Chinese archaic bronze
The archaic bronze wine vessel that sold for a record $33m (£27m) at Christie’s in New York on March 15.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The select 31-lot offering, which was part of the auctioneers’ seven-sale contribution to New York’s Asia week, made more in a single evening, said Christie’s, than any other New York Asian Art Week series.

The total from the Fujita Museum sale was a premium inclusive $262.8m (£215.5m).

The archaic bronzes, classical paintings, Buddhist sculpture, celadon ceramics and scholars’ objects had been assembled by the Japanese collector Denzaburo Fujita (1841-1912) and his two sons Heitaro and Tokujiro. All of the Chinese objects had been acquired prior to 1940 largely through the leading dealers Yamanaka and Co.

Shang dynasty wine vessel

Boosting that overall figure by a substantial amount were two headline entries.

One of the Fujitas’ six archaic bronzes, a 20in (52cm) high ritual wine vessel or Fangzun from the late Shang dynasty (13-11th century BC) realised a hammer price of $33m (£27m) setting a new auction high for an archaic bronze.

All bar one of the archaic bronzes sold for multiples of their estimate to total a premium inclusive $125.78m (£103m).

The top lot of the sale was the $43.5m (£35.6m) paid for a 13th century handscroll that was formerly in the collection of the Qianlong emperor and carried his collector’s seal.