"Chenghua" doucai cup still sold for US$2m after default, by Doyle New York

The Asian Art Week New York has started. Dealers and collectors have their eyes on the fine artworks presented by big auction houses like Bonhams, Christie's and Sotheby's; yet the smaller auction house, Doyle, has also caught the attention of many for its transaction of a Chinese doucai-glazed porcelain cup, which achieved US$2 million, 40 times beyond its estimation. In addition to its high price, the transaction process has been dramatic.

The doucai cup was "realized" at US$2,405,000 in the sale "Asian Works of Art" on 13 March, while its estimation was only US$50,000 - 70,000. However on 14 March, the cup was stated as "unsold" on the offical website of Doyle. Today (15 March) the auction house again changed its status, confirming that the cup has been sold for US$2 million. Insiders believe, the original buyers defaulted and the first transaction has been cancelled, so now the underbidder is able to get the cup with a lower price.

Rounded sides supported on a recessed foot, enameled on the exterior with four roundels of leafy fruiting peach branches, the doucai cup is fine and delicate. As Doyle suggested, it may come from the 18th Century; but it bears the Chenghua six-character mark on its base. Doucai porcelains of the Chenghau peiod (1465-1487) are very popular, especially the "chicken cup", which is extremly rare and most of the kind are secured in museums' collections. Despite its rareness, a chicken cup was once seen in the market in 2014, fetching Sotheby's Hong Kong HK$281,240,000.

The Doyle's sale also presented a celadon jade vase of Jiaqing and a three-piece yellow-ground famille rose porcelain garniture of the 19th Century, realized at 20 times and 40 times of their estimations respectively.


Sale Details of the Highlights

Chinese Doucai Glazed Porcelain Cup ,18th Century

Lot No.: 160
Estimate: US$50,000 - $70,000
Realized: US$2,000,000

Chinese Celadon Jade Vase, Jiaqing Period

Lot No.: 218
Estimate: US$20,000 - 30,000
Realized: US$432,500

Chinese Yellow Ground Famille Rose Porcelain Three-Piece Garniture, 19th Period

Lot No.: 125
Estimate: US$4,000 - $6,000
Realized: US$161,000

(all realized prices include the buyer's premium)