New York Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Sale

. August 23, 2009

Commencing Christie’s Asian Art Week, the sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections on September 14 and 15 will bring together over 400 works of art, including superb ceramics, jades, bronzes, furniture and sculptures. The first day begins with Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections highlighted by archaic jades, bronzes, and Buddhist sculptures. The second day of sales continues with Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, which will offer rare and important works of art.

Junyao
A fine and rare numbered Junyao tripod ‘Narcissus’ bowl, Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty, 14-15th century (estimate: $300,000-500,000) from a North-American Chinese Family Collection. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd 2009

Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections
Following the enormous success of Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections in March 2009, Christie’s is privileged to offer an additional 115 selections from this fine collection on September 14 at 4pm. Highlights from the sale include a rare dated limestone four-sided Buddhist votive stele, Northern Qi Dynasty (estimate: $70,000-90,000), inscribed with a date corresponding to 574; a rare bronze ritual globular tripod food vessel and cover, Dui, Eastern Zhou Dynasty, Late 6th century B.C. (estimate: $10,000-15,000); a rare opaque blackish jade ceremonial blade, Zhang, Late Neolithic Period, Northwest China, circa 2000 B.C. (estimate: $15,000-25,000); and a large mottled semi-opaque olive and buff jade, Bi, Late Neolithic Period, Northwest China, circa 2000 B.C. (estimate: $20,000-30,000).

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on September 15 will have two sessions and features over 350 stunning pieces across a number of collecting categories. Leading the sale is a rare and finely painted underglaze copper-red and blue ‘mallet’ vase, Yaoling zun, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722) (estimate: $600,000-800,000). This superb vase, produced in the Imperial kilns, represents an unusual combination of archaic influences. The form, Yaoling zun, meaning vase in the shape of a hand bell is derived from the classic paper-beater vases of the Song period, while the decoration of intricate medallions and upright leaf tips were inspired by the decoration of ancient bronze vessels and mirrors.

The sale also features a fine and rare numbered Junyao tripod ‘Narcissus’ bowl, Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty, 14-15th century (estimate: $300,000-500,000) from a North-American Chinese Family Collection. The bowl has the most desirable arrangement of a remarkable blue interior glaze and purple exterior glaze. The base inscribed with the character wu, ‘five’ relates to the size of the vessel and may also indicate which rooms they were kept in the Imperial Palace. From the same collection is a selective group of zitan furniture, which includes a rare large zitan floor mirror, 18th/19th century (estimate: $100,000-150,000) with a base carved on both sides with horizontal panels of confronted archaistic kui dragons.

Elsewhere in the sale are several outstanding examples of the Qianlong Emperor’s tremendous passion for the arts. During his reign from 1736 to 1795, the emperor amassed a huge collection of antiquities, reputed to number over a million objects. The objects were displayed in Imperial halls and palaces while smaller objects were stored in elaborate chests and boxes such as the rare carved red and painted lacquer “treasure box” and stand (illustrated right- estimate: $40,000-60,000). Other examples of the Qianlong period include a very rare pair of cloisonné enamel archaistic tripod ewers and covers, He (estimate: $200,000-300,000); a well-carved white jade peach-form pouring vessel (estimate: $150,000-180,000); a rare pair of inlaid gilt-bronze double phoenix-form candlesticks (estimate: $60,000-80,000); and an important and rare imperial Guangzhou tribute embellished ivory and tortoiseshell fan, Qianlong Period (estimate: $80,000-120,000).

The auction will also feature a collection of peachbloom-glazed vessels consigned by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, sold to benefit the Acquisitions Fund. The most notable of them all is a peachbloom-glazed chrysanthemum vase, Juban ping, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1662-1722) (estimate: $50,000-80,000), which are some of the most sophisticated and distinguished of all imperial porcelains. Vases of this type are in major institutions and collections worldwide. Other vessels with the Kangxi character mark include a peachbloom-glazed water pot, Taibai zun (estimate: $20,000-40,000); a peachbloom-glazed amphora, Liuye zun (estimate: $10,000-15,000); and a peachbloomglazed brush washer, Tangluo xi (estimate: $8,000-12,000).

Other highlights from various owners include a rare and important imperially inscribed Guan-type faceted vase, Fanghu, Late Ming/Early Qing Dynasty, 17th-early 18th century (estimate: $200,000-300,000). The compact pear form vase with a lustrous bluish-grey glaze presents a rare example of this type that flourished in the Ming Dynasty, and was emulated by the Qing emperor. Also of note is a very rare and unusually large famille verte charger, Kangxi six-character mark in underglaze blue within a double circle and of the period (estimate: $200,000-300,000).

Category: Antiques News

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