ON FREE PUBLIC VIEW AT THE AMERICAN ART GALLERIES
MADISON SQUARE SOUTH, NEW YORK
BEGINNING THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd, 1916
AND CONTINUING UNTIL THE MORNING OF THE DATE OF SALE, INCLUSIVE
OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE TREASURES OF RARE ARTISTIC DISTINCTION
UNRESTRICTED PUBLIC SALE
AT THE AMERICAN ART GALLERIES
ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY AFTERNOONS
FEBRUARY 7th AND 8th, 1916
BEGINNING EACH AFTERNOON AT 2.30 O’CLOCK
ON TUESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 8th
AT 8 O’CLOCK
PREFATORY NOTE—JAPAN IN A NEW LIGHT
True to their custom, the Messrs. Yamanaka & Company have brought together this year a carefully selected number of the works of Chinese artists and craftsmen of past ages, and issue—as has come to be expected of them during the winter’s art season—their annual invitation to inspect such Oriental works of art and compete for them at public sale. They have made a departure, however, in assembling at the same time two distinct collections of works of Japanese art and craftsmanship, of a nature which can but come largely as a surprise—I believe a welcome surprise, the welcome none the less assured where by reason of possible familiarity the element of surprise is lacking.
The Chinese productions include some remarkably fine jade carvings and handsomely arranged miniature gardens of jade and semi-precious stones, a small number of very large jardinieres in pottery and porcelain, and a few more of the palatial Ch’ien-lung birdcages whose beauty and elaboration of adornment have found high appreciation here in the last two seasons, since the Yamanakas introduced the country to them.
An entirely new Chinese offering is made,—new in character, here,—in a Ch’ien-lung cloisonné enamel cage or house for a pet dog, and other antique Chinese cages in lacquer carving, equipped with appointments for similar service.
Akin to the Chinese work in jade, yet of a character distinctly their own, are a few Thibetan jade carvings; and wholly different from Chinese art in painting are a number of paintings from Thibet,—Lamaistic compositions whose peculiar attraction in age-softened colors is not lessened by their mysticism. There is also an assemblage of Chinese, Japanese, Corean and Indian Buddhistic carvings.
The distinct novelty of the exhibition is the collection of Japanese dolls. While toys, they are more than toys. The doll in Japan is an institution. Two festivals a year are given to its celebration, tme for boys, one for girls; and great attention is and has been for ages paid to the elaboration of the doll as an artistic object worthy of notice and care from palace to hut. Certain dolls were restricted to noble houses, lesser people not being permitted such display of luxury.
Those who at the announcement of a doll collection bring to their minds the Japanese dolls of export commerce, sold here today as children’s playthings, can but open their eyes to new conceptions on seeing those of age-long preservation assembled from various parts of Nippon and in many instances figuring the legend and history of the land and people. In large part they are for the cabinet rather than for children’s play ; there are collectors of dolls, in Japan, as of porcelains or potteries ;—there are one or two collectors of these Oriental dolls in this country.
Because of the relative unfamiliarity of these productions it has been ventured to offer short introductory or explanatory notes in connection with the different groups.
Similarly, a brief introduction prefaces the collection of screens, —which in Nippon are interior decorations highly valued as works of art, not the masks of a secretive utilitarianism. Those here assembled, in the beauty and range of their conception and the power of their execution, offer the rich chromatic pictures of a “dream of Old Japan.”
DANA H. CARROLL.
NEW YORK, January 25, 1916.
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The Yamanaka Auction of Fine Chinese and Japanese Art
A few Excerpts of some of the fine things sold back in February of 1916 during this Yamanaka Auction
No 8—CINNABAR LACQUER SNUFF BOTTLE (Eighteenth Century) Flattened globular form on low foot, with abbreviated neck. Carved in bold relief with a sage and attendants among pine trees and rocks, on a ground of incised angular grill. Cinnabar lacquer stopper carved as a chrysanthemum.
No 4—AMBER SNUFF BOTTLE
Elongated bulbous form with embryonic foot and short wide neck. Translucent brown amber with mottlings of rich black. Carved on all surfaces, in bold relief, with landscape and waterscape, pine trees, rocks, a summer house and a bridge, and figures, among them Tai Kung Pou, the famous fisherman-philosopher who fished ever without hook, partly to escape an importunate wife, partly to evade Imperial preferment and have time and opportunity for his reflections. Stopper of clear golden amber carved in open-work with birds and blossoms. Height 4 Inches
No 5 CORAL SNUFF BOTTLE
Bulbous form of ovoid contour, with sloping shoulder and miniature foot; amethyst stopper. Carved in low relief, on one face with a four-clawed dragon in pursuit of the flaming disc, which appears above a carp leaping from waves, and on the other face with a monkey swinging from a pine tree and scaring a horse, which, rolling, seems also to be concerned with some bees that are buzzing around, their nest being seen in the tree overhead.
86—FEI-Ten JADE CENSER
Height, 5 inches; width across handles, 7 inches.Cauldron-shaped but lobed in melon-form, on a low flange foot of foliate outline in conformity with the lobes; two phoenix-head loop handles, undercut and pierced, supporting loose rings. Insetting dome cover, solid, with a broad knob finial carved and pierced in the form of a coiled dragon in possession of the jewel of omnipotence. The whole exterior of body and cover carved in low relief with floral designs and scrolls, of lotus origin, the flower highly conventionalized. Clouded emerald-green jade of varied note, with streaks of brown ; translucent, and when held to the light the deeper green cloudings appear as soft as the richest moss of the woods. Bright polish.
86—JADE AND AMBER PEACH TREE IN CLOISONNE JARDINIERE
Long and slender, delicately curling leaves of brilliant green jade, the veins engraved, and eleven of the peaches of longevity
.5–50-‘ in clear brown, light golden and clouded amber. Below shrubs in white jade, malachite and carnelian, a lapis rock, and a stag in brilliantly polished white jade, holding a fungus stem in his mouth, the branch resting on his back. Pink coral ground. The gilt jardiniere is octagonal in its broad rim—an oblong with chamfered corners—and the metal surfaces both of rim and body are ornamented with foliar scrolls in relief, the rim having an incised fret border on its outer side. The contour of the body is ovoidal, recurving to the expanded rim. On each of the eight faces is an applied panel of fine cloisonné enamel, of lapis-blue ground, the ornamentation bats, emblems, and conventional lotus designs in green, white, yellow, black, turquoise-blue and dark vermilion. Four scepter-head feet.
Height bf jardiniere, 43/4 inches; length, 9yt inches; width, 81/4 inches; total height, 183/4 inches.
133—GRAND BLUE AND WHITE JARDINIERE (Chia Ching)
Sonorous porcelain, with broad flat bottom and wide mouth, the contour very slightly ovoidal—somewhat in Chinese drum shape, a suggestion further implied by deep borders at base and top, in segmental pattern with discs indicative of the clamps used for tightening the integument. Decorated between the borders with four Fu-lions sporting with the conventional brocaded balls, in rich, deep, Mussulman blue. Under the lip is a narrow conventional floral scroll border. Just below the upper compartmental border is the six-character mark of the reign, penciled in the same deep underglaze blue of the principal decoration. (Bottom repaired.) Has carved teakwood stand.
Height, 24 inches; diameter, 291% inches.
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