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Skinner April 20-21 Asian Art sale grosses $3.2M

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 27 April 2012 13:49

18th-century copper red and underglaze blue flask, 16 1/8 in., Qianlong mark to base, $270,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc.

BOSTON – Skinner Inc. has announced exceptional results with many lots far exceeding their presale estimates at its Asian Works of Art sale held on April 20-21. The sale grossed $3,241,279 inclusive of a buyer's premium of 18.5% to $200,000 and 10% above that mount. provided the Internet live bidding for the event.Judith Dowling, Director of Asian Works of Art at Skinner, said, “There continues to be a really strong market for fine art, and categories performed well across the board. 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 realize $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 and were highlighted by a bottle-form vase from the K’ang-hsi period. The vase exceeded its estimate high of $15,000 to sell 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 Feb. 18, 1911.

Other notable pieces of cloisonné bringing high prices included an 18th-century censer decorated with scrolling lotus flowers and leaves, marked “Xuan De Nian Zhi Se” at the base, which sold for $24,885; 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 and 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 ladybug 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. A hanging scroll with the image of a Chang Jiang river landscape 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 presale 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 e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to inquire.

View the fully illustrated catalog from the April 20-21 sale, complete with prices realized, online at

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


18th-century copper red and underglaze blue flask, 16 1/8 in., Qianlong mark to base, $270,000. Image courtesy Skinner Inc. 

K'ang-hsi Period cloisonne bottle-form vase, 1662-1722, ex Robert M. Hoi collection, $79,625. Image courtesy Skinner Inc. 

Last Updated on Friday, 27 April 2012 13:59

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