Rare Huanghuali Furniture Achieves Over Quarter Million Dollars and British East Indian and China Trade Paintings Soar Well Beyond Expectations

22 Dec

Rare Huanghuali Furniture Achieves Over Quarter Million Dollars and British East Indian and China Trade Paintings Soar Well Beyond Expectations

huanghuali furniture

pair of huanghuali horseshoe back chairs and mixed wood cabinet

Oakland, CA – 16 & 17 – December 2017 – 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.

Highlights in Asian Art and Antiques

Chinese Huanghuali Demi-Lune Tables

Chinese Huanghuali Demi-Lune Tables

A collection of highly desirable Chinese huanghuali furniture commanded well overestimate prices realizing over $250,000. Fueled by the impeccable workmanship and limited supply of furniture made from this rare and near-extinct wood, bidders competed strongly for this collection. Topping these offerings was a pair of demi-lune tables 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 a 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. (Provenance: from the collection of a colleague of Edward Gerber (Reno, NV.) from whom Clars sold an important collection in 2014.)

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 over double for $15,730.

Chinese Overlay Wall Panel, Scholar's Items

Chinese Overlay Wall Panel, Scholar’s Items

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

Highlights in Fine Art

Portrait of Sir David Ochterlony

Portrait of Sir David Ochterlony

One of the most important global collections of 19th century, British East Indian and China Trade paintings from the Estate of Thomas Williamson (Orinda, California) 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, was offered with an estimate of $2,000 – $4,000 but sold well beyond for an impressive $19,360. A circa 1850 work on paper from the East Indian/Punjab School titled Hunting Cheetahs or Leopard was expected to sell for $800 – $1,2000 but soared to $7,865. In all, four lots from this collection achieved an impressive total of $33,033.

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


Painting, Mihail Chemiakin

Painting, Mihail Chemiakin

Among the other works that performed well was the oil on canvas by Jane Peterson (American, 1876-1965), Coastal Scene with Fishing Boats, which sold for $9,680. The oil on board by Grigory Gluckmann (American/Russian, 1898-1973), Roses for a Dancer, sold for well over high estimate at $15,730 as did Adoration de Bergers, an oil on panel by Ottavio Semino (Italian, 1520-1604), which brought $10,285. A great surprise was seen on the oil on board titled, Autumn Woods by Adomas Galdikas (Lithuanian, 1893-1969). Offered with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500, this work soared to the final selling price of $9,680.

Highlights in Decorative Arts & Furnishings

Antique Persian Serapi palace size carpet

Antique Persian Serapi palace size carpet


The top seller in this 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 higher and higher to a final selling price of $26,620.

The Atomic Era NASA Collection from the property from the Vice President and Lead Engineer (1954-1986) of Rockwell International, Ray Larson was offered. The top lot of this collection was a lot of 12 NASA Apollo Heat Shield fragments that sold for over high estimate for $4,235 with the entire collection realizing over $16,000.

A collection of pre-Columbian ethnographic artifacts was offered. Selling for well beyond its estimate of $800 – $1,200 was a breastplate, likely central Mexico, executed in jade and green stone which sold for $6,655.

Highlights in Jewelry

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.

Cartier lapis lazuli and 18k yellow gold bracelet, circa 1950's

Cartier lapis lazuli and 18k yellow gold bracelet

For a complete list of results and prices realized for this entire sale, please visit www.clars.com

Clars’ next Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry/Timepieces and Asian Art Auction will be held on Saturday and Sunday, January 20th-21st, 2018.

The sales will begin promptly at 9:30 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Previews for this sale will be held Friday, January 19th from 1 pm-6 pm,
Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 am & by appointment the week prior.
A complete catalog is available online prior to the sale.
For more information, please visit www.clars.com or email: [email protected]

NEW: Online-only auctions at Clars
Beginning December 13th, Clars commenced its first timed auction of a few hundred lots of quality property in the $50-$1000 range. Bidding is available on ClarsLive at live.clars.com for 14 days with automatic extensions for any lots receiving bids in the last minute. Clars will continue timed auctions in mid-January.

Clars Auction Gallery is based in Oakland (CA) and is the largest full service auction gallery in the Western United States. Clars Auction Gallery has been the chosen auction gallery of a number of institutions and distinguished private collectors across the country including the Richard Mellon Scaife Estate, the Thomas J. Perkins Estate and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC).

Bidding is available in person, by phone, absentee and live online at Live.Clars.com and through Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Clars Auction Gallery is located at 5644 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

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