Robust Sales, Attendance at Japanese Art Exhibitions During Asia Week New York 20

Japanese Paddle-Shaped Writing Box

 Japanese Paddle-Shaped Writing Box

(Erik Thomsen / Japanese Art Dealers Association)

In a week that saw record prices in nearly every field of Asian art, sales of Japanese art were robust and attendance at the numerous gallery exhibitions held by local and out-of-state and foreign dealers was up significantly over Asia Week 2010, according to an informal survey conducted by the Japanese Art Dealers Association (JADA) and information gathered from published reports.

Overall, JADA estimates sales totals of over $20 million, including $8.5 million in the Christie’s New York auction of Japanese art in its March 23 sale of Japanese and Korean art, over $4 million in sales at JADA 2011: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association, an exhibition held from March 19 to March 23, and the $1.4 million Bonhams Japanese Works of Art auction on March 22.

The market for Japanese art, which experienced an extended lull after the bubble of the Japanese economy burst in the early 1990s, is now demonstrably back on track.

In addition to the strong sales, traffic by collectors, curators, art historians, and aficionados of Japanese art climbed.  The number of visitors to JADA 2011 grew by 25% over the preceding year, when JADA’s members also exhibited at the Ukrainian Institute of America on 79th Street and Fifth Avenue during Asia Week.

Works in the JADA exhibition spanned over 2,000 years, starting with an ancient Jōmon era “flame” deep pot, which sold to a private collector for a price in the mid-six figures.  The ornately designed pot was offered by Mika Gallery.  Among the ceramics on offer was a highly rare Arita-ware porcelain figure of a seated beauty, notable for the exquisite enamel work.  The figure, offered by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art, sold for over $200,000.

(At the request of gallery owners, prices for sales at private galleries are ballparked out of respect for the buyers, both private and institutional, who wished to remain anonymous.)

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