Freeman's held its annual Asian Arts auction on March 15th to coincide with the start of New York Asia Week. Many international collectors traveled to Philadelphia to bid in the 787 lot sale, which more than doubled its estimate to achieve $3 million.
The top lot of the auction was a Chinese cloisonné enamel and gilt bronze stupa from the Qianlong period, which sold for $242,500. A ritual object in the Buddhist faith, this rare stupa was most likely made in Beijing at the imperial workshop. The four gilt bronze figures supporting it are an unusual feature, making it superior to others from the same period. "To many, the Qianlong Emperor's reign represents a high point in the history of Chinese decorative arts. Prices achieved for works from that era have remained remarkably strong," said Asian Arts Department Head and Specialist Richard Cervantes.
Another highlight of the sale was a Chinese famille rose porcelain 'boys' vase with a Daoguang mark and of the period (pictured at right). This rare vessel fetched $194,500, soaring past its initial estimate of $30,000. Two 18th century white jade pieces both estimated at $30,000-50,000 also achieved outstanding prices. An intricately carved Fine Chinese white jade vase featuring a pine and peach tree with roosting cranes brought $122,500 and a Fine Chinese white jade bowl depicting the 'three friends' pine, bamboo, and peony sold for $146,500.
- $242,500 Lot 181: Chinese cloisonne enamel and gilt bronze stupa, Qianlong period.
- $194,500 Lot 583: Chinese famille rose porcelain 'boys' vase, Daoguang mark and of the period.
- $146,500 Lot: 300: Fine Chinese white jade bowl, 18th century
- $122,500 Lot: 299: Fine Chinese white jade vase, 18th century