On 12 June, Christies
Paris will present its Asian Art sale, always very selective, which will offer high quality items, including a large range of works of art coming from European private collections.
The section dedicated to China will offer a beautiful white jade and rust double-gourd vase. Dating from the Qianlong period (1736-1795), sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty, this vase is meticulously carved and stand on a delicate circular foot. It is adorned with a double handled decorated with bats flying among clouds, the upper and lower parts are respectively embellished with the characters da' and 'ji', thus forming the term 'da ji', which means 'great luck'. The neck is flanked with two handles holding a mobile ring with a bat carved in relief with outstretched wings holding a lingzhi (auspicious mushroom). The decoration of this remarkable object comprises promising symbols such as its double-gourd shape, associated with prosperity and abundance (estimate: 150,000-200,000).
The sale will also offer an imperial vase made of cloisonné enamel of striking beauty from the Kangxi period (1662-1722). Baluster-shaped, resting on a flared foot decorated with archaic chilong, the whole is enhanced with crenellated ridges in gilt- bronze. The body is decorated with stylized lotus, as well as the foot and the neck. The latter is highlighted by three gilt-bronze ram heads and chiseled nails intersected with banana leaves (estimate: 70,000-90,000).
Asian art lovers will have the chance to acquire an exceptional imperial embroidered silk robe dating from the end of the Qianlong period (1736-1795) and the early Jiaqing period (1796-1820). The embroideries adorning this item are extremely delicate, as evidenced by the nine five-claw dragons in the pursuit of the flaming pearl represented in gold and silver threads. In addition, the subtle shades of colors and the stylized clouds evoking ruyi heads are shown in multi-colour threads. The whole is embroidered on a bright yellow background, above a terrestrial diagram which emerges from tumultuous waves below which appears a large band of lishui, echoed on the sleeves as well. The neck is highlighted by a border embroidered with dragons on a black background (estimate: 80,000-120,000).
Coming from a French private collection, a celadon-glazed vase with molded decoration with a Qianlong impressed six-character seal mark and from the period (1736-1795) will also be offered at auction. The body is magnified with molded decoration of blooming peonies among elegantly arranged foliage leaves. Separated by a band of ruyi and a band of stylized flowers, the tubular neck is embellished with petals and foliage (estimate: 100,000-150,000).
Other highlights include a superb zitan cabinet from the Qianlong (1736-1795) period. This cabinet is composed of two very finely worked door panels. Four dragons, in pursuit of the inflamed pearl, seem to fly on a background of stylized clouds evoking ruyi heads. The gilt-bronze hinges are finely incised with dragons also represented on a background of clouds; the central fitting is decorated with stylized shou characters and two small mobile plates adorned with bats (estimate: 120,000-150,000).
The section dedicated to Japan will offer a stunning samurai armor dating from the second half of the Edo period, end of the 18th century. Two coats of arms are visible, one representing the character ue, the other figuring an oxalis (katabami) flower probably belonging to the Sakai clan. The armor also includes a eboshi style helmet topped by two wakidate in the shape of lacquered wood horns. The frontal ornament depicts the sun in gilded wood. The breastplate is made of yokohagi-dô natural iron while its upper front and back parts as well as the shoulders are covered with brass inlaid of gold hira zogan decorated with coat of arms and foliages. Estimated at 20,000-30,000, this fabulous armor is a beautiful mix of different materials, symbols and attributes.
Finally, the Asian Art department will be pleased to present, in its next sale, a rock crystal deer from the former personal collection of Coco Chanel. Executed during the Qing dynasty, the statuette represents a seating deer with its head turned to the right, holding a branch of lingzhi in its mouth (estimate: 2,000-3,000). Presented under a glass protection, the auspicious animal symbolizing longevity has adorned the coffee table of Coco Chanels suite at the Ritz Hotel for years.