Chinese red coral sculptures soar to top honors at Elite Decrative Arts' Nov. 2nd auction in Florida A Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture of four Guan Yin and a Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure depicting two Guan Yin each knocked down for $66,550 at Elite Decorative Arts' Nov. 2 sale.
News-Antique.com - Nov 10,2013 - (BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.) – A Chinese hand-carved red coral sculpture of four Guan Yin (Buddhist deities of mercy and compassion) from the Qing Dynasty, and a Chinese hand-carved red coral group figure depicting two Guan Yin with flowers throughout, each knocked down for $66,550 to share top lot honors at Elite Decorative Arts’ Nov. 2nd auction in Florida.
The sale – featuring 370 lots (300 of which met or exceeded their reserves) of Chinese works, fine decorative arts and fine artworks – was held in the firm’s Boynton Beach gallery, located at 1034 Gateway Boulevard. About 80 people attended the event live; another 650 bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Artfact.com. Phone and absentee bids were also recorded.
More than 1,000 Internet bids were placed in an auction that attracted worldwide interest. People from as far away as Eastern Europe and Asia logged on to bid for items. All eight phone lines were kept busy as well. By the time the final hammer came down, the sale had grossed $735,000. “It was one of our better auctions, said Scott Cieckiewicz of Elite Decorative Arts.
The red coral sculpture grouping of the four Guan Yin stood just shy of 11 inches tall and was estimated to be from the Tongzhi reign (circa 1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty. The lot included a certificate of antiquity from the Hong Kong Art Craft Merchants Association from 1985. It was appraised then for $50,000. Each figure was beautifully, meticulously hand-carved.
The same bidder who purchased that lot also bought the one immediately following it: a large (14 ½ inches tall) Chinese hand-carved red coral group depicting two maidens holding sheng and pipe instruments. A phoenix and crane can also be seen. A rock formed the base with high relief flowers. The piece sold for $41,140, so the two purchases combined topped $100,000.
The other Chinese carved red coral group that realized $66,550 was larger than either of the two just described (19 inches tall). A fitted wooden base was included in the total height. One other Chinese carved red coral group that did well was a finely carved sculpture depicting a standing Guan Yin holding a platter with flowers, 7 ½ inches tall, circa 19th century ($15,125).
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include either an 18 percent buyer’s premium for in-house and phone bidders or a 21 percent premium for Internet bidders.
Fine artworks were abundant and did exceptionally well. An oil on canvas still life of a cup with fruit by the Mexican artist Pedro Coronel (1923-1985), titled Naturaleza Muerta, 31 ½ inches by 44 ½ inches, fetched $33,880. Coronel was a painter, sculptor, engraver and draftsman. In 1946 he went to Paris, were he studied under artists Victor Brauner and Constantin Brancusi.
A cluster of paintings by German-born American artist Wolf Kahn (b. 1927) got paddles wagging. These included the works Tree Dance ($16,520), Forest Murmurs ($29,500), Red Shed, Blue Sky ($13,570), Ruisdale, New Hampshire ($25,960) and an untitled