Lark Mason Associates’ Asian Art Sale Exceeds All Expectations

A Chinese revolving vase, Qianlong mark and period which depicts a series of Dutch figures contained in a fixed outer vase in a lattice pattern.
Lark Mason Associates

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Lark Mason rolled the dice and moved forward with his Spring Asian Art Sale of Chinese export porcelain and works of art by an American collector, which closed on April 21 with stunning results – $ 800,270 including buyer’s premium.

“The success of the auction validated our decision not to extend the schedule to the fall,” says Lark Mason, eponymous founder of Lark Mason Associates and the IGavel auction platform. “Even under these dire circumstances, the auctions have provided a haven and a diversion for Asian, American and European collectors, and offer a valuable indicator of the current state of the market.”

According to Mason, bidders from America, Europe and Asia responded enthusiastically, with around half of the lots offered being auctioned for overtime. “Many leading international collectors and dealers participated in the sale, and the results far exceeded our expectations. “

Although the pre-sale exhibitions were cut short during Asia Week New York in early March, Mason attributes his success to the platform’s benchmark brand iGavelauctions, transparency and professionalism in the presentation and process. , and excellent high quality images. which made the bidders comfortable to participate. “Our formula for success was to maintain reasonable estimates and give bidders enough time to participate. According to Mason, the sale contained 142 lots and, of these, 132 sold, and the high overall lot estimate of $ 225,000 more than tripled.

“Before offering the sale, we consulted with the owners and our staff and decided that it would be very unwise to push the estimates or reservations to where the market was before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognized that the situation had changed and we had to do everything possible to reach the audience of bidders and let them determine the outcome. It was a courageous move on the part of our shippers and we are extremely happy that our analysis turned out to be the right approach.

The sale was filled with many fine, small, rare and other export works that had been carefully selected from the best dealers in the world by the collector’s family over three generations. The selectivity and exclusivity of the owners was a major factor in the results, offering a very fine body of work, many with superb provenance at a time when quality and provenance were extremely important.

A Chinese enamelled copper vase from the Qing dynasty
Lark Mason Associates

Among the highlights were extremely rare works such as a rotating Chinese vase, Qianlong mark and period that depicted a series of Dutch figures contained in a fixed outer vase in a lattice pattern. An example of the very rare type of work created in Canton for the court, these and other similar items are a fusion of Chinese domestic taste decorated with Western figures or images, much like the architectural masterpiece of the Yuan Ming Yuan, created under the Jesuits at the court of Qianlong. This vase made $ 212,500 far exceeding its estimate of $ 5,000 to $ 8,000.

Another dramatic highlight was a gilded bronze peach-shaped Chinese brush washer from the Qing dynasty which was wonderfully cast with a series of lingzhi and bats and other auspicious emblems in a container. Shallow peach-shaped. The quality and rarity caused bidders to exceed the estimate of $ 1,500-2,500 to $ 53,750.

Among the most reported sales are: a Chinese Fang Ding enameled metal censer, Qianlong Mark and Period, which made $ 57,500, compared to $ 1,500 to $ 3,000; an 18th century Hong Punch Hong Punch China Export Porcelain Canton Water Front punch bowl brought in $ 36,250 above the estimate of $ 15,000 to $ 25,000; a Chinese enameled copper vase from the Qing dynasty, rose to $ 35,000, exceeding his estimate of $ 600 to $ 900; while a Chinese mythical beast vessel Yue Yao, the Western Jin dynasty hammered $ 26,250 from $ 2,000 to $ 4,000; an 18th and 19th century Chinese export porcelain fish-shaped covered dish with a coat of arms, rang $ 26,250 from $ 500 to $ 800; an 18th century Chinese export figure of a Dutch man and woman closed at $ 20,950, from $ 5,000 to $ 8,000; a Chinese bronze censer inlaid with gold and silver from the 17th and 18th centuries, $ 17,500, exceeded his estimate of $ 4,000 to $ 6,000; and an 18th century Tibetan gilded bronze figure of Yamadharmaraja, $ 15,000 exceeded the estimate of $ 4,000 to $ 6,000.

According to Mason, “Rarely has such a jewel-like collection hit the market with the public response we had hoped for. The auctions were furious and sustained throughout the auction, for lots at all prices.

Laura J. Boyer