Asian antiques lead Clars to best ever December auction

This pair of Chinese huanghuali demi-lune tables came to the sale with an estimate of $10,000-$15,000 but demand drove the final sale price to $72,600. Clars Auction Gallery image

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery hosted their monthly auction of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art Auction on Sunday, Dec. 17. Asian Art and Antiques were expected to highlight the sale and the results did not disappoint. In fine art, one of the most important global collections of 19th century British East Indian and China Trade paintings were offered and the prices realized were over the top. Overall, the collections and property offered in this sale fueled it to be the strongest December auction in the firm’s history. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

A collection of highly desirable Chinese huanghuali furniture commanded well above estimated prices, realizing more than $250,000. Fueled by the impeccable workmanship and limited supply of furniture made from this rare and nearly extinct wood, bidders competed strongly for this collection. Topping these offerings was a pair of demi-lune tables (above) that came to the sale with an estimate of $10,000- $15,000 but demand drove the final sale price to $72,600. Following suit was mixed wood cabinet that was expected to bring $25,000 but sold for $48,400. Doubling high estimate was a pair horseshoe-back chairs that brought $33,275 and a wine table sold for over high estimate for $22,990.

Strong prices on the Asian offerings were not limited to the huanghuali collection. A Chinese overlay wall panel with scholar’s items was estimated to achieve $5,000-$7,000 but sold for $15,730 (below).

This Chinese overlay wall panel with scholar’s items achieved $15,730. Clars Auction Gallery image

A pair of Chinese underglazed blue porcelain fish bowls also flew well past expectations selling for $12,100 (estimate: $1,200-$1,600) and a Chinese brown glazed stickneck vase was offered for $300-$500 but sold for an astounding $9,075.

One of the most important global collections of 19th-century, British East Indian and China Trade paintings from the estate of Thomas Williamson of Orinda, Calif., sold well beyond expectations. The highlight of these lots was a rare gouache from 1830 with impeccable provenance (originally gifted to William Fraser [1784-1835] who was appointed secretary to Sir Ochterlony in 1805). This work titled Portrait of Sir David Ochterlony (1758-1825), Conqueror of Nepal and First British Resident of India, (below) was offered with an estimate of $2,000-$4,000 but sold for $19,360.

This rare gouache from 1830 titled ‘Portrait of Sir David Ochterlony (1758-1825), Conqueror of Nepal and First British Resident of India,’ sold for $19,360. Clars Auction Gallery image

A circa 1850 work on paper from the East Indian/Punjab School titled Hunting Cheetahs or Leopard (below) was expected to sell for $800-$1,200 but soared to $7,865. In all, four lots from this collection achieved an impressive total of $33,033.

This circa 1850 work on paper from the East Indian/Punjab School titled ‘Hunting Cheetahs or Leopard’ sold for $7,865. Clars Auction Gallery image

A highly successful result was had on a painting by Mihail Chemiakin (Russian, b. 1943). Titled Carnival St. Petersburg, VII (below), this oil on canvas was expected to achieve $10,000-$15,000 but sold for almost double at $27,830.

This oil on canvas by Mihail Chemiakin (Russian, b. 1943) titled ‘Carnival St. Petersburg, VII,’ was expected to achieve $10,000-$15,000 but sold for $27,830. Clars Auction Gallery image

The top seller in the decorative arts and furnishings category was a palace-size antique Persian Serapi carpet that was offered with an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Competitive bidding on this lot drove the price to $26,620 (below).

The top seller in decorative arts was this palace-size antique Persian Serapi carpet that brought $26,620. Clars Auction Gallery image

The atomic-era NASA collection from the property of Ray Larson, vice president and lead engineer (1954-1986) of Rockwell International, was offered. The top lot of this collection was a lot of 12 NASA Apollo Heat Shield fragments that sold for over the high estimate at $4,235, with the entire collection realizing over $16,000.

Fine jewelry rounded out this exciting sale with a Cartier bracelet leading this category. A circa 1950s lapis lazuli and 18K yellow bracelet sold very well for $10, 285. A stunning Boucheron Ceylon sapphire diamond and 18K white gold ring also performed well realizing $8,470.