Alain.R.Truong

18 avril 2015

A ‘Cizhou’ painted and turquoise-glazed bottle vase, Ming dynasty

A ‘Cizhou’ painted and turquoise-glazed bottle vase, Ming dynasty

A ‘Cizhou’ painted and turquoise-glazed bottle vase, Ming dynastyEstimate 1,500 — 2,000 GBP (2,035 - 2,713 EUR). Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

the pear-shaped body rising from a splayed foot to a tall cylindrical neck with lipped rim, boldly painted with a wide band of floral scroll, the neck with overlapping lotus lappets and a criss-cross band, all divided by double lines, covered overall in a rich turquoise glaze, Japanese wood box. Quantité: 2 - 17.5cm., 6 7/8 in.

Sotheby's. The Soul of Japanese Aesthetics – The Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, Londres, 13 mai 2015, 10:00 AM


An aubergine-ground yellow and cobalt-blue enamelled ‘Dragon’ bowl, Jiajing mark and period

An aubergine-ground yellow and cobalt-blue enamelled ‘Dragon’ bowl, Jiajing mark and period

An aubergine-ground yellow and cobalt-blue enamelled ‘Dragon’ bowl, Jiajing mark and period (inside view)

An aubergine-ground yellow and cobalt-blue enamelled ‘Dragon’ bowl, Jiajing mark and period (mark)

An aubergine-ground yellow and cobalt-blue enamelled ‘Dragon’ bowl, Jiajing mark and periodEstimate 20,000 — 25,000 GBP (27,130 - 33,913 EUR). Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

the deep rounded sides supported on a tapered foot, the exterior incised and decorated with two yellow-enamelled five-clawed dragons pacing amongst clouds above a lappet band, the interior similarly decorated in cobalt-blue enamels with a central medallion enclosing a sprig of lingzhi, encircled by further lingzhi scrolls and a chevron band, all reserved against an aubergine ground, the base incised with a six-character reign mark within double circles, Japanese wood box. Quantité: 2 - 14cm., 5 1/2 in.

ProvenanceMayuyama & Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

ExhibitionGen Min meihin ten [Exhibition of Yuan and Ming ceramics], The Japan Ceramic Society, Tokyo, 1956, cat. no. 149.

NotesThis bowl is unusual in its combination of bright overglaze enamels, reflecting the great level of experimentation exercised by the Jingdezhen potters active in the Jiajing reign. Suzanne G. Valenstein in A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, p. 191, notes that potters of the mid-16th century ‘were adept and imaginative with their palette of enamels and sought to achieve a maximum number of effects’. The use of low-fired cobalt on the interior of this vessel appears to have been inspired by fahua wares produced in both Northern and Southern China from the 14th century onwards. These glazes are watery when running thin, while deep and opaque when thick, thus allowing the potter to achieve an attractive shading effect. 

Bowls of this type are rare, although a closely related bowl from the Su Lin An collection, was sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 31st October 1995, lot 322, where the lingzhi scroll on the interior is described as painted in underglaze blue.

Bowls decorated with yellow dragons over an aubergine ground but undecorated on the interior, are more commonly known with Wanli marks and of the period; see one in the British Museum, London, illustrated in Jessica Harrison-Hall, Ming Ceramics, London, 2001, pl. 11:143; and another, from the T.Y. Chao collection, sold twice in our Hong Kong rooms, 16th May 1977, lot 51, and 19th May 1987, lot 258.

Sotheby's. The Soul of Japanese Aesthetics – The Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, Londres, 13 mai 2015, 10:00 AM

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period (verso)

A yellow-ground green-enamelled ‘Longevity’ dish, Jiajing mark and period. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 GBP (20,348 - 27,130 EUR). Photo courtesy Sotheby's

the shallow rounded sides rising from a tapered foot to a flared rim, incised and decorated with green enamels against an egg-yolk yellow ground, the interior with a central medallion enclosing a stylised shoucharacter formed from entwined branches bearing eight fruiting peaches in a garden with lingzhi, the exterior similarly decorated with shou characters amongst meandering branches of fruiting peaches, the white base inscribed with a six-character reign mark, Japanese wood box. Quantité: 2 - 14.5cm., 5 3/4 in.

ProvenanceMayuyama & Co. Ltd., Tokyo.

NotesThis dish depicts a fruiting peach tree, an auspicious symbol in China, with the bark contorted to form a shou (longevity) character and bearing eight peaches, to represent the Eight Immortals. The Jiajing Emperor was a devout Daoist and as a result, decoration influenced by Daoist iconography was favoured during his reign.

A closely related dish in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, was included in the Museum’s exhibition Good Fortune, Long Life, Health and Peace. A Special Exhibition of Porcelains with Auspicious Designs, Taipei, 1995, cat. no. 2; and another from the Sir Percival David collection and now in the British Museum, London, is illustrated in R.L. Hobson, The Wares of the Ming Dynasty, London, 1923, pl. 39, fig. 2. See also a dish similarly incised with a pine tree in the form of a shou character, in the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, illustrated in Lu Minghua, Mindai guanyao ciqi, Shanghai, 2007, pl. 1-64.

This motif is also known from yellow-and-green enamelled bowls of Jiajing mark and period, such as one illustrated in L. Reidemeister, Ming. Porzellane in Schwedischen Sammlungen, Berlin, 1935, pl. 32a; and from dishes painted in the wucaipalette; see one in the Norton collection, sold twice in these rooms, 5th November 1963, lot 182, and 1st/2nd April 1974, lot 231; and a pair from the H.M. Knight collection, sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 20th May 1980, lot 72, and again in these rooms, 13th July 2005, lot 186. 

Sotheby's. The Soul of Japanese Aesthetics – The Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, Londres, 13 mai 2015, 10:00 AM

Fondation Gandur pour l'Art opens first traveling exhibition in Japan

A mummy board

A mummy board. Wood, gessoed (plastered) and painted, 157.5×44.5×10.0cm. Third Intermediate Period © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Sandra Pointet.

GENEVA.- The Fondation Gandur pour l’Art opened its first traveling exhibition in Japan on 17 April at the Asahikawa Museum of Art, in Hokkaido. The exhibition will run until 21 June before continuing its journey to three more Japanese cities, including Tokyo. 

The special loan exhibition, Ancient Egyptian Art and Magic, Treasures from the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, presents 150 works of art drawn from the Foundation’s archaeological collection, some of which are on view for the first time. The works span the four millennia history of pharaonic Egypt from the predynastic through to the ptolemaic periods.

 

Buste de Ramsès II, XIXe dynastie

Bust of Ramsès II, 19th dynasty. Red granite. Height 72 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-133 © Darwin Media Ltd.

Jean Claude Gandur, founder and Chairman of the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, explains: “The objects exhibited were selected for both aesthetic and didactic reasons. As always, our aim is to help the public understand and appreciate the ancient Egyptian civilisation and the significant contribution that civilisations like these have made to our societies.” 

Bas-relief aux cartouches d’Alexandre le Grand, Période macédonienne

Relief with cartouches of Alexander the Great, Macedonian period. Painted limestone, 42 x 70 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-162 © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

The exhibition stresses the central role of magic in furthering our understanding of the nature of ancient Egyptian art. It is organised around three themes: hieroglyphs, materials and colour. All three elements symbolically reinforce each object’s function. Together, the works of art reflect the ancient Egyptian world view of a cosmos in which human beings, animals and plants are harmoniously integrated.  

Statuette de Maât, XXVIe dynastie

Statuette of Maât, 26th dynasty. Bronze, 25 x 4,8 x 7,1 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-325© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Japan is the third country to host a significant traveling exhibition from the archaeological collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, after Switzerland and the United States, and before France in June (at the MUCEM in Marseille). The exhibition is accompanied by a bi-lingual catalogue, in Japanese and English, written by Dr Robert Steven Bianchi, chief curator and curator of the archaeology collection of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art. 

Vase au nom de Darius Ier, XXVIIe dynastie

Vase inscribed for Darius Ist, 27e dynasty. Alabaster, 31 x 14 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-356© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Shabti of Ramses IX, 20th dynasty

Shabti of Ramses IX, 20th dynasty. Wood, bronze, black and white stones. Height 30.5 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-317© Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Amulette d’un dieu à tête de bélier, XXVIe dynastie – période ptolémaïque

Amulet of a god with  ram's head, 26th dynasty – Ptolemaic period. Faïence, 3,9 x 1 x 1,6 cm. FGA-ARCH-EG-165. © Fondation Gandur pour l'Art. Photographe : Sandra Pointet.

Bonhams to auction five masterpieces of the Meiji period

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan

Iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams.

LONDON.- Five exquisite items from the Meiji Period, including delicate cloisonné and magnificent ironwork, will lead the Fine Japanese Art auction at Bonhams New Bond Street on 14 May. Estimates for the lots, made by some of the greatest craftsmen of the era, range from £5,000-8,000 to £30,000-40,000. 

The top lot of the Meiji Period items in the auction is a fully articulated iron model of a spiny lobster, made by an unknown artisan. Estimated at £30,000-40,000, the model’s reddish-brown body is formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections, painstakingly crafted to resemble the crustacean’s shell with finely chiselled details. The fully articulated joints allow the model life-like mobility, and it measures 43.7cm (17¼ inches) when the antennae are fully extended. 

Nouveau Dessin OpenDocument

A fine iron kusshin jizai (fully articulated) okimono model of a spiny lobster, Anonymous, Meiji PeriodEstimated at £30,000-40,000 (€42,000 - 56,000). Photo Bonhams. 

The reddish-brown body formed from individually cast, hammered and carved sections crafted to resemble the lobster's shell with finely chiselled details, assembled with fully articulated joints to allow lifelike mobility, unsigned; with wood storage box. 43.7cm (17¼in) long with fully extended antennae. (2).

Note: For another fully articulated iron lobster of similarly fine quality by an unknown artist, see Hirose Mami, et al. (eds.),Chozetsugiko! Meiji Kogei no Iki (Kogei: Superlative Craftsmanship from Meiji Japan), Tokyo, Asano Laboratories, 2014, p.110, pl. nos.6-10.

The Meiji period began in 1868 with the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the last feudal military government of Japan, by the armies seeking the restoration of Emperor Meiji. The victory ushered in the new era of Meiji, meaning ‘enlightened rule,’ which lasted until the death of the Emperor on 30 July 1912. Under his rule, Japan underwent social, political and industrial revolution, and emerged as one of the world’s great powers. 

The nation’s success during this period was reflected in the quality of its artisans, and Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), the creator of two items offered at Bonhams, was among the very greatest. Born in 1845, Yasuyuki started a cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 which grew to include more than 20 employees by the 1880s, selling to private clients and fulfilling imperial commissions. He won 11 overseas awards between 1876 and 1904, and built such an impressive reputation that his wares were purchased the moment they were unpacked at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universalle, selling for more than ten times their estimated price.

Two cloisonné enamel pieces by Yasuyuki, a jar and cover and a small vase, are offered at Bonhams with estimates of £8,000-12,000 and £12,000-15,000 respectively. The jar, worked with silver wire, depicts three sparrows standing among wild violets, with four sparrows in flight on the reverse. The domed cover is decorated with a band of stylised flower-heads. The vase, meanwhile, bears an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and roundels on a midnight-blue ground, worked with silver and gold wire.

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900

A cloisonné-enamel jar and cover by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period, circa 1900. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.

image

The rounded ovoid squat body worked in silver wire with three sparrows standing among wild violets on a light brown ground, the reverse with four sparrows in flight, applied with silver rims and supported with four bracket feet, the domed cover decorated with a band of stylised flowerheads corresponding to the decoration on the shoulder and surmounted with a silver chrysanthemum-finial; the base signed on a silver tablet Kyoto Namikawa11cm (4¼in) high. (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

Note: Born in 1845 to a rural samurai family, Namikawa Yasuyuki started his cloisonné business in Kyoto in 1873 and by the 1880s was successful enough to build, and then extend and upgrade, a large compound that eventually included workshops housing 20 or more employees, a showroom, a family residence, and a garden with a fishpond. He used these facilities to create a carefully orchestrated private retail experience that was described in admiring detail by American and European travel writers, selling many of his finest wares directly to private clients, as well as carrying out imperial commissions and participating in international expositions. Between 1876 and 1904 he won 11 overseas awards and in 1896, along with his unrelated namesake the Tokyo enameler Namikawa Sosuke (the two family names are written with different characters), was among the first individuals to be appointed to the ranks of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsmen to the Imperial Household, see also lot nos. 393, 401, 402, 403). Such was his reputation that at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle his wares were snapped up the moment they were unpacked and sold for up to ten times the amount anticipated. For a detailed biography of Namikawa Yasuyuki see Frederic T Schneider, The Art of Japanese Cloisonné EnamelHistory, Techniques and Artists1600 to the Present, Jefferson NC, McFarland, 2010, pp.86–87.

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel small vase, by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), Meiji Period. Estimate £8,000 - 12,000 (€11,000 - 17,000). Photo Bonhams.

image

Intricately worked in silver and gold wire with an all-over design of stylised cherry blossoms and overlapping differently coloured roundels scattered over a midnight-blue ground, the neck and foot with matching floral arabesque motifs, signed on the base with chiselled cursive characters on a silver plaque Kyoto Namikawa, applied with a gold rim and foot; with wood storage box. 9cm (3½in) high. (2)..

The auction will also feature two cloisonné enamel works by Namikawa Sōsuke, one of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, best known for his set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo’s Akasaka Rikyū Palace in 1909. But it was three decades earlier that Sōsuke began experimenting with musen shippō (wireless enamelling), his most enduring contribution to the art form. Previously, wire was required to fix enamels in place during the firing process, but Sōsuke improved the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely, allowing him to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. 

The two Sōsuke pieces to be auctioned at Bonhams are a kidney-shaped tray, estimated at £10,000-15,000, and a box and cover, estimated at £5,000-8,000. The tray, worked in musen and silver wire, bears a design of two quails on a ground of pale grey rising to blue, while the reverse depicts cherry blossoms on a dark plum background. The box is decorated in wireless enamel with a prunus branch rising before a full moon. 

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895

A cloisonné-enamel kidney-shaped tray, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period, 1890-1895Estimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.

image

Worked in musen and silver wire with a design of two quails, the ground of a pale grey rising to light blue, within ashakudo rim, the reverse worked in gilt wire enamel with numerous densely patterned cherry blossoms in pale brown on a dark plum-coloured ground; signed in silver wire with a single character Sakigake (the seal of Namikawa Sosuke).26cm x 30cm (10¼in x 11¾in).

Provenance: a European private collection.

Note: One of the greatest craft entrepreneurs of the later Meiji era, Namikawa Sosuke was until recently best known in Japan for a set of 32 decorative panels commissioned for Tokyo's Akasaka Rikyu Palace, completed in 1909. These date from the last years of his very productive life, nearly three decades after he began to experiment with the technique known as musen shippo (wireless enameling), his most enduring contribution to an art form that developed at extraordinary speed in Japan between the mid-nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century. In Chinese cloisonné enameling, the wires separating the different areas of fused and polished enamels that made up a design also served to hold the enamels in place during the firing process, and the individual areas of color were relatively small. Sosuke, followed shortly after by his rivals, managed to improve the chemistry of the enamels so that they adhered more securely to the metal bases of his wares, allowing him to introduce large areas of color into his designs, although it is thought that wires between different colors still had to be painstakingly applied and removed at each stage of manufacture. Thanks to these and other technical breakthroughs, later Meiji-era enamelers were often able to emulate the effects of brush painting on paper or silk. In recognition of his achievements, in 1896 Sosuke was appointed to the order of Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist-Craftsman to the Imperial Household).

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji Period

A cloisonné-enamel box and cover, By Namikawa Sosuke (1847-1910), Meiji PeriodEstimate £10,000 - 15,000 (€14,000 - 21,000). Photo Bonhams.

image (1)

Of shallow rounded square form, bearing a pale-grey ground and decorated in musen shippo (wireless enamel) with a prunus branch rising up before the full moon, the rims mounted with shakudo and the interior of dark-brown enamel, the base signed in thick silver wire with the Sakigake mark of Namikawa Sosuke. 3.8cm x 12.4cm (1½in x 4 7/8in). (2).

Provenance: an English private collection.

The auction of these magnificent items follows the highly successful non-selling exhibition of Meiji-era craft, titled ‘Transformation, Summation, Creation’, which took place at Bonhams New York from 12 - 22 March as part of the Asia Week events. The exhibition showcased 22 works by some of the leading Japanese artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

image

 Transformation, Summation, Creation’, Japanese Masterpieces From The Meiji Era. Photo Bonhams.



30 masterpieces from St. Petersburg shown in UK for the first time as part of 'Francis Bacon and the Masters'

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait of Van Gogh, England, 1956. Oil on Canvas © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2014.

NORWICH.- From 18 April, 30 masterpieces on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg will go on display in the UK for the first time as part of Francis Bacon and the Masters at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich (18 April – 26 July). The major loan includes important works by Picasso, Velazquez, Rodin, Titian and Matisse, as well as outstanding examples of antique Greek, Roman and Egyptian sculpture. 

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait

Chaïm Soutine, Self-Portrait. c. 1920–1. Oil on canvas, 54 x 30.5 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

Francis Bacon and the Masters is a ground-breaking exhibition in which Bacon’s obsession with the art of the past will be brought into full focus. A major body of works by the artist will be juxtaposed with masterpieces by some of the greatest painters and sculptors in the history of art, in a spectacular exploration of Bacon’s working methods and ideas.  

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R

Francis Bacon, Portrait of R.J. Sainsbury, 1955. Oil on canvas; 115 x 99 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

The exhibition comes to Norwich following its internationally acclaimed opening at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where it marked the culmination of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the Hermitage and concluded the UK/Russia Year of Culture.  

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion

Alonso Cano (1601, Granada – 1667, Granada), The Crucifixion. Oil on canvas, 265 x 173 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The founders of the Centre, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury were important early patrons of Francis Bacon. They purchased their first Bacon painting, Study for a Nude, in 1953, and went on to commission their portraits from him. The thirteen Bacon paintings in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection will form the core group of works in the exhibition but they will be joined by important loans drawn from public and private collections across Britain and Ireland. In all, more than 3o works by the artist will be shown.  

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933

Francis Bacon, Crucifixion, 1933. Oil on canvas, 62 x 48.5cm. Private Collection © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. 

The exhibition includes documentary and archive material, including photographs of Bacon’s studio, palettes, books, catalogues and materials owned by the artist and loaned by Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane. Bacon’s preoccupation with the art of the past is vividly revealed in the material drawn from his studio.  

Rembrandt Harmensz

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606, Leiden – 1669, Amsterdam), Portrait of an Old Man. Oil on canvas, 109 x 85 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

The exhibition has been created by a team comprised of guest curator Dr Thierry Morel, curator of the Houghton Revisited exhibition in 2014, Lisa Renne from the State Hermitage Museum; and from the Sainsbury Centre, Chief Curator, Amanda Geitner and Calvin Winner, Head of Collections.  

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960

Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960. Oil on canvas; 38 x 32 cm. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved, DACS 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Speaking of the exhibition, Sainsbury Centre Director, Professor Paul Greenhalgh said: “Bacon felt intensely close to his painter forebears, the grand masters, and he endlessly made use of them in the search for his own language. Like Picasso, he was an eclectic Modernist, who took what he needed from the art of the past to make it the art of the present. This exhibition is about the use of the past by one of the greatest modern painters: the past re-interpreted and refigured in the psychologically tense, frenetic world of a man searching for meaning at the boundary edge of life”.

Sotheby's Geneva announces Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 12 May

092109cf56e1a66e5368157e3165355f

GENEVA.- Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva this spring promises a breath-taking array of stunning and important jewels, whose breadth and variety represents a veritable treasure chest of exceptional jewels. The auction, to be held on 12 May, includes ‘The Historic Pink Diamond’, an extremely rare and highly important Fancy Vivid Pink diamond of 8.72 carats, alongside ‘The Sunrise Ruby’, a superb and extremely rare Burmese ruby weighing 25.59 carats with outstanding depth of colour. In addition to diamonds and gemstones of the very highest quality, the event will showcase signed jewels and historic pieces with exemplary provenance, including a stunning private collection of jewels by Cartier and no fewer than five exquisite tiaras – three of them formerly in the collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. 

Looking ahead to the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented: “I have remained in awe of the ‘Sunrise Ruby’ since the first moment I set eyes on it. In over 40 years, I cannot recall ever having seen another Burmese ruby of this exceptional size possessing such outstanding colour. We are also very excited to be offering a worldclass fancy