Asian Art Shakes Fine Art Market | Art Market Goes Global

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Fall 2012 Sales of Asian Art Blow Through Estimates – Includng a $1.3mm Doorstop

September 2012 brought fascinating developments for the auction houses to celebrate.  The New York sales of Asian art at the major auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, blew through pre-sales estimates of $30mm, to reach over $90mm in sales.

Categories covered Japanese, Korean, Indian, Southeast Asian, and Chinese art and artifacts.  One of the more interesting pieces was a rare Ming Dynasty blue-and-white moonflask which had used by an unknowing Long Island family to prop open its front door.  In what must have been a nice surprise for the family, its doorstop sold for $1.3 million.

“There was global participation, reflecting a world-wide demand for the greatest objects of Asian art,” Christie’s chairman and international head of Asian art, Jonathan Stone, said in a statement.

These results show a further maturation and internationalization of the fine art market.  Even with the well-known legal difficulties arising with the sale of art in China (non-payment, mostly) the auction houses continue to recognize Asian art as a huge area for growth potential.

Next stop:  Will Asian art start to make a play for dominance long taken for granted by the impressionist and modern art categories?

This rare Ming Dynasty blue-and-white moonflask, used as a doorstop, sold for $1.3 million