HONG KONG.- Sothebys
Hong Kong December series of Chinese Works of Art sales will take place on 1 and 2 December at Sothebys Hong Kong Gallery. The series will feature the dedicated sale of The Muwen Tang Collection of Chinese Jades, and the Chinese Art sale, encompassing fine European and Asian collections of ceramics from Song and Ming dynasties, scholarly works of art, and a rare Song dynasty qin.
Christian Bouvet, Director and Head of Mid-Season Sales, Chinese Works of Art Department, says, Our upcoming December auctions stem from the passionate collecting of a few connoisseurs with deep knowledge and understanding of their respective fields. Whether assembled in Asia or Europe, sometimes over a span of 40 years, focusing on jade carvings, Song dynasty ceramics or Qing dynasty porcelains, it is firstly the dedication of these individuals in forming their collections that allowed us to put these sales together today. We trust that they will be well received and hope they can perpetuate a similar spirit for collecting.
THE MUWEN TANG COLLECTION OF CHINESE JADES
1 December Session I: 10 am │Lots 1 - 121
Session II: 2 pm│Lots 122 249
The Muwen Tang Collection of Chinese Jades, formed in the 1970s and 80s by an erudite scholar-collector, encompasses a rich diversity of post-archaic jades from the Song to Qing dynasties, created for daily use. The kaleidoscopic range of forms includes an exceptional group of Song dynasty animal and figure carvings, and a superb selection of white jades from the Qing dynasty.
A Superb White and Russet Jade Phoenix and Peach Carving (Lot 10) Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period 11.5cm Est. HK$500,000 700,000 / US$64,500 90,500
This animated carving has been carefully carved to maximize the use of the precious stone by being modelled according to its original shape. Furthermore, the carvers respect for the stone is reflected in the clever incorporation of the natural russet inclusions of the pebble into the design.
An Exceptional White Jade Boy and Cat Group (Lot 15) Qing Dynasty, 18th Century 7.7cm Est. HK$200,000 300,000 / US$ 25,800 38,700
The theme of boys playing with animals represents a traditional motif developed over a thousand years and favoured on account of its implied wish for the prosperity of male offspring. In this piece, the boy is depicted with a butterfly and a cat, both symbolic of longevity. The two form the pun maodie (May you live into your seventies and eighties); hence this piece would have been an appropriate birthday gift.
A Yellow and Russet Jade Hound (Lot 200) Song Dynasty 7.6 cm Est. HK$300,000 500,000 / US$ 38,700 64,500
Jade carvings of hound-like dogs in a resting pose with outstretched legs can be found from as early as the Tang dynasty. Their utilitarian function was as paperweights, but it is likely that such high-quality, sensitively rendered sculptures were kept as playthings for scholars or wealthy patrons. In this fine example, the interplay between the russet-coloured patches and yellow jade has been skillfully utilised in the dynamic contrast between the rich dark-brown upper body and the luminous greenish-yellow belly and legs.
A Jade Carving of a Parrot (Lot 30) Song Dynasty 8.3cm Est. HK$100,000 150,000 / US$12,900 19,400
A White Jade Carving of an Apsara (Lot 197) Song Yuan Dynasty 4.6cm Est. HK$40,000 60,000 / US$5,200 7,800
2 December Session I: 10 am│Lots 501 - 640
Session II: 2 pm│Lots 641 - 897
Highlights of the Chinese Art sale include a private European collection of early ceramics and scholarly works of art, a Yongle blue and white moonflask from an old Kyoto family collection, selected Song ceramics from private Asian collections and the family collection of a Hong Kong musician featuring a rare Song dynasty qin together with fine examples of tenmoku teabowls.
A Blue and White Moonflask, Bianping (Lot 651) Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period 30cm Est. HK$2,000,000 3,000,000 / US$258,000 387,000
This moonflask belongs to a group of vessels which represented a new departure for Chinese porcelain in both form and decoration to derive their inspiration from abroad. The formal arrangement of the geometric star-shaped medallion is probably adapted from Middle-Eastern motifs, with only the narrow flower scroll band and the bulb and small floral sprays at the handles seeming to derive from the traditional Chinese repertoire. The delicate floral design admirable serves to mellow the strict geometry of the overall design.
The Su Xin Qin A Rare Inscribed Lacquered Zither (Lot 558) Song Dynasty 125.8cm Est. HK$2,000,000 2,500,000 / US$258,000 323,000
This qin from the Song Dynasty is adorned with mother-of-pearl studs, and the goose-feet and turning pegs are made of ox horn. The title of the instrument Su Xin [Pure Heart], inscription and seals are all carved on the reverse of the qin.
A Jian Hares Fur Bowl (Lot 538) Song Dynasty 12.5cm Est. HK$300,000 400,000 / US$38,700 52,000
A Rock Crystal Magnolia Vase (Lot 643) Incised Seal Mark and Period of Qianlong 9.5 cm Est. HK$150,000 200,000 / US$19,400 25,800
Selection of Early Ceramics from Various Collections (Lots 501 557) Est. range from HK$20,000 500,000 / US$2,600 65,000