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Rivertown's Oct. 13 auction laden with estate-sourced Asian art from Shang Dynasty through 20th century
Ming Dynasty yellow-ground, iron-red-decorated enamel dragon jar, Jiajing Mark and Period, 7¼ x 5½ inches. Former Beverly Hills, Calif., private collection, purchased circa 1970s/’80s. Est. $6,000-$8,000.

HOUSTON, TX.- Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services, one of the world’s most trusted sources of Asian fine and decorative art, will present a 188-lot auction on Saturday, October 13 featuring rarities whose timeline runs from the Shang Dynasty (2nd millennium BC) through the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and 51BidLive.

The fully curated connoisseur’s selection includes distinguished estate and family items from the United States, Great Britain and Continental Europe. They include the Charles George collection, property from the collections of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson, Samuel E. Wilson, Robert Edwards; and a former Beverly Hills, California, private collection.

No reserve has been placed on any of the lots. “We are absolutely confident that the artworks and antiques chosen for this sale, which are of utmost quality and impeccable provenance, will attract the market prices they deserve,” said Rivertown spokesperson Rafael Leite. “We’re very proud of the selection represented in this sale, which took our expert appraiser many months to authenticate and catalog.”

A star lot among the many bronzes in the sale is a 13th/14th-century silver-inlaid figure of Avalokiteshvara. This remarkable treasure was acquired in China in the 1920s by Samuel E. Wilson (1891-1965), who, at the time was working there as a journalist. Reflecting superlative artistry, it stands 15½ inches high and shows no signs of repair or restoration. The pre-sale estimate is $2,000-$2,500.

Another top prize from the Wilson collection is a Western Zhou Dynasty bronze yu, or ritual vessel, with an intriguing design that blends perfect symmetry with time-honored craftsmanship. There are no repairs, and its unrestored beauty is enhanced by natural verdigris. Estimate: $6,000-$8,000. A second ritual food vessel from the Wilson collection is known as a “ding.” This ancient bronze dates to the Shang Dynasty (circa 1600-1046 BC) and is expected to make $4,000-$5,000 at auction.

Standing 19 inches tall, a Tang Dynasty gilt bronze figure of Guanyin was previously held in the collection of Robert Edwards (1883-1979) and his wife Gloria (1886-1960). Mr. Edwards arrived in Shanghai in 1910 to work for Jardine, Matheson & Co. The couple, who married in 1917, collected Chinese antiques until they return to Britain in 1938/’39. The Guanyin figure passed by descent through the Edwards family and will be offered at auction with a $10,000-$12,000 estimate. Also carrying provenance from the Edwards collection is a 9¾-inch Song Dynasty Qingbai Boys Meiping vase with stand, estimated at $4,000-$5,000.

An exceptional example of Ming Dynasty ceramic artistry, a 7¼-inch enameled dragon jar is richly decorated in iron red on a yellow ground and bears the Jiajing Mark and Period. The vessel was previously held in the Beverly Hills, California collection of a connoisseur who regularly purchased Asian antiques from London and New York dealers during the 1970s and ’80s. A stunning example, is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

Yet another flawless ceramic, a 9¼-inch Qing Dynasty yellow glazed vase with Kangxi Mark and Period, has provenance from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson. A career diplomat, Mr. Johnson (1881-1950) spent 20 years in China during the early 20th century. It was there that he and his wife acquired highly important pieces of a type so seldom available to collectors today. The vase is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

An elite selection of paintings is led by a Fu Bao Shi (Chinese, 1904-1965) ink-and-color work on paper. It is mounted and measures 12 x 8¾ inches (sight). Its owner acquired the work in New York in September 1982, and it comes to auction with a $10,000-$12,000 estimate. A second art highlight is a Zhao Shao Ang (Chinese, 1905-1998) album containing 10 paintings, each sized 14¾ x 11¾ inches. In fine condition, the album was purchased by the consignor’s father in the 1980s, directly from the artist’s family in Hong Kong. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000

Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services’ Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 no-reserve auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable or 51BidLive.

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