The selection of archaic bronzes, classical paintings, Buddhist sculpture, celadon ceramics and scholars’ objects from the Fujita Museum had been assembled by Denzaburo Fujita (1841-1912) and his two sons Heitaro and Tokujiro. The items had been acquired prior to 1940, largely through the leading dealers Yamanaka and Co.
The collection went under the hammer as part of the Asia week auction series held in New York throughout the week. The top lot of the sale was a 13th century handscroll that was formerly in the collection of the Qianlong emperor and carried his collector’s seals. It was hamered down at $43.5m (£35.6m).
One of the Fujitas’ six archaic bronzes, this 20in (52cm) high ritual wine vessel or Fangzun from the late Shang dynasty (13th-11th century BC) set a new auction high for an archaic bronze when it sold for a hammer price of $33m (£27m).
All bar one of the archaic bronzes sold for multiples of their estimate to total a premium-inclusive $125.78m (£103m).