The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, December 22, 2014


Chinese works of art from an important European collection to be offered at Christie's Hong Kong
A Finely Carved Ivory Brushpot, bitong Qing dynasty, 18th century. Estimate: HK$500,000-700,000 / US$65,000-91,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2011.
HONG KONG.- Christie’s presents an important single-owner collection of exceptional Chinese works of art from a renowned European connoisseur. This outstanding collection of fifteen rare works in jade, ivory and rhinoceros horn was put together over the past 50 years with a focus on the very finest examples of superbly carved scholarly objects.

To be offered on 30 November in Hong Kong, Exceptional Chinese Works of Art from an Important European Collection demonstrates the collector‟s appreciation of the decorative themes that have traditionally appealed to the Chinese literati, particularly those of the 18th century. This is the second of a series of sales from the collection, following on from the hugely successful auction of superb jade carvings in New York on the 15th September. A third auction is scheduled to be held in London in Spring 2012.

From a combination of Chinese history and legend comes the subject of the beautifully carved rhinoceros horn cup that leads the collection. This extremely rare rhinoceros horn „log raft‟ cup, Kangxi period (1662-1722) (Lot 2913, estimate: HK$10,000,000-15,000,000/US$1,300,000-1,900,000) depicts a superbly carved scholar seated in the stern. The subject of this magnificent carving was inspired by a legend involving the Han dynasty envoy and indefatigable traveller Zhang Qian who through his missions and travels is often credited as initiating the establishment of the famous Silk Road.

Also of note is a superb rhinoceros „dragon‟ horn libation cup, Qing dynasty, early 18th century, that is part of a rare group of rhinoceros horn carvings depicting dragons in a naturalistic manner as opposed to the more standard archaistic variety (Lot 2907, HK$5,000,000-7,000,000/US$645,000-900,000). In China, the dragon is a beneficent animal, and indeed, the five-clawed dragon with horns is the symbol of the Emperor. In addition, the dragon was believed to be the bringer of rain, rising from the winter hibernation among the waves at the spring Equinox to bring the rain necessary to water the crops. On this cup the dragons are shown rising from the waves which surge around the base of the cup, and flying up into the clouds, through which the carver has skilfully shown them disappearing and emerging with a powerful feeling of movement.

Of striking resonance for a scholar-official is the superbly carved 18th century white jade vase depicting a creature that is part dragon and part fish (Lot 2903, HK$2,000,000-3,000,000/US$260,000-390,000). This is a very popular subject in the Chinese decorative arts, since this creature is often seen as representing the scholar who is successful in his civil service examinations, allowing him to obtain a good official position. Legend says that the carp swims upstream every Spring to the Dragon Gate on the Yellow River, which it leaps and in doing so is transformed into a dragon – like the scholar who strives to pass his examinations and having passed them becomes an official. This dragon-headed fish is also known as a makara, which Buddhist legend says was a whale that saved hundreds of men from drowning at sea and then sacrificed itself to feed them. Because it so eloquently demonstrated the two important Buddhist virtues of compassion and sacrifice, the whale was made immortal and became a makara with the head of a dragon and the body of a whale, and with wings and a pearl at its side.

Leading the selection of rare ivory carvings is a very finely-carved stained ivory ruyi sceptre from the Qing dynasty, 18th century (Lot 2901, estimate: HK$2,000,000-3,000,000/US$260,000-390,000). Ivory ruyi sceptres are very rarely seen on the market today, which is surprising given the predilection for both ivory carvings and ruyi sceptres in the 18th century Imperial court. This exceptional example is decorated with intricate and naturalistic depictions of auspicious plants including fruit, including peaches, flowers, including narcissi, and, the legendary fungus of immortality - lingzhi.

Additional Select Highlights
*An Extremely Rare Rhinoceros Horn “Archaistic Vase” Libation Cup Qing dynasty, 18th century Estimate: HK$2,000,000-3,000,000 / US$260,000-390,000.

This is a very unusual form combining an archaistic bronze base with a naturalistic depiction of flowers, only very few similar examples are known. Here, auspicious flowers depicted on the sides of the vase represent the four seasons. When combined with the vase forming the base, it forms the rebus “siji pingan” – “May you have peace throughout the four seasons.”

*A Large and Finely Carved White Jade Finger Citron, foshou Qing dynasty, 18th century Estimate: HK$2,000,000-3,000,000 / US$260,000-390,000.

This magnificent white jade Buddha-hand citron is not only a superb example of carving an exceptionally large piece of white jade, but also carries an auspicious message. Buddha-hand citrons were popular fruit to be placed on an altar during the New Year celebrations, and their fragrance was used to perfume rooms, even in the Imperial Palace itself. However, it is the Chinese name of the fruit that makes it especially popular, since it provides a rebus for blessings, riches, and long life.

*A Finely Carved Ivory Brushpot, bitong Qing dynasty, 18th century Estimate: HK$500,000-700,000 / US$65,000-91,000.

This well-carved ivory brushpot depicts an activity that was greatly enjoyed by China’s elite, including those at court - boating amongst blossoming lotus. Lotuses have long been admired by Chinese literary men and have appeared in both paintings and poetry for centuries. This scene portrays what is likely a court lotus-picking party, with the Emperor overlooking the scene on the edge of the pond.





Today's News

October 26, 2011

Paintings from El Greco to Rippl-Ronai on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

Masterpieces by Francis Bacon lead Sotheby's Contemporary art sale in New York

Getty Museum displays first comprehensive overview of photographs by Lyonel Feininger

Chinese works of art from an important European collection to be offered at Christie's Hong Kong

Charles Dickens: Life and Legacy in new display at the National Portrait Gallery in London

Life and work of American photographer Milton Gendel celebrated in two exhibitions

Photographer John Jansheski creates a home in Miami for unconventional artists

Frick acquires unique Sevres porcelain vase and important Renaissance drawing

Definitive film about American design icons Charles and Ray Eames to be premiered in the U.S.

Bonhams to sell Julia Margaret Cameron's intimate image of Virginia Woolf's mother, Julia Jackson

Matthew Day Jackson's first solo exhibition in Europe organized by Museum of Art Lucerne

As metal prices boom in the markets, copper thieves target South African bronze art

Most comprehensive retrospective of the work of Robert Breer at Museum Tinguely in Basel

Hepworth Wakefield presents 'The Unquiet Head' exhibition

Publisher, author and artist Fleur Cowles's archive donated to Harry Ransom Center

Joseph Heller letters reflecting about Catch-22 to be auctioned

Serge Gainsbourg autograph lyrics at auction in Paris

Tibetan artists transports 20,000 kg of soil from Tibet to Dharamasal India for art installation

Morphy's Nov. 12 sale features noted antique doll collection, private collection of early teddy bears

Exhibition of Yuendumu doors at the South Australian Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site