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Christie's presents an exceptional sale of fine Chinese ceramics and works of art at Asian Art Week
A Fine and Rare Large Huanghuali Painting Table, Hua’an 17th century. Estimate: $400,000-600,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.


NEW YORK, NY.- On March 22 and 23, Christie's New York will present Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, which comprises over 650 works across a myriad categories and tastes, including jades, bronzes, sculpture, paintings and furniture. Highlighting the sale is a very rare and important massive gilt-bronze figure of Vairocana from the Ming dynasty (estimate: $2-3 million), which is exceptional for its enormous size, superb casting and fine attention to detail. With estimates ranging from $4,000 to $2 million, the sale is expected to realize in the region of $23 million.

Highlights include:

A Rare Well-Cast Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel, Zun
Late Shang dynasty, 11th century BC
Estimate: $200,000-300,000

This impressive ritual wine vessel belongs to a small group of late Shang zun, which features two lower registers of taotie masks and animal designs in low relief. The rounded middle section is cast in relief on each side with a large mysterious taotie mask with large staring oblong eyes, set above two pairs of confronted birds with hooked beaks, crests, taloned feet and long curled tails.

A Very Rare and Important Large Bronze Ritual Bell, Nao
Late Shang/Early Western Zhou dynasty, 11th-10th century BC
Estimate: $800,000-1,200,000

The well-cast decoration, generous proportions and rare pictorial inscriptions distinguish this superb bell as an important example of its type. Lavishly decorated bells were an important component of larger ceremonial functions within Shang and Zhou dynasty ritual culture. Such bells not only provided a serene atmosphere through their melodious sounds, but also served as signifiers of wealth and power.

A Magnificent Carved Black Limestone Figure of a Lion and Prey
Tang dynasty (618-907)
Estimate: $300,000-500,000

The lion is well represented in Buddhist art of the Tang dynasty. In their role as guardian figures, lions can be found not only lining spirit roads which lead to imperial tombs, but also in pairs in tombs. Of all of the published examples, this lion devouring its prey appears to be the largest and most powerfully and sensitively carved.

A Very Rare and Important Green, Cream and AmberGlazed Figural Pillow
Northern Song/Yuan dynasty, 12th-14th century
Estimate: $25,000 – 35,000

This exceptional pillow is rare in both its subject and its decoration. Pillows in the form of adults, as opposed to children, are extremely rare, and human-form pillows decorated in three-color glazes even more so. Although the figure on the current pillow is dressed in adult clothes, the face is fullcheeked and has an expression of innocence, and it may be that the individual is intended to represent an older boy or young man.

A Rare Molded and Gilt-Decorated Turquoise-Ground Vase, Hu
Qianlong molded and gilded seal mark and of the period (1736-1795)
Estimate: $300,000-500,000

The hundred shou characters on this unusual vase suggest that it was likely made for a birthday celebration. Flanked by a pair of lion-mask handles, this vase is highlighted in gilding in contrast to the bright turquoise-enamel ground, which also covers the interior and base.

A Magnificent Large Pale Greenish-White Jade Tree
Trunk-Form Brush Pot
Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Estimate: $700,000-900,000

Carved from a massive section of high quality jade, this impressive brush pot is realistically carved as a section of a prunus tree and with blossoming branches growing in different directions. A handle formed by one of the smaller trunks may suggest that it also served the dual purpose of a vase.

Anonymous (Qing dynasty)
Daoist Ritual Paintings
Pair of hanging scrolls, ink and color on silk
Estimate: $30,000-50,000

Highlighting the Chinese paintings section of the sale is a pair of hanging scrolls from the collection of Philip Wood of San Francisco. Included amongst the many dieties shown are the three gods Fuxing, Luxing, and Shouxing, who are depicted here as Daoist priests. They are gods of popular religion, quite possibly instituted at the imperial level in the early Ming dynasty, and today their images are among the most commonly encountered of any Chinese gods.

A Fine and Rare Large Huanghuali Painting Table, Hua’an
17th century
Estimate: $400,000-600,000

This elegantly proportioned table is rare for the generous use of thick, substantial sections of luxurious huanghuali for the top, frame, aprons and legs. The basic proportions were adapted to make large painting tables, smaller tables, benches and stools. This form is referred to in the Classic of Lu Ban as a ‘character one’ table, due to its similarity in profile to the single horizontal stroke of the Chinese character for ‘one.’

Auction: Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art March 22 and 23
Viewing: Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries March 16-21





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