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Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby's New York on 17 and 18 September
A Fine and Rare Coral-Ground Famille Rose Floral Bowl, Yongzheng Mark and Period. Diameter 5 1/8 in., 13 cm. Est. $400/600,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 17 and 18 September 2013 Sotheby’s New York will present the bi-annual sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. The sale will have a particular focus on pieces from private collections that have not been seen on the market for many years. The sale is led by a rare pair of Tang Dynasty horses as well as an imperial jade plaque, hardwood furniture, and archaic bronzes. Overall, the 350 lot sale is expected to bring $14.5/19.7 million.

Tang Dynasty Horses of this quality infrequently appear on the market, making the sale of A Pair of Magnificent Sancai-Glazed Pottery Horses a rare auction event (est. in excess of $2.5 million, among other objects in the home of An Important American Collectior). These horses were made with different colored coats, groomed manes and saddle blankets, but are otherwise identically sculpted, each boasting the same powerful build, angle of the head and modeling of the face.

An Imperial Spinach-Green Jade ‘Wufu Wudai Tang’ Plaque, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period contains beautifully carved text that was originally composed by Qianlong emperor on the auspicious occasion of the birth of his first great great-grandson in 1784 (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Like the Imperial Qing Dynasty Green Jade ‘Dragon’ Seal sold at Sotheby’s New York in March 2013, the plaque was made for a particularly important hall in the Forbidden City.

Among the leading ceramics in the sale is A Very Rare Celadon-Ground Famille-Rose Vase (est. $500/800,000, below left). The piece is remarkable for the animal-head handles, the celadon coloring, and canopy-like mouth which could only have been created by the most skilled craftsmen. A Fine and Rare Coral-Ground Famille Rose Floral Bowl, Yongzheng Mark and Period is consigned by an American philanthropist whose collection has been exhibited in part by museums around the world (est. $400/600,000). The bowl is beautifully decorated with peonies, asters, and other stylized flowers representing the wish for long and prosperous life.

A ‘Ding’ Bowl, Northern Song Dynasty is characteristic of the finest ‘Ding’ works that are celebrated for their thin potting, fine near-white body, ivory-colored glaze, and exquisite decoration (est. $250/350,000). This example is particularly large with a lobed rim similar to an equivalent bowl in the Palace Museum in Beijing. The bowl boats a storied history having once been in the Collection of Alfred Schoenlicht and included in the landmark sale of his collection at Sotheby’s London in 1953.

A Pair of Imperial Hardstone Embellished Lapis Lazuli Candlesticks, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century, were included in the auction of The Prince Kung Collection, one of the most important early sales of Chinese Works of Art in the United States. That sale took place over three days in February and March 1913 at American Art Galleries – the company that would later become Sotheby’s Parke Bernet (est. $60/80,000).

Following recent strong prices, this season’s sale includes an especially strong group of Chinese furniture. Among the highlights is A Rare Huanghuali Round-Cornered Tapered Cabinet (Yuanjiaogui), Ming Dynasty, 17th Century, which is notable for the extravagant use of wood and fine craftsmanship on the lobed posts, and the elegantly framed burlwood reserves (est. $600/800,000).

A Fine Pair of 'Huanghuali' Yokeback Armchairs (Sichutou Guanmaoyi) date from the 17th century and are distinguished by the generous sweep of the crestrail, the well-shaped terminals, and the elegantly curved front and back posts (est. $500/700,000). Further highlights in this area include A Rare Fully Intact Huanghuali Six Post Canopy Bed (Jiazichuang), 17th Century (est. $400/600,000).

A Bronze Wine Vessel (Gong), Late Shang Dynasty, 12th-11th Century BC, comes from The Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt (est. $300/500,000, left). The visionary inventor and entrepreneur acquired the remarkable piece from the famous art historian Professor Alfred Salmony in 1953 along with A Bronze Ritual Tripod Vessel (Li Ding) Late Shang / Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 12th-11th Century BC (est. $80/120,000).

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