Art Market: Bronze piece is star turn as Chinese prices soar

CHINESE art prices have soared into seven figures this week, with Japanese and Hong Kong dealers pouring into London, along with top American and European connoisseurs.

The most expensive deals have been struck at Eskenazi's new Oriental gallery in Clifford Street, Mayfair, whose summer exhibition opened yesterday. Five pieces on show were valued at over pounds 1m, and he has already sold four of them.

The star turn - an intricately carved marble stele, or altar, dating from around AD 550 and priced at pounds 1.3m - has gone to the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio. Another of the pounds 1m-plus items, a four-inch bronze figure of an ox, patterned with silver inlay and dating from the fourth to third century BC, has gone to an unnamed Japanese museum. Eskenazi has sold 28 of his 48 pieces on show for a total of pounds 9.8m.

In the auction rooms, the fiercest battle centred on a bronze ritual food vessel, patterned with stylised birds and beasts, dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty (circa 1050-975 BC). Sotheby's had estimated it at pounds 600,000-pounds 800,000 and there were still five in the bidding over the pounds 600,000 mark - including T T Tsui, the Hong Kong millionaire, a French connoisseur, and a Japanese dealer. It was bought by the American dealers E & J Frankel for pounds 925,500.

It is only in the upper reaches of the market that there is still intense competition. A third of the lots in Sotheby's sale were unsold, as were 26 per cent at Christie's the day before. Christie's top price was pounds 177,500 for a 15th-century Ming blue and white vase they had estimated at pounds 250,000.

Chinese paintings have never made as much as ceramics and sculpture in the West but Christie's sale of paintings in New York last week set four price records, including the dollars 530,500 (pounds 344,481) paid for a 10ft hanging scroll 'Fantastic Mountains', painted by Gong Xian in 1655.

At a Villa Grisebach auction in Berlin on 4 June, the collection of Max Klinger prints and drawings formed by the Leipzig publisher Georg Hirzel was a virtual sell-out. The collection was recently reclaimed from the Leipzig Museum where it had been left on deposit in 1943; the communist regime had previously refused to return it. The collection sold for a total of 920,000 marks (pounds 383,000).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis