asian art | rumors about the chinese asian art market

is chinese porcelain as valuable as impressionist art?

sold for US$21.6 million,
the world record auction price for ming dynasty porcelain.

a blue and white meiping vase with fruit sprays | yongle period | ming dynasty
the meiyintang collection, part II | lot 11 | sotheby's hong kong | 5 october 2011
photo by sotheby's

sold for US$69.5 million,
the highest price paid for any chinese work of art at auction.

the bainbridge vase
a yang cai reticulated double walled vase sith six-character mark in underglaze blue of qianlong and of the period
lot 800 | bainbriges, west ruslip, middlesex, united kingdom | 11 november 2010
photo by bainbridges

but, rumor has it that...
the bainbridge vase hasn't been paid for...
the bainbridge vase isn't genuine...
the provenance of the bainbridge vase isn't real...
click here to read more about the bainbridge vase...

which could become more valuable?
a picasso painting
sold for US$106.5 million,
the world record price for a work of art sold at auction.

pablo picasso | nude, green leaves and bust | oil on canvas | 1932
property from the collection of mrs. sidney f. brody | lot 6 | christie's new york | 4 may 2010
photo by christie's

a painting by chinese contemporary artist zhang xiaogang
sold for US$10.2 million,
the world record auction price for a chinese contemporary painting.

zhang xiaobong | forever naked love | triptych | oil on canvas | 1988
the ullens collection-the nascence of avant garde china | lot 808 | sotheby's hong kong | 3 april 2011
photo by artnet

henry howard-sneyd, vice chairman of asian art at sotheby's, votes for zhang xiaogang.

his 27 october 2011 lecture at the san francisco fall antiques show about collecting opportunities: the rise of the asian art markets could be considered controversial.

howard-sneyd believes that the bubble could eventually burst.  but, he also thinks that this is one of the great periods of artistic endeavor in china, so a correction in pricing probably wouldn't destroy the market for contemporary or traditional chinese works of art.

even though the demographics of the market are currently dominated by chinese dealers and collectors, in the long term, he thinks that western dealers and collectors are also very important.

but, howard-sneyd questions whether or not the phenomenal growth of the leading chinese auction houses, such as poly, china guardian, beijing hanhai, or council, can be believed.

according to published figures, the turnover in asian art at these four auction houses now dwarfs the turnover in asian art at sotheby's, christie's, and bonham's.

but, howard-sneyd also noted that, using data from xinhua, a chinese government news agency, a chinese newspaper journalist implied that the actual volume of these four auction houses could be closer to 25% of the published figures, based on the amount of sales tax that they paid.

all of the rumors seem quite controversial, don't you think?

rumor has it | adele | 21
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antiques | have antiques become antiquated?

"don't use the 'a' word", an article by susan moore in the october 1, 2011 FT (Financial Times) questions whether or not antiques seem relevant or irrelevant to newer or younger collectors or consumers.

some (antiques) dealers are now showcasing their 'masterpieces' in minimalist exhibitions that feel contemporary, even though they only display traditional objects.

other dealers are taking an eclectic approach, like belgian interior designer and antiques dealer axel vervoordt, who furnishes his interiors with objects of similar shapes, colors, or materials, but of dissimilar age, origin, or value.  

lately, the simple, authentic, imperfect aesthetics of wabi sabi inspire vervoordt's interiors, which could be described as more curated than designed.

a painting by jean-michel basquiat | a gupta buddha head from india | a nok head from africa
residence | belgium | interior design by axel vervoordt
photo from timeless interiors by axel vervoordt

a painting by lucio fontana | a queen anne mahogany table c.1700
residence | belgium | interior design by axel vervoordt 
photo from timeless interiors by axel vervoordt 

as vervoordt's work artfully illustrates, it's all in the editing, and in the juxtaposition.

would this boardroom be as interesting without the juxtaposition of the louis XIV armchair, the nomos table, the eames chairs, and the 18th century piranesi engraving?

do you notice how the legs of the louis XIV armchair, the legs of the nomos table, and the backs of the eames chairs have similar silhouettes?

louis XIV armchair | nomos table | eames chairs | 18th century piranesi engraving
boardroom | the element building | toronto, ontario, canada | design by the element group
photo from interior design

in the living room of this new york, NY apartment 'every piece relates to another and intensifies one's perception of the rest'. 

does the george III mahogany armchair seem traditional, or modern in this setting?
george III mahogany armchair | 1959 oil painting by mark rothko | 1967 stabile by alexander calder | custom bronze and glass coffee table | custom upholstery
apartment | new york, NY | interior design by thad hayes
photo from architectural digest

would you describe the furnishings of this los angeles, CA living room as modern or traditional?

isn't the antique gilt console table from therien & co. an interesting counterpart to the black and white franz kline painting, the black rose tarlow chairs, and the white linen custom upholstery?  

doesn't the antique table add character to the room without making it seem too formal or overly decorated?

antique gilt console table | franz kline painting | rose tarlow chairs | custom upholstery
living room | los angeles, CA | interior design by richard hallberg
photo from veranda

even though the prevalence of mid century modernism precipitated a stylistic simplification, i think that you can still create simple, comfortable, individual interiors by combining antique and modern furnishings.

in the october 2011 issue of ELLE DECOR, 'fair trade', an article by tim mckeough, quotes new york antiques dealer niall smith, who agrees that, today, most younger customers are creating pared down interiors that combine a few antiques with other periods and styles of furniture.

'...it's a much more simple look nowadays...the cluttered look is definitely out, simplicity is in...and quality still sells.'
-niall smith, new york antiques dealer

do you think that antiques are relevant to a modern lifestyle?
do you plan to visit the san francisco fall antiques show?
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