NEW YORK, N.Y.-
On 14 September 2011 Sothebys
in New York will present Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in two sessions at 10am and 2pm. The sale is exceptionally diverse with important archaic bronzes, furniture, porcelain, jade, sculpture and other works of art, the majority of which are drawn from private collections in the US, Europe and Asia. The wideranging sale balances pieces that suit academic and scholarly taste, to those that are decorative and functional. Property from the sale, which is expected to bring $19.3/27.6 million,* will be on view beginning 9 September.
The highlight of the auction is A Rare and Impressive Archaic Ritual Bronze Vessel (Hu), Late Shang / Early Western Zhou Dynasty (est. $2.5/3 million). The piece was formerly in the collection of Sadajiro Kawai and is one of the few known vessels of this type and size. The elegant S-curves are offset by the powerful articulation of the crisply cast decoration while the sheer size of the piece would have conferred status on the high ranking members of Shang and Western Zhou society who would have owned it.
Property of the Sano Art Museum
In addition, the sale includes a selection archaic bronze vessels and mirrors from the Sano Art Museum in Mishima city, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The museum was founded by Ryuichi Sano a businessman who established the museum in his hometown 40 years ago. The Sano Museum works are led by A Rare Archaic Bronze Ritual Food Vessel and Cover (Fangyi), Shang Dynasty (est. $1.5/2.5 million). The fangyi is one of the rarest of the ritual bronze shapes cast in the Shang Dynasty and the piece includes notched flanges running along the corners and middle section of each side to emphasize the vertical profile of the shape.
Other highlights from the Sano Museum include A Large Bronze Bell (Bo), Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Spring and Autumn period with an elaborately carved handle in the form of two confronted sinuous dragons (est. $300/500,000) and A Rare Famille-Rose Model of a Stupa, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century with exquisite enameling that shows the luxurious nature of Buddhist implements created for the palace (est. $250/350,000).
Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs Walter F. Dillingham, Hawaii Mr. and Mrs Walter F. Dillingham put together this stunning collection at La Pietra, their home on the slopes of Diamond Head in Hawaii that was designed by renowned Chicago architect David Adler. Mr. Dillingham founded the Oahu Railway and Land Co. and orchestrated the development of a dry dock at Pearl Harbor. Among the highlights is A Fine White Jade Imperial Washer, Qianlong Mark and Period, which was crisply carved from a solid block of white jade, catering to the Qianlong emperors taste for archaism (est. $250/350,000). Other highlights from the Dillingham collection include A Fine and Rare White Jade Washer, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century which is carved in the elegant ruyi form (est. $100/150,000).
A further jade highlight comes from the Collection of M.C. Wang; A Fine Pair of White Jade Table Scenes, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century are finely carved with a river scene showing boats, trees and mountains (est. $300/400,000).
Works of Art
Among the works of art in the sale is A Magnificent Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup With Hawks, Qing Dynasty, 17/18th Century which carries the signature of the 17th century master carver You Kan. There are more pieces bearing You Kans name than any other rhinoceros horn carver but no other work depicting hawks appears to be recorded (est. $300/500,000, left). A Rare Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Immortals Screen, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period shows the Immortals heading towards an elegant palace on Penglai the Immortal Isle (est. $80/100,000). While A Rare Imperial Canton Tribute Embellished Gilt-Metal Hat Stand, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period is remarkable for its sumptuous and highly complex design (est. $130/150,000). The highly ornate body is worked in the repousse technique then embellished with colored glass-paste stones.
The sale also includes two pieces by Edward I. Farmer who fabricated lavish utilitarian objects using a mix of jade and silver in a flamboyant blend of eastern and western aesthetic, and include A Jadeite and Silver Cigarette Box and Cover (est. $80/120,000), using jadeite belthooks.
The sale features a particularly strong group of classical furniture from a number of major European, Asian and American private collections. A Fine Pair of Huanghuali Yokeback Armchairs (Sichutou Guanmaoyi), 17th Century are distinguished by their large size, generous sweep of the crestrail, well-shaped terminals and the elegantly curved front and back posts (est. $800,000/1.2 million). A Fine and Rare Jichimu Recessed-Leg Table (Qiaotouan), 17th Century is characterized by the finely carved phoenix spandrels and the lingzhi end panels (est. $300/500,000) and A Magnificent Twelve Panel Coromandel Screen, Qing Period, Kangxi Period is beautifully carved with a lush and idyllic garden landscape containing spotted deer, birds, flowers and mythical animals (est. $250/350,000).
The highlight of a superb selection of Buddhist art is A Rare and Important Gilt Bronze Votive Stele of Buddha, Northern Wei dynasty, dated 471 AD (est. $600/800,000). The sculpture has been extensively published and exhibited in Japan and is inscribed Chou Jinu, a name that also appears on a piece in the British Museum from the same time. Further highlights include two stone sculptures one of which, recent research has shown, comes from the Buddhist cave temples at Xiangtangshan in southern Hebei province. A Rare Pair of Limestone Hands of a Disciple, Northern Qi Dynasty, 6th Century come from a private collection in Japan (est. $150/250,000), whilst An Impressive Stone Hand of a Bodhisattva, Northern Qi Dynasty was previously in the Collection of Arthur M. Sackler (est. $150/250,000).
An Important Asian Collection
A further Buddhist highlight and a leading piece from An Important Asian Collection is A Rare Gilt-Lacquered Wood Figure Of Avalokiteshvara Enthroned on a Pedestal, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi period that is elegantly carved and gilded to simulate gilt-bronze (est. $120/150,000). Other major pieces from this collection include An Impressive Imperial Cinnabar Lacquer Screen and Stand, Qing Dynasty, Early 19th Century which would have adorned the main or side table in imperial halls (est. $100/150,000).