New Braunfels, Texas: Qing Dynasty jars and jadeite jewelry brought breathtaking sums at an auction of Asian Works of Art that concluded here on October 27, 2015. The sale was handled by Lark Mason Associates on the iGavel Auctions platform, affirming that smaller independent auction companies and platforms like iGavelAuctions.com (http://igavelauctions.com) offer a strong competitive advantage to much larger international auction platform services.
Says Lark Mason, the founder of iGavel and owner of the eponymous firm, “The key to our success rests in the quality of material being offered in these two sales: Asian Works of Art and Fine & Decorative Works of Art. That, coupled with our relentless emphasis on transparency and our commitment to providing thorough information for potential bidders gives us the ability to out-perform other auction houses in the online marketplace.”
The highlight of the sale was a rare pair of Chinese “Fahua-style” Lotus Jars and Covers from the Qing Dynasty that realized $950,000, far above a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $80,000.
Jewelry featured in the sale as well, with a set of three jadeite necklaces (originally formed from a single necklace) that realized $325,000.
Despite the recent downturn in the Chinese economy and lackluster sales of gilt-bronze figures in China and Hong Kong, Lark Mason Associates’ sale was robust. Their selection of 17th- to 19th-century figures realized a cumulative total of $186,372.
Of equal strength was a collection of Chinese silk court robes, consigned by a Texas owner, which brought $34,496 against a pre-sale estimate of $13,400 to $22,600.
The Asian sale had 311 lots and realized a total of $2,217,619. The accompanying sale of Asian, Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art Auction realized a total of $350,623. The success of these Asian Works of Art auctions highlighted the continuing success of the iGavel platform to consistently deliver strong results in an online marketplace.
In the same week, Lark Mason Associates also held a Fine & Decorative Works of Art. The top lot, an Italian Empire Surtout de Table dating from the early 19th century, smashed existing records for similar objects at Sotheby’s and Christies, realizing $193,750. This was followed by an astounding result for many other hotly contested objects, including an Empire gilt bronze urn that realized $73,125. The sale of 321 objects exceeded expectations, bringing a very strong total of $807,206.
“The auctions were put before completely different audiences yet achieved remarkably similar high results, showing continued strength at the high end of the market. They also showed the importance of solid scholarship and of targeting appropriate markets,” says Mason. “There are numerous choices available for auctioneers today for online platforms, but iGavel has consistently dominated the high end of the online market through a focused approach on customer service and by supplying bidders with plenty of information about the items offered.”
In May 2014 Lark Mason Associates on iGavel realized a record-setting sale of a single work of art sold online, a Qianlong period Chinese hand scroll depicting eminent Chinese generals and subordinates who subdued Taiwan, which sold for $4,182,000.