Just as COVID-19 started ramping up in March during Asia Week, Lark Mason decided to go against conventional wisdom and move forward with the first part of his online sale Asian works of art. The risk reward benefit for doing so resulted in record prices across the board. However, he postponed the second part of the sale– Important Chinese Jades and Works of Art from the Collection of Isidore Cohn, Jr, M.D. and Other Owners– to June.
Ending on July 8th, the 56 select items sold realized $602,738, out of a total of 106 lots offered. The top lot was an 18th century Chinese Dark Green Jade Covered Censer, with a remarkable provenance from The International Exhibition of Chinese Art, which was illustrated in The Royal Academy, London catalogue no. 2858, in 1935-36. With an estimate of $25,000-40,000, the censer sold to a European buyer for $150,001.
Other items fared equally well, including a 23-carat gold Liao Style Floriform Box, estimated at $8,000-120,000, which received numerous bids, and sold for $131,875. A small group of furniture was included in the sale, with the leading item, an 18th century Chinese Hardwood Recessed Leg Table, realizing $48,750 against an estimate of $5,000-10,000.
“The sale showed the continued resiliency of the market in Asian Works of Art, with items having realistic estimates finding numerous bidders and those with aggressive estimates with less interest,” says Lark Mason. “The market remains strong for the best items and we anticipate that sales will remain robust in spite of the weakness of some areas of the economy. People still desire items of value and beauty, and auctions will remain resilient in the face of unprecedented circumstances.”
About Lark Mason
With locations in New Braunfels, Texas and New York City, Lark Mason Associates, the eponymous, auction house specializing in Asian, ethnographic, and ancient works of art, was founded by Lark Mason after many years as an expert at Sotheby's New York.
Mason served as a General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby's Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003. From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for Sothebys.com. He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is a generalist in American and European works of art and paintings, as well as an expert in the field of Chinese art and has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.
Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on the iGavel Auctions platform and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art and holds the record for the highest price achieved for any work of art in an online sale, for a painting sold in May 2014 that realized close to $4.2m. In addition, the recent sale of the Collection from Anthony Bourdain achieved an impressive $1.846,575. Mason, the founder and CEO of iGavel Auctions, is noted for his regular appearances on "The Antiques Road Show."