Following the highly successful sale of thirteen Masterpieces of Qing Imperial Porcelain from J. T. Tai & Co. in Hong Kong in October 2011, Sothebys
will present Informing the Eye of the Collector: Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J. T. Tai & Co. on March 22nd, 2011 in New York. J.T. Tai bought many extraordinary pieces of Qing Imperial porcelain, but he was also fascinated by early Chinese material culture, particularly archaic ritual bronzes and jades, many fine examples of which are included in the sale.
J.T. Tai was of the foremost dealers in Chinese art in the second half of the 20th century. J.T. Tai & Co on Madison Avenue in New York was a magnet for aspiring and established collectors of fine Chinese ceramics and works of art. Under his guidance some of the most important collections of Chinese art were formed, most notably those of Avery Brundage and Arthur M. Sackler, who would go on to assemble two of Americas greatest Asian art collections. Both of these collections are now housed in major museums - the Brundage collection forms the core of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Sacker collection is housed in the Arthur M Sackler Gallery in Washington DC.
Comprising around 600 pieces to be offered in approximately 330 lots, the sale embraces a wide range of works including archaic ritual bronzes and jades, painted and glazed pottery vessels, figures of the Han to Tang dynasties, and ceramic wares of the Song and later dynasties. A group of around 50 archaic bronzes ranging from $8,000 to $80,000 show the diversity of forms and functions characteristic of late Shang and early Western Zhou bronze casting. Like an Archaic Bronze Ritual Food Vessel (gui) of Early Western Zhou dynasty date, many of the bronzes in the sale are inscribed (est. $40/60,000). The sale includes a large and rich group of Song and Ming ceramics. Highlights of which are a Fine And Rare Blue And White Bowl With A Composite Design Of Flower And Fruit Sprays, dated the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty, with only three companion pieces in the Palace Museum in Beijing (est. $800,000/1.2m) and a Rare Imperial Longquan Celadon Dish with a design of loquats (est. $40/60,000).
Informing the Eye of the Collector: Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J. T. Tai & Co. goes on view on 18th March at Sothebys York Avenue headquarters along with all the Asia week sales.