Gianguan Auctions captures the best of the autumn Asian art season with a mixed sale that features top tier items in all the traditional collecting categories: Chinese paintings, Chinese ceramics and carved jades. The top lots are supported by collections of contemporary jewelry and decorative items. The sale is slated for Saturday, September 17. Previews begin Friday, September 9th.
Here is an overview of the marquee items.
A Qing Dynasty Famille rose vase headlines the Chinese ceramics. Standing 22 1/2-inches tall, the long necked bottle presents a ground of sacrificial blue against which four tian bai panels are decorated with stylized prunus, peonies, chrysanthemum, phoenix and birds. The vase has nine layers of sumptuous decoration, each painted and fired individually, in a range of emblems and florals. Of the period, the vase is authenticated by a blue reign mark, the Qing Dynasty and Qianlong Six Character mark. Lot 241 is valued at $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.
“Gong Kai Draws on a Bat for Good Fortune,” by Gong Kai (1222–1307) leads the paintings. A Song military official, Gong Kai went into exile during the Yuan Dynasty and became a scholar/amateur artist. This work depicts a large unkempt man in loose robes surrounded by small balding apparitions. All appear frantically animated as they peer upwards towards an unseen bat. The ink-and-color on paper is most likely a protest statement against Mongol rule. The work is signed by the artist. Provenance is provided by eight Emperors Seals, twelve Collectors Seals, and Colophons by Weng Peng and Zheng Fu. Lot 203 valued at $1.3M to $2.8M.
At the top of the collection of seals, and inch-for-inch the most valuable property in the auction, is an imperial spinach-green seal carved with a recumbent mythical ox-head beast. Drama weighs heavy in the scaly body, furled ears and bifurcated mane. Of the Ming Dynasty, the 4-inch square seal is of even tone, weighs 2609 grams and is carved in relief, zhuwen, with the Hongwu Imperial six script seal. It is Lot 199, valued at $1,000,000-$2,000,000.
Adding to the charm of this sale is a single-owner collection of Warring States garment hooks. Acquired over many years by a California collector, the daigous are crafted of gilt bronze inlaid with gold and silver, turquoise, jade and mother of pearl. Their form alludes to dragons, qilin, and tigers. Catalogued individually, the collection begins at Lot 140 and continues through Lot 155. The catalog high estimate for the whole collection is upwards of $30,000.
For details on these and all the items in the Gianguan Auctions September 17th sale, please visit www.gianguanauctions to view the online catalog. Further information and condition reports are available by calling Gianguan Auctions gallery, 212 867-7288.