Bowl with a composite design of flower and fruit sprays

This blue and white Bowl with a composite design of flower and fruit sprays (Yongle period, Ming dynasty) sold for $1,594,500 (pre-sale estimate: $800,000/1.2m).

$800 Chinese vase makes $18 million at auction

An unusual ‘Famille Rose’ and Gold decorated Chinese vase, catalogued as ‘Probably Republican’ (early 20th century), sold for $18,002,500 at Sotheby's New York, having been estimated at only $800/1,200. According to Sotheby's, several collectors believed that it was significantly earlier.

March 25 2011, source: Sotheby's /

The vase was the unexpected star of the sale of "Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J.T. Tai & Co", which totalled a remarkable $36,312,493. But it was not the only ‘Famille Rose’ vase that sold well over its estimate: another vase (also catalogued as from the Republican Period) sold for $1,314,500 against a pre-sale estimate of just $6,000 - 8,000. The buyer was a private Asian collector.

In addition to the ‘Famille Rose vase, other pieces did well in the sale. A beautiful white and blue bowl from the Ming Dynasty, described in the catalogue as "A Fine And Rare Blue And White Bowl", sold for $1,594,500, having been estimated at $800,000 / 1.2 million before the sale.

J.T. Tai was of the most important dealers in Chinese art in the second half of the 20th century. He helped to create some of the most important collections of Chinese art in the world, including those of Avery Brundage and Arthur M. Sackler, now housed in major museums in America.

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