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Historic Chinese ceramics, favorites of Emperors, lead Gianguan Auctions' March 11 Asia Week Sale
A Wucai fish jar with cover reflects the porcelain preference of Ming emperors Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli. Ming, with the Jiajing six-character mark. Lot 97. $3M.

NEW YORK, NY.- Exceptional Chinese ceramics, prized by emperors and embraced by Western collectors, lead Gianguan Auctions’ Asia Week sale on Saturday, March 11, at the gallery, 39 W. 56th Street. While the sale also includes rare and contemporary Chinese paintings, carved jades and jewelry, the collection of exceptional pieces of Famille-rose, Wucai, copper red and cobalt blue hold values for collectors at all price levels.

Having mastered the process of potting porcelain as early as Neolithic times, the complexities of colorful glazes took centuries to perfect. Famille-rose was introduced around the end of the 1720s, using techniques acquired from Jesuits working within the Imperial palace in Beijing. A stirring example of technique is the sale’s magnum opus, Lot 128, a black glazed bottle-neck vase enameled with a field of Famille-rose and gilt wire outlines. Six Buddhist lions surrounded by florals and acanthus leaves are set off by a gilt key-fret rim. The blue reign mark and the Qianlong six-character mark are on its base. The estimate is “by request”.

Lot 97, a refreshing Wucai fish jar with cover, reminiscent of one in Paris’ Musée Guimet, reflects the porcelain preference of Ming emperors Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli. The depiction of golden carp in a lotus pond plays out on a translucent white ground with underglaze blue enlivened by enamels of golden yellow, green, red, brown. Free-form flourishes from a practiced but anonymous painter attest to the high standards demanded of court artisans. The sturdy, globular jar is early Ming, as evidenced by the Jiajing six-character mark. It is valued at $3M.

Delving deeper into the collection of ceramics, collectors will find fine examples of copper red, a difficult to manage glaze that runs and burns easily. By the Ming Dynasty, painters had mastered the skill of thick application that allows the color to spread evenly through its depth, as in Lot 208, an octo-lobed brush washer decorated with ruyi cartouches and a yin/yang center medallion. The reign mark is inscribed in a roundel on the correspondingly lobed foot. The 8” treasure will find interest at $120,000.

Blue and white porcelain, a marriage of Persian cobalt and Chinese translucent white, came to prominence during the Yuan Dynasty. A fine example is Lot 193, a Yuhuchunping, that features a deep rich blue floral frieze and feathery leaves on a pear shaped body. Plantain leaves and ruyi border complete the work. An extraordinary value, it carries a low estimate of $60,000. The process of working the cobalt glaze was refined during the Ming dynasty, when Lot 131 was produced. It is a blue and white boys-at-play jar with cover that presents the lads in a continuous scene on each part. Bearing the Zhengde six-character mark, it is of the period, a steal at about $60,000.

Collectors of luxurious rarities will be interested in a large gilt silver phoenix vase of the Qing dynasty. Modeled on western style, the nearly 10” tall vase has the Yongzheng reign four character mark and is of the period. It is Lot 69, a beautiful buy at $30,000.

For pictures and details on all the properties in Gianguan Auctions March 11th, Asia Week sale, please see the catalog. It is available for download at For condition reports, call the gallery, 212-867-7288. Gianguan Auctions’ Asia Week Sale is Saturday, March 11th the galery, 39 W. 56th Street. The sale is carried by and

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