Auction results - Stunning start to Sotheby's Asia Week

Sotheby’s Asia Week auctions began in New York today with the much anticipated sale of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J.T. Tai & Co. The auction brought a $36.3 million with 94% lots sold. The sale of more than 300 lots took over nine hours, with multiple bidders in the room, on the phones and online competing for nearly every lot. More than 81% of the sold lots brought prices above, and in many cases significantly above, their high estimates, reflecting the reverence for Tai’s legendary connoisseurship and the electric atmosphere in the salesroom. The remarkable prices achieved today were the result of a perfect storm of esteemed provenance, a strong market and attractive estimates.

The sale was led by An Unusual ‘Famille Rose’ and Gold Decorated Vase, Probably Republican Period, which sold for $18 million (Photo), having been estimated at $800/$1,200!!!!!. The vase was catalogued as ‘Probably Republican’ (early 20th century) and the estimate reflected this dating. There was a healthy debate surrounding the age of the piece, with a number of collectors clearly feeling it was significantly earlier. In the end, more than seven bidders competed for the vase, which finally sold to an anonymous bidder on the telephone.
Among the other exceptional ceramics prices were A Fine And Rare Blue And White Bowl Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period which sold for $1.59 million, a 'Famille-Rose' Vase, Republican Period which fetched $1.3 million and A Fine Carved 'Ding' Bowl, Song Dynasty which brought $392,500 (est. $15/20,000).

The archaic bronzes in the sale were led by A Large Archaic Bronze Ritual Food Vessel (Ding) Shang Dynasty, 13th / 12th Century BC which sold for $410,500.