Wonderous doings of May 13th

While the world’s financial markets were seized in the throes of the Flash Crash, the art market delivered its own excitement — on the upside.

From the auction catalog:

A rare and fine white jade flattened baluster vase and cover

18th century
The even almost flawless stone superbly hollowed in the form of a flattened baluster vase rising from a recessed foot to broad shoulders, carved around the body in high relief with five bats in flight, the three on the principal side each suspending ribboned auspicious emblems from their mouths, the endless knot, a pair of fish, and a ruyi sceptre, the two on the reverse similarly clasping fruiting sprigs, the tall neck set to either side with lingzhi handles, the domed cover surmounted by a chilong finial. 21.3cm (8¼in) high

Art.view picks up the story:

But it was the white jade that sparked the day’s real excitement. In particular lot 21, a delicate vase carved into a flattened shape just over 21cm high, was estimated to fetch £30,000-40,000. Bidding quickly rose in increments of £5,000, but even the auctioneer, Colin Sheaf, was astonished when a representative from Christie’s, a rival house, standing at the back of the room topped a £50,000 by shouting “£100,000”. At £300,000, it was still a three-way race. When the hammer came down in favour of a dealer from Ningbo in Cixi province in the room for £580,000, everyone broke out into applause.

So, dear friends, while I was following the auction fate of Francisco Capello’s pieces at Sotheby’s, the real action was in white jade at Bonham’s.

It’s official. I am… clueless.