It was the most successful Asia Week New York ever, by the numbers, with a reported $423 million in sales. A huge figure by any metric, the total blows away the $130 million in 2016 sales, which were undoubtedly affected by raids from federal officials that saw eight potentially-stolen items seized. In 2015, Asia Week saw $360 million in sales.
“With the influx of Chinese buyers, museum curators and collectors, Asia Week New York ended on an upbeat note with record-breaking sales in all categories,” said Asia Week chairman Lark Mason in a statement.
Other top lots included a Bronze ritual ram-form wine vessel from the Shang dynasty, 13th–11th century BC, that blew away a $6–8 million estimate with a $27.1 million price tag, and three bronze ritual wine vessels that sold for $37.21 million, $33.85 million, and $27.13 million each.
Over at Sotheby’s, a large blue and white reserve-decorated “peony” dish topped its presale estimate, of $1–1.5 million, fetching $2.17 million at the sale titled “Ming: The Intervention of Imperial Taste” on March 17. The top lot of the day, which saw $11.34 million in total sales, was a rare Anhua-decorated Tianbai-glazed Meiping, which sold for $3.13 million on a $2.3–2.8 million estimate.
On March 15, Bonhams had a 95.71 percent sell-through rate for “The Zuiun Collection.” The house made $677,750 on the night, with a Qin dynasty patinated sandalwood scepter selling over nine times its high estimate, for a total of $90,000, for the auction’s top sale.