Christie's auction of Japanese and Korean art saw a rare porcelain jar from Korea's Joseon dynasty (1392-1897) score the highest price on March 20 in New York.
The massive white porcelain piece sold for $1.2m, leading the sale by a considerable margin. It measures 22 by 17 inches, and was created during the 18th century.
The jar is remarkable particularly for its height and girth, with very few comparisons to be found in related literature. Its proportions are also distinctive, with high, rounded shoulders and a tall body that tapers inward at the foot, finished with a clear glaze.
A spectacular blue and white Joseon dragon jar sold for $3.2m with Christie's at the last Asia Week event in New York in September 2012.
Korean art dominated sales in the present auction, with the second highest bids brought by Park Sookeun's Five Seated Figures. Rising above its $500,000 high estimate by 42.3%, the oil sold for $711,750.
Park Sookeun (1914-1965) is one of the most respected modern Korean artists, with his work first achieving favour with the Americans stationed in Seoul during the 1960s. Also beloved in his homeland, his Ladies of the Marketplace set the current record for any artwork auctioned in South Korea, when it sold for $2.6m in 2007.
Korean art is thriving in the current market, with collectors and investors alike looking to alternatives to highly-priced works from China.
The highest selling Japanese lot was an elaborate bronze hanging vase from the late 19th century (Meiji period). Signed Shoami Katsuyoshi (1831-1910), the piece is formed as a long gourd, with a finely carved life-like mouse, snake and snail, as well as vines and leaves inlaid with gold, copper and shakudo (a billon of copper and gold).
Bonhams held its own Japanese sale on March 19 in New York, which was led by a silver model of a twisting dragon.