SOLD for $721,021
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Art November 8th, 2016, Christie's London
Fine Chinese ceramics and works of art. On November 8th Christie's will be conducting a very nice auction of fine Chinese ceramics as well as bronzes, jades and furniture. The sale is slated for their King St. location in London. Notably, a number of the items being presented are coming out of long standing collections. Several of which were formed in the late 19th C. and have been passed down within families since. The impact on prices realized are always impacted heavily for any form of art from old collections with solid old provenance.
The 201 lots sale is a smallish one, none the less it's a very nice offering. The auction includes several exceptional 18th C. porcelains, very handsome bronzes, 18th C. jades and attractive paintings. From a European collection are seven fine Ming to early Qing furniture lots. These can be scene in the last section of the catalog. (We've added the catalog to our archives on Christie's dealer page, as well as linking it here.)
Today I thought it would be fun to share a few of the lots that caught my eye. It's just my own taste, there is something for everyone in this sale!
Fine Chinese Ceramics
Lot 35, Large Official Workshop Qianlong (1736-1795) Turquoise-Ground Bat "Fu" Vase
For fans of Chinese porcelains and auctions this vase might look familiar. It's been auctioned by either Sotheby's (1) and Christie's (2) three times in the last 40 plus years. The ground color and shape of this big vase is strikingly elegant, it glows from head to tale. Adding to it's visual impact is the pair of large fully articulated animated dragon handles flanking the neck. All of it providing the perfect vehicle for a bevy strikingly worked gilt bats clutching ribbons flying among polychrome clouds. Despite it's age, the gilt highlights are in pristine condition, as is the seal mark. Gilt seals are typically found on porcelains emulating cloisonne. No other identical vase is known, while other vases with this pattern are known.
NOTE: As in this example, gilt seals are typically found on porcelains emulating cloisonne. While other vases with this pattern are known, no other identical vase is known.
It brought $333,667 when it sold last on May 30, 2005 in Hong Kong, let's see how it does this time.
Lot 47 Large Yongzheng (1723-1735) Archaistic Hu vase, Mark and Period
This vase is a stunner, if you like monochromes. A great looking 18th C. medium green glazed "Hu" with large black crackle and stylized dragon handles. The shape is based on a well-recognized early type of Shang bronze. I just love the color combined with the crackle and early form. This is a particularly interesting offering as it was bought before 1913 and hasn't been on the market since. The 19-inch pot was acquired 102 years ago in China by a Venetian family and passed down since. The base bears a Yongzheng mark and is clearly of the period.
Given it's provenance and striking appearance I wouldn't be surprised to see it blow through it's $240,000 to $280,000 estimate.
Lot 65 Rare Xuande (1426-1435) Blue and White Dragon Jar
Among the fine blue and white examples being sold, this is something you might appreciate seeing (If not fall in love with).
A well rounded wonderfully potted example energetically decorated in a deep cobalt blue depicting an oversized dragon. The reign mark is proudly placed just above the dragon's snout which is holding a fungus. Also notice the terrifically done, nearly cartoonish human faces encircling the abbreviated neck. The beast is framed by a neatly done upper row of acanthus leaves and a fluid looking band of Ruyi heads below. The vase was bought in 1995 from Hong Kong's CHAK GALLERY.
This extremely pretty, well-enameled porcelain last sold during an estate sale in the UK during 1953 at a country house sale. The style, colors, and decorations closely mirror known Qianlong examples of the 18th C.. I love the reticulated ball surmounting the piece supported by a lotus flower.
These fairly complex porcelains were court favorites and often were made in the Imperial ateliers well into the 19th C.. The decorations are bright and meticulously applied and embellished with dragons.
If this were to have a Qianlong mark, it would undoubtedly sell as a mark and period example. Fortunately, virtually none are thought to have been produced by the court with earlier reign marks.
Christie's apparently like it quite a lot as well as they've opted to place it on the much-coveted cover of the catalog.
A Genre Scene
Lot 100 "Ladies and Children", a lovely 18th C. painting
I've always been a fan of Chinese paintings signed and unsigned. In particular, I like genre scenes of interiors and terraces, this painting is particularly charming. An elegant interior of an obviously prosperous home depicting women and children involved in activities and games.
Note not only the well-dressed participants but the impressive and attractive range of decorative furnishing. The back wall painted with a large landscape, the massive floor screen, scholar's books, fine lacquer and coral. I particularly like the way the artist broke up the children into smaller groups all interacting and having fun. The work measures 62" x 31" and is signed "Shen Qinglan" with two seals.
NOTE: The sale also includes a number of rare paintings by 20th C. artists including Fu Baoshi, Xu Beihong, and Qi Baishi. Frankly, I've never been a fan of this school of art, so I'll not spend any time on them.
17th C. Bronzes
Lot 114 A Large and Rare 17th C. Gilt bronze Guanyin
This bronze was acquired by Danish businessman Peter Arnt Kieruluff (1838-1909) and Hannibal Julius Kierluff (1858-1907) around 1900 in China. The Kierluff family were well-known retail store owners in Beijing (prev- Peking) during this time. His bronze passed down by descent since to the present consignor.
The 22.9 inch bronze is a really handsome casting with excellent detail throughout. I in particular like the face as it has a slight hint of a modest smile and beautifully shaped downcast eyes.
The base of the figure suggests it probably had an accompanying bronze base. Most likely it had a lotus form stand with a central standard held by a galleried base. It's a great looking bronze just the same and in wonderful condition.
Be sure to check the catalog carefully, this sale features a fairly large number of good bronzes.
For The Scholar's Art Collector
Lot 129, a Very large and Rare 18th C. Signed Carved Duanstone Washer
Duanstones, As most collectors know were almost exclusively used in making ink stones and little else. Seeing one carved in this fashion as a washer is highly unusual. This is a really rare carving and a large one, measuring over a foot long.
In the present example, the carver worked it in the manner typically used on the finest Bamboo low relief carvings. The continuous landscape depicted is done to perfection with outstanding detail.
The washer is also signed Liang Shizheng. The only Liang Shizheng I know of was a prominent court official during the Qianlong period, a noted poet, scholar and artist. If bidders believe the work is by him, it should do very well at auction.
Chinese Furniture of The Ming Dynasty
Lot 195 A Great large Huanghuali Carved Square Table, 17th C.
A Handsome table with superb carving. This table was made during the late Ming to early Qing Dynasties, the color and proportions are just terrific. I've always found these very attractive tables and other 17th C. furniture to be a contradiction. The political turmoil and upheavals of the period which so heavily diminished artistic output seems to somehow not impacted makers of furniture. Some of the finest of all Chinese furniture was made between 1600 and 1680.
Over the years several of these have come onto the market and they always do well. A similar, but not as well colored (In my humble opinion) example sold at Sotheby's back in 2012 for $362,500. The Sotheby's example did appear to have more of it's original height with fuller "vase" form feet and a more intricate leg braces. Another example was sold in 2011 at Sotheby's for $266,500.
In addition to this table are several other highly desireable examples of furniture from the same period.
All in all, it looks like a very nice sale. Fine Chinese ceramics, good bronzes, good furniture, paintings and yes! jades.
Thanks for visiting...Peter Combs
LOT PRICE LOT PRICE LOT PRICE