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Chinese, Japanese art to headline Clarke Auction Gallery May 5
A Shiy De-jinn temple scene, a 1969 watercolor ($15/25,000), is also noted for its bold use of color in depicting a busy street scene, 18 ¾ by 24 ¾ inches.

LARCHMONT, NY.- Chinese and Japanese paintings will be showcased in Clarke Auction Gallery’s sale on Sunday, May 5, at 10 am but American fine art, sterling silver, jewelry and midcentury will also be at the forefront.

The auction will feature choice examples of art, sterling and jewelry, Asian arts, midcentury, decorative arts and much more. The fine art selection will range from abstract works and landscapes to genre scenes while sterling tureens and flatware will vie for attention along with midcentury cabinets and chests, emerald, gold and diamond jewelry and two Val Bertoia sonambient sculptures.

“This spring sale will prominently feature an especially robust group of Asian artworks, led by a Scarsdale family’s collection of Asian paintings by renowned artists such as Shiy De-Jinn, Shinoda Toko and Hu Chi-chung,” said owner and auctioneer Ronan Clarke. “The auction will also feature all our traditional collecting categories that buyers have come to expect.”

Asian art will be a major focus of the auction and expected to lead the sale are two watercolors on paper done in 1969 by Shiy De-Jinn (Xi Dejin, China, 1923-1981), each estimated at $15/25,000. One is a river landscape depicting the rolling mountains of Taiwan and misty waterways are splashed in blues and greens and the other shows a vibrant street scene of a market and crowds outside a temple and bright storefronts. Both works measure 18 ¾ by 24 ¾ inches.

“A student of famed Chinese painter Lin Fengmian and one of the first participants in the US State Department’s arts exchange program in 1962, Shiy De-Jinn was one of Taiwan’s most prolific painters,” said Senko Imamura, Clarke’s Asian art and antiquities specialist. “Under Lin, he focused mainly on line, moving on to emphasize color and texture upon his return to Taiwan in 1968. He began to paint scenes of Taiwanese daily life — important temples, street markets, and fishing villages. He also toured the countryside, painting enchanting misty landscapes where the mountains meet the water.”

Both of the paintings in this auction feature a bold use of color, one in bright red and yellow that brings the busy market to life against a cloudless blue sky, the other using cool colors to paint out large swathes of marshland and mountains, leaving the negative space to speak for itself as the calm water lapping at the shore, Imamura said.

Two Japanese artists will be featured in the auction as well, including a pair of abstract paintings by 106-year old Shinoda Toko, who primarily worked with Japanese sumi ink and lithography. A 1983 interview in Time magazine asserted “her trail-blazing accomplishments are analogous to Picasso’s.” On offer are Toko’s “Nexus” and “After the Rain” ($8/12,000), typical of the female artist’s works from the 1960s.

Five paintings by Hu Chi-Chung consigned by one family to the sale will also cross the block “Hu Chi-chung was another Taiwanese artist collected by the family. They had several portraits, including a family portrait commissioned directly from the artist, which is not offered in this sale,” Imamura said. “The collection of paintings by this artist speak to the family’s close relationship with Taiwan’s avant-garde artists.”

Other Asian artists included in this sale are the Zhou Brothers of Chicago, U Min Kyi of Myanmar, Zhou Qiaonian, and Wayan Sudana. Decorative features include a finely carved coral lidded vase and a coral carving of two beauties, a set of bronze nesting seals with foo lions, and a delicate turquoise glazed porcelain wine cup.

The auction also features American fine art, highlighted by two circa 1936 etching and aquatint prints by Samuel Margolies (1897-1974): “Man’s Canyons,” circa 1936 ($6/9,000) and “Storm Over City Hall” ($1/1,500) as well as a William Herbert Dunton (1878-1936) oil on canvas depicting a Western chase scene ($4/6,000) and a Charles Wynne Nicholls (Irish, 1831-1903) oil on canvas, “Tired,” ($3/5,000).

“This auction features strong works that ought to appeal to a wide range of collectors. Particularly exciting is the William Herbert Dunton painting of a chase on horseback. The grisaille, offered estate fresh from a Pearl River, N.Y., collection, is trademark Dunton, displaying the artist’s mastery in capturing the mythology and landscape of the American West in a dramatic fashion.”

Clarke auctions always have a robust selection of jewelry and silver with offerings this month prominently featuring many GIA certified stones from jade and amber to ruby and multiple emeralds. “A bauble of particularly high interest is a 28.07-carat GIA certified Colombian emerald cabochon ring with diamond accents,” said jewelry and sterling silver specialist Whitney Bria. “There are also multiple estate collections with statement pieces including examples by Van Cleef and Arpel, Hammerman Bros., Piaget, Jack Schneider, and Rolex.”

In the silver department will be many American and Mexican silver items, including a large Mexican sterling Tane Orfebres covered tureen with repousse work throughout, having ball and claw feet, and an applied fruit and foliate form finial, 19 by 12 by 10 inches. “Most unusual is lot 325, a piece of Persian silver Judaica in the form of a pedestal bowl,” Bria added.

Rounding out the auction are a Midcentury Paul Frankl station wagon tall chest made for the Johnson Furniture Co., measuring 42 ½ by 21 ½ by 45 ½ inches ($2,5/3,500) and a large antique gilt bronze figural clock in a good size with gilt and silver finish ($1,5/2,500). Two sonambient sculptures ($2/3,000) by Val Bertoia (b 1949) will be featured: “Plus Sign Of Sounds” with five heavy brass tops silvered to beryllium-copper rods silvered to brass plate, 47 ½ by 11 by 11 inches and “Cat - Tails on Wood Sound Good,” comprising 20 copper cattails silvered to beryllium-copper rods silvered to brass, 37 by 22 by 11 inches.

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