Chinese Gilt-Bronze Bell Achieves $482,500 at Doyle Sale

Chinese Bell DoyleDoyle New York’s Asian Works of Art auction on September 12, 2011 attracted intense competition from an international audience of bidders in the crowded salesroom, on the telephones, and live on the Internet. In all, the sale totaled a strong $2,805,906 against a pre-sale estimate of $2,228,400-3,299,100 with 63 percent sold by lot and 75 percent by value.

The top lot of the day was a Chinese gilt-bronze bell that sold for a staggering $482,500, far exceeding its estimate of $6,000-9,000. Bearing a Kangxi cast mark and measuring 11 1/2 inches in height, the bell was decorated in a pattern of horizontal tribands and raised knobs divided by four vertical columns of characters, with an inscribed interior. The bell was the subject of intense competitive bidding that narrowed down to three Asian bidders: the successful purchaser in the salesroom and two telephone bidders.

A Chinese silver inlaid bronze Guanyin dating to the 19th century or earlier fetched estimated at $50,000-70,000 fetched $68,500, and a Sino-Tibetan Qing Dynasty cloisonne enameled gilt-bronze seated Bodhisattva sold for $60,000.

The selection of Chinese jade objects was highlighted by a pair of exquisite Qing Dynasty white jade moon-shaped screens that sold for $187,000, within their estimate of $150,000-250,000. Measuring 18 1/2 inches in height, the screens were carved on one side with scenes of the mythical palace of the moon, and on the other side with inscribed poetry. The pair was set on elaborate wooden stands, creating a total height of 30 inches.

A pair of 20th century Chinese jadeite covered vases measuring 12 1/4 inches in height of gu shape and decorated with ring handles sold for $110,500, well over their estimate of $60,000-80,000. A Chinese late 19th century white jade figure of a mounted warrior standing 11 inches in height sold for $62,500, just surpassing its estimate of $40,000-60,000.

Chinese porcelains offered a Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon meiping, 15 inches in height, that sold for $65,500, many times its estimate of $8,000-12,000. A Chinese five-piece pink and yellow glazed porcelain garniture with Qianlong Mark and possibly of the Period achieved $31,250 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Chinese screens featured an 18th century twelve-panel 18th century Coromandel screen carved with an extensive scene of figures in the Summer Palace, height 9 feet, that sold for $62,500 against an estimate of $50,000-70,000.

Ivory objects in the sale fared exceptionally well. Two late 19th century Chinese polychrome painted ivory maidens estimated at $1,000-1,500 achieved a stunning $50,000. A group of late 19th century Chinese ivory figures of the Eight Immortals sold for $40,625, many times their estimate of $7,000-10,000. A pair of early 20th century Chinese ivory wrist wrests carved with figures amid a pavilion and landscape setting together with a green jade dragon panel estimated at $600-800 fetched a staggering $37,500.

All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

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