When Gianguan Auctions convenes the Saturday, June 10th sale, collectors will bid on iconic artistic statements from China's famed painters and the annonymous artisans who crafted high concept carved jades and Buddhist art.
“Bird in a Lotus Pond,” by Zhu Da (Bada Shangren) leads the day. The sharp edged and spare portrayal of a long beaked bird on a broken branch, caught between pond below and flowers above comes to the podium with a $1.5 Million valuation. It is Lot 80, signed with the Zhu Da characters that resemble the signs for laughing and crying, has one artist seal and is of the period.
It is followed with important works by Qing Dynasty painter Shi Tao, Zheng Xin (Ban Qiao), Yuan Yao, Xu Beihong, and Qi Biashi, to name a few.
The carved jade highlight is a massive jar that has survived intact from the Han Dynasty (221-206 BC). Staggering in its complexity, the milky white jade is covered in sinuous carvings of eighteen coiling, crouching, weaving qilins, the ancient hoofed, fire breathing chimera said to appear in the presence of a sage or illustrious leader. 11” tall, weighing in at 20 pounds, Lot 120 carries a pre-sale estimate of $1.5M.
The Buddhist art dates back to the early days of Buddhism in China. The earliest work is a Northern Wei (386-535AD) stone Bodhisattva, seated with ankles crossed and hands in mudras “fear not” and “charity,” backed by a mandorla and positioned atop a base flanked by lions. The mottled figure with some remaining pigment is Lot 148, valued at $40,000 or above.
Two hundred years later, during the Northern Qi (550-557 AD) period, an anonymous artist carved a marble statue of a slender standing Buddha that has been passed down through the generations. In a frontal stance, with a columnar posture marked by a curved profile, and a long robe with parallel U-shaped folds, the image is typical of the period. The figure stands 33” tall and is valued at more than $60,000.
The field of Buddhist art runs deep. Details will follow on Artfix Daily. In the meantime, all properties in Gianguan Auction summer sale on June 10, please visit www.gianguanauctions.com.
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