A Ding bowl from the Song dynasty

A Ding bowl from the Song dynasty

On 19 March in New York, the seller of this Ding bowl had every right to feel content – and proud, having achieved a transaction good enough to turn the craftiest Wall Street operator green with envy. Picked up six years ago in a yard sale for $3, this small ceramic Song piece sold for the staggering sum of $2.22 M at Sotheby's! History does not relate whether this feat was the work of a discreet connoisseur or just a lucky break… Meanwhile the buyer, none other than Giuseppe Eskenazi (the well-known London art dealer behind the highest bids in the speciality), walked off with a remarkable example of Ding tableware: a model known through only one other specimen now in London's British Museum. This "British subject" had been left to the institution in 1947 by Henry J. Oppenheim, a collector and eminent member of the Oriental Ceramic Society. No need to dwell on the unparalleled virtues of this type of porcelain produced during the Song dynasty, which ruled from the 10th to the 13th century. It embodied the perfection of an intellectual century. The beauty of these pieces lay in their pure lines and the attention lavished on the decoration, here delicate petals traced with a bamboo knife – not to mention their colour, an evanescent creamy-white, ideal for expressing "the taste of spring water" dear to neo-Confucian scholars.

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Will the latest Salon do better than the previous ones? It's hard to say, especially in an economic downturn. But the Paris fair has succeeded in setting the bar ever higher over the years. In 2012, the professionals unanimously acclaimed a positive result, marked by a higher attendance rate, good sales, and the return of American buyers, while the presence of representatives from the top museums confirmed the excellence of the works on offer.


Art Market Magazine

In April, sales of drawings flourish with a little help from the Salon du Dessin in Paris. Here is a selection of the best pieces of the moment, not to mention key dates in the season like the sales of Kachina and pre-Columbian art collections at Drouot.
This marvellous portrait "Jenny de Lavalette" by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres is the star of a sale of paintings and drawings staged by the Piasa auction house.



Bids in March pay tribute to 19th century painting, jewellery, books and Chinese art.
World record for the artist Philippe Jacques Van Bree, “Interior of Jan Franz Van Dael's Studio at the Sorbonne”.
La Rosa by Pissarro: this sensitive portrait of the young Rosa was highly appreciated by enthusiasts.
The seller of this Ding bowl had every right to feel content.



TEFAF 2013 report: the world's most famous non-specialist art fair suffers from bad weather this year.



The first major retrospective of an auction room star since the 1980 show in New York, the Eileen Gray exhibition at the Centre Pompidou fulfils all its promises.



Greek billionaire George Economou has given a new dimension to his collection by creating an art centre, with a programme focused firmly on contemporary art



Clémence d’Ennery's passion inspired a collection of Far Eastern art that became a life's work, together with the mansion housing it.
The Howard Greenberg collection is exposed to Paris (photography and digital video capital).



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