NEW YORK, NY.-
In an auction that features a collection of both elaborate Buddhist statues and an excellent array of paintings by traditional and contemporary Chinese masters, a selection of archetypal ceramics and early bronzes add unusual depth. The properties go off on June 9 at Gianguan Auctions
. The auction will be conducted live, beginning at 6:00 p.m. to accommodate both buyers in China as well as local and European bidders.
PORCELAIN & ZISHA
The remarkable staying power of blue and white ceramics is evidenced by a tall Qing Dynasty Yuhuchunping with trumpet mouth and body decorated with a continuous frieze of bamboo, plantain trees and rock work in a fenced garden. Bearing the Qianlong Six Character, and of the period, the vase is similar to one illustrated in the Beijing Palace Museum collection. It is Lot 51, valued at more than $60,000.
Cloisonné collectors will find interest in a rare pair of octagonal vases with the Qianlong four-character mark encircled cast in relief. Statuesque at 37.5 cm (14.5 inches), the well-defined scenes of five-clawed dragons in pursuit of a flaming pearl are detailed in vibrant colors set off by gold edging. The base and neck are worked in blooms, archaistic style scrolls and bats. It is Lot 210, expected to common more than $30,000.
A finely carved white floral ewer with cover, of the Yuan Dynasty, applied with a curving dragon spout and arched strap handles and bossed decorations is a unique and excellent value. At 23.5 cm (9 1/4 tall), Lot 35 will find a home at $6,000 or more
Another excellent Yuan value is a white ovoid Meiping carved with lotus blossoms on undulating stems. Overall, it is covered with a semi-translucent glaze of ivory tone. The foot rim is unglazed. At 29.5 cm (11 inches) tall, Lot 164 should bring more than $6,000.
A fluted, persimmons-yellowish Yaozhou bowl with six subtly-shaped lobes is a fine example of the originality and craftsmanship Song Dynasty potters had achieved while Europe was still in the Dark Ages. Carved with peony sprays on the exterior and interior, the diameter is a generous 41 cm (16.5 inches) in proportion to the 15.24 cm (6 inches) height. It is Lot 160. Bidding begins at $15,000.
Zisha teapot collectors will find a deep collection beginning at Lot 246, which is a set of six with twelve beauties from the red chamber, ascribed and signed Gu & Jingzhou on the inside cover and Gu Jingzhou on the underside. Lot 249 gives the form a unique treatment with a jade and pewter encasing. This is ascribed and signed Wang Nan Lin. The teapots range from less than $1,000 to about $3,000.
The humanity with which artists view the world is typified by Gao Jianfus Persimmon Time, a work in four panels. More than a rendering of the time honored fruit that implies all is good, the artist, whose popularity was at a peak in the 1930s-40s, integrated Western techniques with Chinese ones. For this painting, he utilized a dry upright pen to create weathered branches. For the brightly covered fruit, he brought the western aesthetic of bright colors to contrast with the dry trunk. The painting is similar to one in the National Museum of China. It is Lot 133 with a pre-sale estimate of more than $40,000.
A favorite among collectors for capturing the playfulness of buffalo herders, Li Keran is represented by, among other paintings, Herding. The simple but dynamic composition could well be called "will over strength as a young boy to tried to leash along a massive animal. The ink and color on paper has two artists seals and one collectors seal. It is Lot 85, anchoring at $10,000.
Zhang Daqian gives the depictions of a goddess a modern turn with his bold but ethereal 1950 work entitled Dunhuang Apsara. Signed and inscribed Zhang Daqian, the painting bears four artist seals and the seal of artist/collector Xie Zhiliu. It is Lot 145, set to open at $40,000.
The art of the Warring States offers unique insights into a time of conflict when the goal was a unified China. Gianguans catalog cover lot is an unusual gilt bronze tripod food vessel with cover, also known as a Ding. Heavily cast, this vessel on cabriole legs is of globular form. The lower body bears cicada-filled blades in relief below a band of dragon masks. Upright bail handles rise from the rim. The domed cover is surmounted by three ring knops, The ding is Lot 192, estimated at more than $15,000.
A marquee item from the period is a rare bronze ritual censer with cover, known as a Dou. Standing on a tall pedestal that rises into three animal form trestles, the decoration is of mythical beasts. The crown is cast in open work and has a ring finial. The patina is milky green with areas of malachite and azurite encrustation. The 28.2 cm censer (9 1/8 inches tall) is Lot 189, estimated at $15,000.
A remnant of the feudal age of the Western Zhou, Lot 193, a rare sloping pouring vessel has a powerful silhouette. Set on a sloping body atop a rectangular base, an elongated cover culminates in the head of a horned buffalo. Taotie masks and mythical beasts prevail in the incising as in the handle which has the shape of a mythical beast. 27.9 cm high, the ancient pitcher is set to see bidding at $15,000 and above.
Also, in this group are a silver and gold inlaid flask with cover (Lot 193. Starting bid $15,000) and a pear-shaped vessel with arched twisted rope handle. (Lot 196. Starting at $6,000).
CRYSTAL AND OLD JADE
A crystal Bixie, exquisitely carved in the round as a recumbent beast, with legs tucked under and tail flicked to the side, the head turned towards the viewer with mouth open. The smoothly polished crystal is of dark emerald tone with semi-clear translucence, possibly unearthed in Hangzhou. The 17.1 cm long Bixie is Lot 238. Bidding starts at $20,000.
From the Han, a pommel insert and sword guard, scabbard shape and scabbard slide, all ancient sword ornaments. They are Lot 220, starting at $8.000.
Evolving from currency to adornments and home items, carved jades make a strong showing beginning as early as the Neolithic properties in the sale. Among these, a russet jade ritual blade, thick and flared with a hole in one end and decorated on both sides with an anthropomorphic face. It is Lot 219, valued at $5,000 and above.
Buddhist and religious statues include a rare Northern Zhou seated Buddha with a robe that drapes her the sides of a three-tiered and gilt bronze pedestal. Finely cast and retaining a rich patina, the traditionally posed Buddha has a raised right hand while the left one rests on the knee. The countenance is serene and meditative below an urna, framed by a pair of long pendulous earlobes and hair neatly swept over the mound of the ushnisha. At 36.8 cm tall, Lot 213 is expected to fetch more than $20,000.
Equally dramatic is a rare enameled gilt bronze Sakyamuni Buddha of the Ming Dynasty. The seated figure is dressed in a turquoise robe enhanced with pink and red flowers and scrolls within a matrix of fine wire. The face bears a serene expression beneath a raised urna. The coiffure is of small, tight curls. The ushnisha is surmounted by a cintamani. It is Lot 206, engraved with the Ming Dynasty Yongle Six Character Mark, and estimated at upwards of $15,000.
Buddhas of carved jade find a niche in the sale as well. A Northern Wei carving of Sakyamuni Maitreya seated on a plinth offers rare insight into the techniques of the age. The face, appropriately serene with downcast eyes in serene contemplation, is framed by elongated ear lobes and surmounted with a ushnisha topknot. The figure is supported on a rectangular plinth carved with lions and buddhas. It is Lot 221, 33.7 cm tall, and estimated at more than $8,000.
Similarly, a jade carving of the standing Sakyamuni Maitreya is a fine example of period craftsmanship. At nearly 20 inches tall, the figures face is carved with deeply arching eyebrows, narrow eyes and small pursed lips. The hair has characteristic concentrically coiled strands arranged around the ushnisha and the robes fall in loose folds around the body. Weighing more than 12,000 grams, Lot 205 is expected to command upwards of $6,000.
A great value with strong history is a polychromed Northern Qi stone figure of Sakyamuni Buddha seated in dyanasana on a lotus pedestal supported by a base. The interest lies in the face, which is finely carved and tranquil under tight curls over the ushnisha surrounded by double lotus petals. A mandorla frames the head. Having survived more than fifteen hundred years of weathering, the statue retains traces of pigment on the loose-fitting robe. Both hands are missing. The 41.9 cm (16 1/5 inches) is Lot 211, estimated at upwards of $3,000.
While these highlights offer the flavor of Gianguan Auctions June 9 sale, collectors and curators, dealers and decorators will find many more important and accessible treasures, including stone seals and jade and diamond jewelry, throughout the sale. For a look at the complete catalog, please visit www.GianguanAuctions.com. Live previews begin on Friday, June 1 and continue through Friday, June 8 (10 a.m. - 7 p.m.) Bidding is live at the gallery June 9, at 6 PM EST or on epailive.com, invaluable.com and liveauctioneers.com. For condition reports, please contact the gallery at email@example.com or 212-867-7288 .