When I.M. Chait opens the doors of its annual temporary headquarters at 267 Fifth Avenue on March 17, it will unveil one of the finest collections of Asian Works of Art Isadore Chait has seen in his firm’s 40-year history.
From the catalogue cover lot—a superb 18th Century Jade Mountain formerly in the Summer Palace—to two extraordinary pieces of Zitan furniture, the collections epitomize the best in Asian decorative arts. All of the nearly 300 lots will be on view from March 17 to March 20. The auction begins at 1:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 20.
Among the Chinese ceramics, one of the star lots is an early Ming Dynasty ritual “water sprinkler” (Lot 200). The blue and white 15th Century pear shaped ewer with squared spout carries a handsome overall design of foliage and lotus blossoms. The “water sprinkler” is 8 ½” tall and carries the Xuande mark. It is expected to generate strong interest at around $300,000.
The next star lot, also of the early Ming period, is a dramatic Xuande bowl of blue, white and coral red. The flared form bowl with scalloped rim is designed in blue underglaze over which play floral sprays of coral red. It is Lot 201 and carries a catalogue high estimate of $150,000.
Lot 206 anchors the group of high-end porcelains and is an extremely rare Yuan Dynasty Yuhuchunping with red underglaze. It is decorated with three cranes in flight, each in a different position, amid clouds. Adding to the vase’s desirability is the fact that is from an important Japanese collection. The red underglaze porcelain vase is estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.
Among the carved jades is Lot 210, a finely carved whitish-celadon jade mountain on which two sages converse on a pathway edged with plum blossom trees. Notably, they are depicted beneath an incised and gilt poem. On the verso, a crane soars above trees and a deer. The 18th Century jade mountain, purchased years ago in London, is reputedly from the Summer Palace. It carries a high estimate of $175,000 but could bring considerably more.
Lot 212 is a massive and highly articulated dragon jar. The deep relief depicts five-clawed dragons chasing swirling pearls through the clouds. The carver’s impressive workmanship can be seen in the realistic sense of “motion” the beasts exhibit. The carved jade dragon jar with waves and carp at its base sits on a wooden stand of carved waves.
An exquisitely formed antique white jade vase exemplifies the delicacy that trained hands can achieve. Attributed to Chang Wen Ti, Lot 214 is a bottle shaped vase featuring a carved Guanyin holding a scroll. She stands on waves while a moon peeks over her shoulder. The verso holds an inscription.
The small but exquisite collection of jadeite jewelry leads with Lot 257, a pair of Imperial jade and diamond earrings. Elliptical and matched jadeite cabochons are set in platinum and graced with two pear shaped diamonds on either side of a round one. The earrings are easily expected to reach $45,000.
Lot 258 is a jadeite and diamond necklace, with a double gourd pendant. Around the bright green gourd are smaller gourds, a bat and “ruyi.” The pendant hangs from an Edwardian style white-gold choker length necklace covered with white diamonds.
Guardians and Deities
One of the finest collections of guardians and deities to make an appearance at I. M. Chait’s will also be featured. Lot 244 is a rare white marble Tang Dynasty model of a guardian quelling a demon. Superb detailing makes the depiction of a Lion pinning a child-form demon striking. The lion’s claws are placed at head and knees as the teeth dig into the protruding belly. The statue is 10 inches high and sits atop a wood base. It is estimated at $50,000 to $60,000.
A 10th Century Khmer sandstone figural panel pays homage to the Hindu god Vishnu. Lot 247, it depicts Vishnu seated upon the shoulders of Garuda. Both are flanked by other seated deities and a serpent. The panel is nearly five feet long and exquisitely detailed.
A rare 12th Century Khmer Ankor period Ganesha is another excellent example of artisans in the service of faith. In this, Lot 249, Ganesha is seated in sattvasana, wearing a sarong and a crown. It has a very good patina. Interestingly, the base has three tangs for inserting into a shrine.
The March 20 Asian Arts Auction in New York City will be simulcast to the I.M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills.
For complete details on all lots, please visit www.chait.com.
Catalogues can be purchased for $35 by calling 1-800-775-5020.