BLOOMFIELD, N.J. — One of two portraits of Kondo Tsugushige by Ryusei Kishida, and the only one to survive an earthquake and fire in 1923, that had descended in Tsugushige family, attracted global attention when it was offered at Nye & Company’s March 203 Estate Treasures Auction.
The 1921 oil on canvas was accompanied by a late watercolor copy of the portrait and a biographic book on the sitter, who was a medical scientist and the co-founder of the Japan Surgical Society.
According to Nye & Company’s director of business development, Andrew Holter, Kishida is a well-respected and sought-after artist in Japan, who in 2000 had the distinction of having his work set a record for the highest price paid for a Japanese artist at auction.
A diligent marketing campaign spread the word and the painting attracted interest from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. Ultimately, it realized $294,000 from an online bidder who outlasted internet and phone competitors.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium; a more extensive recap will follow in a future issue.
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