Rago's is proud to feature property from three substantial collections in its December 4 auction.
These include a fine selection of early Chinese figural sculpture from the Anthony M. Solomon Collection. A renowned statesman and financier who served four administrations, Mr. Solomon was an avid collector who developed a passion for Chinese art in his later years. He applied his cultural knowledge and well-honed collector's eye to the relatively unexplored area of Chinese mingqi (literally bright spirit) or funerary art. A 2002 exhibit with accompanying catalogue, From Court to Caravan: Chinese Tomb Sculptures from the Collection of Anthony M. Solomon was held at Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard. Most of Mr. Solomon's Chinese collection was gifted to the Harvard museum and other worthy institutions. Among the pieces on offer here is a rare and large early Tang dynasty camel and rider (7th c); a slender and elegant Tang court lady (early 8th c) and a powerfully rendered of lion carved from black limestone.
The Chinese Export Porcelains that follow throughout the sale are from the Collection of The Late Reverend Benjamin J. and Cynthia Lake. The Lakes gathered in the 1970s and 1980s. As evidenced by many original labels, a sizable portion of the collection was purchased from the Elinor Gordon.
A third collector has asked Rago to represent him in the sale of some 100 pieces. Highlights here include: 92, a pair of early 19th C. Cinnabar vases, carved with reserves of landscapes and narrative scenes, flowers, tight diaper ground, black interior, estimated at $12,000-16,000; 93, a late Ming blue glazed stem cup with slip decoration of a dragon and cloud motif, estimated at $10,000-15,000; 105, a very large, 19th C. green jade archaic Hu form lidded jar with archaic style decoration, estimated at $6,000-8,000; 111, a green and black glazed vase in Meiping form with black decoration of the "Three Friends of Winter" on a green ground. It has a six character Xianfeng (1851-1861) mark and of the period and is estimated at $20,000-30,000; 118, a dish with confronting dragons decorated with an incised outline enclosing two five-clawed dragons in pursuit of a "flaming pearl" amidst clouds and the exterior with four further dragons, all on a pale yellow ground. On the back is a six character Kangxi (1662-1722) mark and of the period within double concentric rings, estimate is $40,000-60,000; 119, a blue and white dish with a scrolling lotus pattern, possibly Ming, estimated at $10,000-15,000; 425 is a green glazed and gilt jarlet with delicate gilt decoration, which has a six character Daoguang (1821-1851) mark of the period, estimated at $1,500-2,000; and 226 is a Famille rose dish, decorated with rabbits by a river and a foliate gilt border from the Republic period (1912-1949), which has a four character Oianlong (1736-1795) mark, estimated at $800-1,200.
The Rago Arts and Auction Center is a well-known venue for auction, private sale and appraisal, with auction exhibitions in-house and online. Rago's holds multi-million dollar sales of 20th/21st C. design; fine art; 18th/19th C. American, Asian and European decorative arts and furnishings; jewelry; silver; ethnographic art and artifacts; and coins and currency for an international clientele. It offers clients - both sellers and buyers - a singular blend of global reach and personal service, with general consultations and informal evaluations at no obligation. Rago's, the largest and leading auction house in New Jersey, is located midway between Philadelphia and New York