Important Chinese Objects Achieve Strong Prices at John Moran Auctioneers


• The nine lots offered were culled from the Estate of Andrew F. Chandler and a private Ventura, CA collection
• A core number of buyers signed up to bid via telephone, on the floor and online, each meeting special registration requirements
• Top-lot status went to a Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze figure of Guanyin

MONROVIA, CA - Comprising only nine lots, John Moran’s Important Chinese Objects session kicked off promptly at 8pm on Tuesday. Featuring examples dating from the 18th century and earlier, estimates ranged from $8000 to $150,000. Many of the buyers from Moran’s Decorative Art Auction stayed to watch the 8pm session, which opened to a large crowd in person and multiple phone agents with bidders on the line waiting to cast their bids. Jeff Moran, who sold the session, took his time with the bid calling, many lots taking a few minutes to close because of the careful and deliberate pace of bidding.

Seven of the nine lots were consigned from the Hancock Park Estate of Andrew F. Chandler; two additional lots comprising candlesticks were consigned from a private Ventura, CA collection.

The top lot of the evening was unexpected, coming to the block at the very end of the session and earning more than six times of the high end of the conservative pre-sale estimate. Dating to the late Ming Dynasty (16th/17th century), the small-scale gilt-bronze statue depicted Guanyin seated in a leisurely lalitasana pose, wearing a crown emblazoned with the image of Amitabha Buddha. The piece was estimated to bring $20,000 to $30,000 at the block, but after a protracted bidding war that culminated in competition between two very dedicated telephone bidders, the piece sold for an impressive $192,000 (prices realized include Moran’s 20% house buyer’s premium).

A diminutive Imperial workshop gilt-bronze figure, this example dating to the 18th century and depicting the bodhisattva Green Tara, was brought to the block with a $10,000 to $15,000 pre-auction estimate . Measuring in at only 8.75’’ tall, the Qianlong period figure brought a price just over the high estimate, at $15,600.

A handsome 18th century cloisonné-enameled censer, one of three censer lots to be offered during Moran’s Important Chinese Objects session, easily outstripped its $20,000 to $30,000 pre-auction estimate. Rendered in an appealing archaic style with flanged joints and taotie mask and dragon-motif enamelwork, the fang ding brought $54,000 at the auction block.

A 19th century Thangka painting depicting the Buddhist deity Guanyin with 1000 arms raised atop a flowering lotus stalk was one of the most highly desirable items to be offered during this special session. Thanks to competition between multiple telephone and online buyers, the Thangka achieved a $27,000 selling price (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

The Important Chinese Objects session was the third of three auction sessions Moran’s hosted on December 6th; the session followed a Fine Jewelry and a Decorative Art session. Sale highlights and lot price listings are available via John Moran’s website: www.JohnMoran.com.

Moran’s next auction is their fine art-specific January 24th Studio Auction. The catalog for that auction session will be available online via John Moran’s website as well as the Liveauctioneers and Auctionzip/Invaluable platforms in early January 2017.

Moran’s is currently consigning Asian items and Continental decorative arts and paintings for their February 21st Decorative Art Auction. To speak to a friendly and knowledgeable specialist regarding consignment, please contact John Moran Auctioneers directly via telephone (626) 793-1833 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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