When the afternoon session of Gianguan Auctions' Asia Week sale opens on Sunday, March 18, all eyes will be on the yellow Qing Dynasty famille-rose double-walled vase similar to the one that commanded £ 43 million ($69.3 million) in Bainbridge last fall.
Carrying an estimate that is offered only by request, the rare, reticulated vase is a masterpiece of Qing Dynasty potters, Kwong Lum, proprietor of Gianguan Auctions stated. Of ovoid form, the vase has a flaring neck decorated with ruyi and bands of floral bloom and twin fish. Jumping fish carved in relief amidst incised turbulent waves decorate the vase's body. An inner mallet vase in underglazed blue with scrolling floral sprays can be seen through the openwork piercings.
Preceding it is a seldom-seen Yuan Dynasty octagonal blue and white Meipng portraying six legendary Chinese figures. Unearthed in Hebei Province in 1964, the vivid free-hand motifs depict Chinese figures riding a horse, carrying a sword, carrying a lute or a flower basket amid bamboo and rocks. Similar works are referenced in the "Encyclopedia o Historic Relics, Volume of Porcelain," Plate 544/Page 330, complied by China's National Bureau of Cultural Relics Administration.
Other highlights include a dodecahedral Junyao twelve-petal planter with an extraordinary reddish-purple glaze in a cascading water effect. Both the design and the glaze represent the highest achievement of Junyao craftsmanship in the Southern Song Dynasty.
Since only one buyer can own the planter, under bidders will take advantage of values among the mid-range Chinese porcelains. Among these is a rare Wanli period, Ming Dynasty Zhadou vessel of copper red undulating waves and blue and white mythical beast.
Leading the antique bronze offerings is a Phoenix-head ewer with gold inlaid phoenix motifs. Well-cast as a phoenix standing facing forward with open beak as spout holding and a dragon tail handle, the bulbous ewer is then gold inlaid with a phoenix in flight encircled with clouds, birds and mythical beasts. On the side, are inscriptions and dragon motifs.
A bronze recumbent buffalo inlaid with silvery phoenix motifs accented with incised Leiwen, is another fine example of the early art casting bronze as is a bronze ritual food vessel, Fang Ding, set upon four curling elephant trunk legs and cast with taotie masks.
Among the Chinese niche specialties is a collection of rhinoceros horn carvings, including an exquisite pair of cylindrical perfumers featuring openwork carvings of writing dragons chasing pearls.
Subsequent rhino horn items include naturalistically carved wind cups translucent in color, with natural veining.
Carved jades, those perennial favorites that are climbing in value, are well represented. For example, thre is a white jadeite Qilin resting on its haunches and a finely reticulated Hetian white jade finger-citron vase, with a monkey clambering out a rock vase. And several glass jadeite lavender bracelets are well within reach.
Meanwhile, a collection of Chinese seals will excite collectors of intricately detailed miniatures. Included are a Tianhuang columnar seal with figural landscape carving, a pair of columnar icy-glazed ShouShan stone seals and a Jixue seal (Dahongpoo) carved with poem by Du Mu, Tang poet, Southern Spring.
The Gianguan Auctions sale will be conducted in two sessions. Eighty-six Chinese scroll paintings will be offered in the morning. The Chinese Ceramics and decorative arts go off at 2:00 p.m. Previews run from Saturday, March 10 through Saturday, March 17, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Gianguan Auctions, formerly Hong Kong Auctions NY, is located at 295 Madison Avenue, New York City. Catalogs and condition reports are available by calling 212-226-2660.