Demand for Fine Asian Works of Art Remains Strong: Skinner Auction Grosses $3.2M

BOSTON, Mass. – APRIL 27, 2012 – Skinner, Inc. today announced exceptional results for its recent Asian Works of Art sale held on April 20th and 21st. The sale grossed $3,241,279.46, including buyer’s premium, with many lots far exceeding pre-sale estimates.

Judith Dowling, Director of Asian Works of Art at Skinner, offered, “There continues to be a really strong market for fine art and categories performed well across the board.” She continued, “In particular, Chinese art buyers are still very much looking to procure very popular Imperial pieces, as well as beautiful 18th and 19th century works, and this sale featured some fantastic finds.”

Flasks & Rhinoceros Horn Cups

Flasks and rhinoceros horn cups did exceptionally well in the sale. A disc-shaped, copper red and underglaze blue flask from the 18th century was the auction’s top selling lot, exceeding the presale estimate of $25,000 to go for $270,000. This flask depicts a leaping full-face dragon encircled with a “flaming pearl” and a Qianlong mark is found on the base. A blue, white, and copper red moon flask from the 18th/19th centuries depicting a scrolling lotus and tendrils brought $24,885. The lotus is rendered in pale copper red with ruyi-head borders and stylized chilong handles.

Top selling rhinoceros horn cups included a 17th century libation cup depicting several chilong, which sold for $67,375, and a 19th century libation cup in the form of a lotus that sold for $14,220.


A vast selection of high quality cloisonné saw excellent results. Works from China, covering a range of periods from the 18th through 19th centuries, brought high prices highlighted by a bottle-form vase from the K’ang-hsi period. The vase exceeded its estimate high of $15,000 selling for $79,625. Made from polychrome enamel on bronze with a turquoise blue ground, it came to Skinner from the collection of Robert M. Hoi and had previously been purchased at the American Art Association sale on February 18, 1911.

Other notable pieces of cloisonné bringing high prices included an 18th century censer decorated with scrolling lotus flowers and leaves, marked with “Xuan De Nian Zhi Se” at the base, which sold for $24,885.00; a pair of cloisonné vases in the “nui tou zun” shape depicting the story of “He Lu Tong Chun” that brought $33,180; a pair of cloisonné pagodas that sold for $29,625; and a court necklace container decorated with fu, lu, and shou seal script characters that went for $27,255.

Chinese Scrolls & Paintings

Scrolls and Paintings fared exceptionally well with a beautiful hanging scroll depicting branches attributed to Qi Baishi exceeding its estimate high of $500, selling for $65,175. Other scrolls and paintings that performed well included a Chinese fan painting of a landscape, which sold for $41,475; a matted painting of a lady bug that went for $41,475; a framed fan with the painted image of a man in a boat on a river that brought $31,995; and a hanging scroll with the image of a Chang Jiang river landscape that sold for $28,440.

Huanghuali Furniture

Demand for fine furniture was also strong, highlighted by a beautifully crafted Chinese Huanghuali table that brought $41,475, exceeding its pre-sale high estimate of $1,200. Other featured pieces that brought top prices include a Huanghuali settee, which sold for $23,700; a Huanghuali dressing table that went for $18,960; a Huanghuali folding armchair that sold for $14,220; and a 19th century blackwood display cabinet that brought $11,850.

The Skinner Asian department is now accepting consignments for its September auction. Please contact 508-970-3263 or to inquire.

About Skinner

Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site




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