Rare rhino horn libation cup to be re-offered at Elite Decorative Arts, June 23-24 A weekend auction packed with Chinese carvings and works of art, porcelain, artwork and decorative arts will be held June 23-24 by Elite Decorative Arts, at the firm's gallery in Boynton Beach, Fla.
News-Antique.com - May 23,2012 - (BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.) – A weekend auction packed with Chinese carvings and works of art, fine porcelain, artwork and decorative arts will be held June 23-24 by Elite Decorative Arts, at the firm’s gallery located in the Quantum Town Center in Boynton Beach (1034 Gateway Blvd., Stes. 106-108). The first gavel will come down at 1 p.m. (EST) both days.
The Saturday, June 23 session will feature over 300 lots of fine porcelain, artwork and decorative arts. An equal number of lots will change hands on Sunday, with a session dedicated to fine Chinese carvings and works of art. Previews will be held Friday, June 22, from 11-5, and on sale days from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.
The expected top lot of the sale is a rare and masterfully carved Chinese rhinoceros horn libation cup from the 17th or 18th century, four inches tall and fitted to a reticulated teakwood base. It has a pre-sale estimate of $150,000-$250,000. The cup was offered at Elite Decorative Arts’ March 17-18 auction, but has been relisted in the upcoming sale because of non-payment.
“We had an unfortunate situation where the winning bidder, named Xiangai Zhao from Shanghai, China, submitted a winning bid of $270,000 through Auctionzip.com, under the buyer name King779, then failed to meet his payment obligation,” said Chris Hayes of Elite Decorative Arts. “I suggest other auction houses selling Chinese antiques online beware of this individual.”
This was a troubling occurrence, but it may also be symptomatic of a more widespread trend. A May 12 report in the Financial Times said up to 40 percent of ‘sold’ items involving Chinese buyers were never paid for. The problem exists in Chinese auctions and in U.S. auctions, too, especially in the sale of high-end Asian bronzes, ivories, pottery and porcelain pieces. Elite was just the trend’s latest victim.
Auction galleries in the U.S. and elsewhere are addressing the problem, with some of them now requiring a large deposit before they’ll accept a bid on an expensive item, If the buyer refuses to make good on his or her winning bid, the deposit is forfeited. “We value our Chinese bidders greatly and don’t want to generate any ill will,” Hayes said. “We would just like our buyers to fulfill their obligations.”
The rhinoceros horn libation cup is quite striking -- finely relief carved as a wooded jungle and rendered in high relief to depict a village scene with trees and people working and resting. One side shows scholars climbing the side of a rock mountain, with many types of trees. The other side depicts a family at the base and a tall and leafy peony tree growing amongst rock.
Also offered June 24 will be several stunning fine carved red coral group figures, highly sought after by collectors. Two lots carry pre-sale estimates of $40,000-$60,000. Both are fully relief carved group figures. One depicts two maidens with young girls, plus a phoenix with birds of paradise.