Gianguan Auctions To Offer $1M Pair of Grasshopper Dishes at Spring Asia Week Auction

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • February 21, 2014

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A pair of Qing Dynasty Famille-Rose Floral Bowls with Grasshoppers amidst blossoms on one and pea pods on the other. Each is inscribed with a poem. Lot 190. $1,000,000-$1,500,000.

When the afternoon session opens at Gianguan Auctions annual spring sale during Asia Week on March 16th, international buyers will vie for excellect collections of Chinese Ceramics and Objects of Beauty that include porcelains, fine carvings and scholar objects.  The session begins at 2:00 p.m. and takes place at Gianguan Auctions gallery, 295 Madison Avenue, NY.

The day’s marquee tem is a diminutive pair of Qing Dynasty Famille-Rose Floral Bowls with Grasshoppers. Of thinly potted translucent porcelain, the bowls are enameled with a grasshopper amidst blossoms on one and pea pods on the other. Each is inscribed with a poem. Merely 3 5/8 inches (9.2 cm) in diameter and 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) tall, they have rounded sides and stand on a short circular foot. Both bear blue glazed seal marks on the recessed base. Grasshoppers are symbols of good luck and abundance, symbolic for the Imperial reign. They are expected to soar quickly to the $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 estimate. 

!Doucai Dragon Double-Gourd Flask of compressed form, with bat medallion below a gilt rim and a Shou symbol defined by descending dragons in an overall pattern of feathery foliage on undulating stems. Lot 185. $500,000 - $800,000.

Museum quality items continue with a Doucai Dragon Double-Gourd Flask with loop handles set above a short splayed foot. Of compressed form, the flask has an olive-shaped upper bulb that features a bat medallion below a gilt rim enameled with a scrolling wreath. The lower bulb is decorated at the center with a gilt Shou symbol defined by descending dragons in green and aubergine. An overall pattern of feathery foliage on undulating stems adorns the vase. The arched handles are painted with blossoms on a yellow ground. A key-fret band encircles the foot. The interior and underside are glazed in pale turquoise. A recessed reign mark in underglazed blue is apparent. Of the Qing Dynasty, the flask has the Qianlong Six Character Mark.  The 7 1/2 inch tall porcelain flask is Lot 185. Its estimate is $500,000 - $800,000.

Among the mid-range offerings is a delightful pair of Famille-Rose Caparisoned Elephant Jun Vases. Each animal stands four-square with its head to one side and has an upwards-curling trunk. Each wears a decorative harness upon which rides a handsome Jun, Gu-shaped enameled beaker vase with brocade ground and writhing dragons amid clouds chasing flaming pearls. Cast in mirror images with different color enamels, the elephants make an auspicious rebus that symbolizes Taipingyouxiang, or great peace in the world. Of the period, the elephants carry the Qing Dynasty six character mark. Standing an impressive 11 7/8 inches tall, they are Lot 206, valued at $10,000 - $20,000.

A collection of unusual porcelain items capture the improvements in porcelain-making that occurred during the Yuan Dynasty. This transitional age brought developments in the firing techniques of blue and white porcelain and the maturity of underglaze red porcelain. Both set the stage for further refinements during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Among the items is a charming water dropper modeled as a house boat with a roof and a figure. White with an underglaze of copper-red, the vessel is 6 inches long. It is Lot 233, estimated at $3,000- $5,000.

A mirror-image pair of caparisoned Elephant Jun Vases, in different color enamels. They are an auspicious rebus symbolizing Taipingyouxiang, or great peace in the world. Lot 206. $10,000 - $20,000. !Bird Feeder jars.jpg

Copper red overglaze marks adorns a pair of bird feeder jars. On the globular bodies is a band of floral sprays. Above the short neck is a lipped rim flanked by a circular aperture. At 2 1⁄2 in (6.4 cm) tall. They make a delightful presentation. Lot 215 is valued at  $2,000 - $3,000.

A superb collection of snuff bottles will enchant buyers the world over. Typical of the collection is a rare Famille-Rose snuff-bottle with red glass overlay carved in a lotus petal design that divides the surface into windows of decoration. Within each are birds and floral scenes. A lotus bud finial tops the unusual bell-shaped cover. A blue reign mark is apparent in the recessed base. The snuff bottle is of the period and identified by the Qianlong four character mark. Lot 160 has a $2,000 - $4,000 estimate.

Another example from the collection is a well carved red and yellow overlay glass snuff bottle with four Famille-Rose windows of figural story scenes. The scenes are set within a molded cartouche below two bats and a lappet collar.  The stopper is coral. Again, the blue reign mark is clear in the recessed base. Of the  Qing Dynasty, the ovoid snuff bottle carries the Qianlong four character mark. It is Lot 156, valued at $1,500 - $2,000.

Scholar’s items that define their owner’s personalities and accomplishments are another fascinating aspect of Gianguan Auctions’ Asia Week sale. 

For instance, a finely carved Shou Lao Tianhuang scholar seal imparts prosperity and longevity. The God of Longevity holding a peach sits atop a cube of rich russet and vivid hematin silk red muscle. The immortal is portrayed with incised beard beneath his tonsured head. Script on the seal reads, Shou Bi Nan Shan, translated as Longevity. Nearly 5 inches tall (11.1 cm) and weighing 460 gm, the seal is Lot 126. Its estimate is $8,000 - $10,000.

A 5-pound Songhua stone square seal with double ink wells is well worth its weight in value. It is craved of striated grayish green rectangular stone and has a double grinding surface reminiscent of Double-Happiness. Each has a recessed water pool. The reverse is inscribed with a four-character seal: Huang Di Zhi Bao, Imperial Treasure in Manchurian and Seal Script. Nearly 4-inches tall, it is Lot 149, estimated at $3,000 - $5,000.

For a comprehensive view of the paintings and decorative antiques in the Gianguan Auctions Asia Week sale, please visit For condition reports, please call the Gallery Director at 212-867-7288 or email

Gianguan Auctions is located at 295 Madison Avenue (Entrance on 41st Street). The  auction is Sunday, March 16th. Session 1: Paintngs begins at 11:00 a.m. Session 2: Chinese Ceramics starts at 2:00 p.m. Previews begin March 8 and run through March 15. 

Mary Ann Lum
Gianguan Auctions

Gianguan Auctions
295 Madison Avenue
New York, New York

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