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Important Asian works of art auction to be held April 23rd by Tremont Auctions
Pair of Japanese cloisonné vases with silver wire work, decorations showing landscapes and geese with flowers and borders of floral scrolling.

NEWTON, MASS.- A monumental Chinese porcelain palace vase made around 1870 with lovely pate-sur-pate pagoda decoration, and three miniature Persian paintings executed in the early 17th century during the Safavid period, are expected top achievers in an important Asian works of art auction scheduled for Sunday, April 23rd, by Tremont Auctions, online and in the firm’s gallery.

The gallery address is 26 Ossipee Road in Newton (zip 02464). Internet bidding will be provided by, and the Chinese platform Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted, for select lots. The auction will begin promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. In all, around 600 premier lots, all of them Asian and mostly Chinese, will be sold.

The Chinese temple vase, monumental at 48 inches in height, comes with a superb provenance, having descended through the family of the American banker and philanthropist Morris Ketchum Jesup (1830-1908), who also served as president of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The vase was kept at Jesup’s summer home in Lenox, Mass., called Belvoir Terrace.

The vase is pear-shaped, with a trumpet mouth. The pate-sur-pate decorations are of pagodas, figures, animals and flowers, in a white slip of slate blue ground. It is estimated to sell for $10,000-$15,000.

The three miniature Persian paintings, to be sold as individual lots, were done in the early 1600s using ink, colors and gilt on heavy paper. All three are framed and glazed and have an average size of 12 inches by 7 ¼ inches. One depicts a combat scene from a Shahnama, one a scene of Sultan Sanjar and his Vizier, and one a scene of The Fire Ordeal of Siyavush, from a Shahnama. The paintings come from the collection of an octogenarian collector in Boston’s Back Bay area.

Other items up for bid will include a wonderful group of more than 100 carved jade objects, gilt Buddha bronzes, works of art, textiles, works on paper, porcelain and more. Tremont Auctions, under the leadership of its Director of Asian Arts, Jim Callahan, was able to attract a major estate out of Newport, R.I.; a downsizing Connecticut collector; and items across the U.S. and Canada.

“It’s getting harder and harder to bring in consistently high-grade Asian pieces, because there are so many more players in the auction business, all competing for the same prizes,” Callahan said. “I have the advantage of having been in this industry and working the Asian market for decades, so the better merchandise has a way of finding me. This sale really loaded with quality items.”

Callahan was drawn to Asian arts early on. At age 11 he was the youngest exhibitor at an antiques show in Quincy, Mass. Since then he has gained renown as an expert on all aspects of Asian art, culture and customs, from virtually every important Asian nation. If his name sounds familiar, it may be from his many appearances on the series Antiques Roadshow, as an appraiser.

The many fine piece of carved jade in the auction will include a white stone finial with russet shading from the Yuan period (1279-1368) of a hawk attacking a swan; an 18th century surface carved grey stone disk with black markings of two Kuei dragons flanking a mythical animal; and an 18th century white with a greenish hue stone ring, oval form and carved as a feathered dragon.

Other carved jade pieces will feature a late 19th century covered jar, stone of a grey-white color with russet veins and having a surface carved in high relief with dragons and clouds; and a pale celadon jade pendant in the form of a scabbard ornament, made in the 18th century with a large area of russet and having a surface carved with a Tao Tieh mask and archaic Chinese scrolling.

Bronze offerings will include a 19th century Chinese archaic style bronze bell, Chung, with archaic scrolling and Kuei dragons, on a rosewood stand carved with dragons; an 18th century gilt bronze Buddha image, made in Tibet and showing Kubera, the God of Wealth, seated on an engraved throne; and an 18th century Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Yama, 7 inches tall.

Two lots of Japanese vases, both from the Meiji period (1868-1912) will cross the auction block. One is a pair of cloisonné vases with silver wire work, decorations showing landscapes and geese with flowers and borders of floral scrolling. The other is a Japanese Satsuma ware pottery vase with a melon-shaped body, decorations of flowering plants in red and blue and green enamels.

Not to be outdone, China will also weigh in with beautiful vases of its own, including a pair of 19th century Roleau-shaped vases with Kuei dragon handles and a thunder meander border at the mouth with a band of celadon, both 24 ½ inches tall; and a 19th century drum-shaped celadon vase with a foo dog jump ring and two-character Hsuan Ho mark on the base, 8 ¾ inches tall.

Gorgeous Chinese porcelain plaques will also some up for bid, to include an 18th century plaque shaped in the form of a double gourd vase having gilt wan brocade ground with blue bats and reverses with the characters Tai Chi (“Great Good Luck”); and an early 20th century white glaze plaque housed in a nice rosewood frame and having a surface decorated with birds and flowers.

Artworks will feature an 18th century Chinese bamboo root carving of the figure Liu Hai, with his magic frog, 9 inches tall; and an album of paintings signed by the Chinese artist Wu Hu Fan (1894-1968), depicting 13 landscapes (one on each page), and with a lavender brocade cover.

Rounding out just some of the day’s expected top lots are a Chinese snuff bottle carrying the Ch’ien Lung mark and period (1735-1796), with a decoration of stylized mallow flowers on a pale yellow ground, just 2 ¾ inches in height; and a signed Chinese bamboo brush pot from the 18th century, having a surface carved in high relief showing scholars in a mountain landscape.

Tremont Auctions is a full-service auction gallery specializing in fine art, antiques, decorative arts, Asian antiquities and comprehensive estate services. The firm offer appraisal services and real estate auctions. The company is headquartered in Historic Newton Upper Falls, in the old Gamewell Building. It is easily accessible via I-95 or I-90 and is 20 minutes west of Boston.

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