Surpassing All Expectations, A Record-Setting Sale of Korean Works of Art Rings Up $366,366 at Lark Mason Associates on iGavel Auctions

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  • May 01, 2017

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19th century Korean Ancestor Portrait Gouache on Paper, Hanging Scroll
Lark Mason Associates
A pair of Large 20th century Korean Dongja, circa 1950
Lark Mason Associates

Exceeding all expectations, the sale of Korean Works of Art at Lark Mason Associates on the iGavel Auctions platform closed on April 26th with a sale total of $366,366 including buyers premium. Fifty lots of ceramics, paintings, furniture and metalwork, most of which emanated from a local Central Texas collector, whose eye for quality and rarity were evident in the strong and, in some instances, extended bidding from Asia, Europe, and the United States. 

The auction saw fierce competition from dealers and collectors, alike. “ iGavel’s online platform met the needs perfectly for all of the international bidders, and many of the items purchased will be returning to Korea,” says Lark Mason. “More than half of the items in the sale went into extended bidding, with the final prices rocketing past the estimates, in many cases 100 times more. ”

The biggest surprise of all came on the last day of this exciting sale. The final lot, a 19th century painting of a high-ranking civil servant, finely rendered with delicate details (Estimate: $700-$1,000) was scheduled to close at 12:30 pm on but fierce bidding pushed it to a record-breaking $81,250 for this kind of painting.

The second highest lot was by the artist Kim Hong-do, the most famous 18th/19th century painter in Korea (Estimate: $400-600). This small piece, depicting a figure on a leopard, achieved a final bid price of $66,875.  Closing an hour earlier, and again with more than 25 minutes of extended bidding, was an impressive colorful pair of large Korean Dongja, snapped up by a collector for $57,500 (Estimate: $1,500-2,000), winning out over 32 bids.

Each of these lots saw a diverse group of bidders competing for what was truly a great collection.  Several of the other highlights included an eight-panel screen, a Korean Buddhist painting, and three works on paper.  All of these items went into extended bidding, with all achieving over $10,000 and several reaching over $20,000.

About Lark Mason and iGavel Auctions

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.

Mason was at Sotheby’s from 1979 until 2003, as a General Appraiser, Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese Art, and Director of Online Auctions for He was a Consulting Curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is a Professor at New York University and is Chairman of Asia Week New York. He is Vice-President of the board of the Appraiser’s Association of America. Over his career, he has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.

Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on the iGavel Auctions platform and holds the record price for the sale of any work of art in an online sale, achieved in 2014 with the sale of a painting for nearly $4.2m.

Korean Gilt Bronze Buddhist Ritual Box, Joseon Dynasty
Lark Mason Associates

As a creative force behind many of the innovations with online auction sales, Mason is leading again with iGavel Interiors, a format that allows an owner to sell art and antiques directly from a residence without incurring moving or storage costs. Professionals assist the homeowner with expertise in the cataloging and presentation of the objects, which remain in place until picked-up by the successful bidder who is responsible for all packing and removal costs. Mason, the owner and CEO of iGavel Auctions is noted for his regular appearances on the PBS series, “The Antiques Roadshow” on which he has appeared since 1996. 

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