Riding the crest of an Asian art boom, a rare Chinese Bronze Age wine vessel was auctioned for $8.1 million Tuesday at Sotheby's in New York, almost triple its estimated sale price.
The vessel was the most expensive of 23 lots from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., that were sold as part of a larger Chinese art auction. Albright Director Louis Grachos said the gallery was selling some of its older works because it wanted to focus on modern and contemporary art.
London dealer Roger Keverne placed the winning bid for the square Shang Dynasty wine vessel on behalf of Compton Verney, an English museum founded by Sir Peter Moores. The bronze, which dates between 1300 BC and 1000 BC, has unusual owl-like eyes on three sides.