Christie's closed Asia Week New York with a spectacular sale on March 22, led by a rare and massive huanghuali pedestal table.
The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art auction came on the final day of the major art event, realising a total of $38.1m. The huanghuali table, measuring 4.5 metres in length and dating to the 17th-18th century, sold for $9m, bringing a 354.1% increase on estimate.
Huanghuali, its name translating as "yellow flowering pear wood", is one of the most treasured of all Asian woods and is now a protected species. As a result, furniture crafted from this coveted material is nearing extinction, with less than 10,000 pieces believed to exist in the world.
Also starring was a rare underglaze blue-decorated yellow-ground vase, which Christie's described as "extraordinarily unusual". It sold for $3.8m, exceeding its $500,000 estimate by 663.9%.
The vase bears the seal of the Qianlong emperor (1711-1799), and is one of just two known examples to feature this rare combination of shape and decoration, the other housed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
The example at auction features a flaming pearl, which is contested by a five-clawed and a three-clawed dragon.
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