estimate, indicating that when collectors were bidding, they were doing so aggressively. Buyers were both established and new clients to Christie’s, primarily from Greater China, but with a significant percentage of the sale selling to clients from Europe and North America. The highlight of the sale, a magnificent early Ming gilt-bronze Buddha from the Xuande period, doubled its unpublished pre-sale estimate to sell for a record $9 million. Also breaking a new auction record was the jadeite tripod censer and cover which more than tripled its pre-sale estimate when it sold for $4.4 million. Imperial ceramics, jades and Buddhist sculptures were the most sought-after categories in the sale.”