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Zhang Daqian painting sells for $504,000 at 888 Auctions

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Written by Auction House PR   
Monday, 16 January 2012 15:01

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), ‘Wuxia Mountain Clear Autumn,’ Chinese watercolor 1936, achieved an astounding $504,000, more than double its high estimate of $200,000. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

RICHMOND HILL, Ontario – 888 Auctions concluded its first auction of the year Jan. 12, featuring sales of fine Chinese paintings and Asian works of art with a total of $717,180. The sale, comprising 598 lots, witnessed robust participation from around the world.

With 96 percent of the painting lots sold, collectors bid enthusiastically for works by Zhang Daqian and Li Kuchan in the Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy category. In the Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy category, the 49 lots achieved $537,090 alone and well above the high estimate of $259,200.

Estimated at $100,000-$200,000, the featured lot of the sale was unquestionably Zhang Daqian’s Wuxia Mountain Clear Autumn 1936 with exceptional provenance. In a saleroom filled to capacity and eagerly awaiting the action to ensue, bidders in the room, on the telephone, and the Internet competed fiercely for Zhang Daqian’s watercolor painting. Starting at $5,000, the bidding for lot 38 kicked off at a feverish pace. After a protracted battle between an international telephone bidder and a local floor bidder, the local floor bidder emerged victorious after 64 bids with a winning bid of $504,000, bringing thunderous applause from the crowd seated in the gallery. In addition to the spectacular sale of Lot 38, a Li Kuchan (1898-1984) watercolor painting achieved $11,400 at lot 37.

From the collection of Chinese ceramics, lot 447 garnered a great deal of interest. This large and imposing Chinese square hu-shaped vase and decorated in rare Gutoncai enameling, realized $19,200.

In light of the high prices achieved in the Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy category, the collection of porcelains did not perform up to par. Whether the performance of the ceramics was because of the saturation of ceramics in the Asian art market remain to be seen; however, it is clear that collectors around the world are thirsting for authentic high quality items with exceptional provenance. And the numbers do not lie; high quality items with an estimate of over $10,000 nearly doubled the estimate across all categories of art in this sale.

With a sell-through rate of over 50 percent, connoisseurs of Chinese art have realized they do not need to pay an arm and a leg for an authentic piece of Chinese art and antique at 888 Auctions.

For consignment inquiries or additional information, please contact 888 Auctions at 905-763-7201 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For detailed auction results and hammer prices, please visit us at

Click here to view the fully illustrated catalog for this sale, complete with prices realized.


Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), ‘Wuxia Mountain Clear Autumn,’ Chinese watercolor 1936, achieved an astounding $504,000, more than double its high estimate of $200,000. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Li Kuchan (1898-1984), Chinese watercolor on paper, featurng two birds, realized $11,400. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Rare Chinese square hu-shaped Gutoncai enameled porcelain vase, six-character Qianlong mark, reached $16,000. Image courtesy of 888 Auctions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 17:59

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