As the demand for jade carvings, also known as yu, increases in popularity with Chinese, European and American buyers, collectors can look to Hong Kong Auction Gallery NY's December 4 sale for a rich selection of jade and jadeite jewelry, handling objects and table top decorative art. The first session of the day, as always, is devoted to fine Chinese paintings & calligraphy.
According to Kwong Lum, Chinese scholar and President of Hong Kong Auction Gallery NY, this auction marks a departure in the gallery's standard format. "This holiday sale," he states, "contains properties, particularly jade carvings, that are accessible to buyers of all levels."
With more than a hundred jades coming under the hammer, it is of note that the carvings range from Neolithic items to finely wrought pieces from the Republic period.
Lum, whose standards for quality are equal to his accomplishments as an artist and appraiser (he is the only living Chinese artist to be honored by a museum in his name in China), are accurately reflected in the catalog. (The online catalog can be viewed at www.hongkongauctiongallery.com.) At the preview, November 26 through December 3, viewers will be able to inspect and hold the jade items. (Traditionally, jade is cold but warms to room temperature. The low and high relief surfaces offer tactile comfort.)
Jade's long history dates back 8000 years, when it was used for weapons and ritualistic items. Over the years it has come to symbolize beauty, nobility, perfection and is carved as figurative groups, scepters, Guanyin, pendants, bracelets and the delicately chiseled jade items that become the personal items of men from all walks of life,
Among the decorative jade highlights is Lot 307, a finely carved white jade lion playing with a ball, from the Qing Dynasty. It is estimated at $20,00 to $30,000.
Another rare jade is Lot 187, a water buffalo cleverly carved so the buff inclusions resemble the hide (Lot 187). Buffalo are associated with strength, prosperity and tranquility. Distinguished by its naturalness, it is expected to bring more than $10,000.
On a more modest but equally as beautiful scale, is the Hetian white jade figure of Liuhai with Toad Climbing up the String of Gold Coins Adorned with Lingzhi stalks (Lot 132). With a presale estimate above $1,500, the five inch tall carving is an excellent acquisition.
It is not unusual for the Chinese to carry a bit of jade with them at all times. A small jade item for the pocket might be the 1 ¾" Hetian White Jade Goose Group of Mother and Two Young Entwined in Lingzhi Sprays. The low and high relief makes it lovely to touch. It is Lot 122, expected to command above $1,500.
Among the jade jewelry highlights is a jadeite pendant of Lotus Pond Mythical Beast with Dragon Head and Fish Body. Carved in high relief and pierced, the pendant is rendered with crabs carved into the stone's russet infusions. The fish into dragon symbolizes wealth and ascent prosperity. At 3½" tall, Lot 132 is expected to command interest starting at $4,000.
Opening the December 4 sale is collection of traditional paintings. Among the highlights are Qi Baishi's "Shrimp," dated 1941, inscribed and signed by the artist. With succinct strokes Qi manages to meticulously portray the essence and the spirit of the shrimp frolicking. "Shrimp" is Lot 35 and is expected to exceed $60,000.
Another highlight is Xu Beihong's "Galloping Horse", as a quintessential icon, his strong and steady strokes bring out not only the strength of the horse's tendons and bones, which support not only its flesh but also its character. It is expected to top $30,000.
Other of 68 lots of paintings range in value from Feng Zikai's "Spring", ink and color on paper with two artist seals, at $3,000 to $4,000 to Zhao Zhiqian's Qing Dynasty "Official Script Calligraphy," hand scroll at $40,000 to $50,000.
For complete details on the 381 properties in Hong Kong Auction Gallery NY's December 4 sale, please visit www. hongkongauctiongallery.com. To view the items, visit the gallery at 285 Madison Avenue, November 26 to December 3, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For condition reports, please phone 212-867-9388.
295 Madison Avenue
Entrance at 38 E 41 Street
New York, New York
About Hong Kong Auction Gallery (NY)
Hong Kong Auction Gallery is a family owned business, established in 2006. Chairman, Mr. Kwong Lum (Lin Ji-guang) is a New York-based Chinese-American artist, calligrapher, poet, art and literary critic, and connoisseur of classical Chinese art, He is Director of the International Society of Chinese Art Collectors and the chief advisor for the National Museum of China. In honor of his outstanding accomplishments in Chinese art, the City of Jiangmen of Guangdong Province in China is constructing a magnificent art museum in his name, which will be the first ever built for a living artist in China.