Early 20th century Chinese paintings signed Qi Bashi 齊白石 Sold for $510,000 (left), $480,000 (center) and $410,000 (right). All Items from the collection of Wen Tsan Yu 余文燦, paintings were dedicated to Yu San 育三, Yu’s moniker. photo Kaminski Auctions
BOSTON, MA.- The outstanding art collection of Wen Tsan Yu with works by many famous Chinese artists, the most notable Qi Baishi (1864-1957) sold for over $2.6 million dollars to break all records for the artist. Other artists in the collection, included Puru (1896-1963) and Pu Jin (1893-1966). Most paintings included a dedication by the artist to “ Yu San”, Wen Tsan Yu and the collector’s personal seal. Also in this sale, was his collection of exquisitely painted fans, the most important being a 20th century fan of paper leaf and featuring painting by Wang Yun (1888-1934) on reverse with calligraphy by Zhu Nuzhen.
“Yu's collection is one of the rare collections by a Chinese scholar to come to auction. This collection of art and antiques is among the best I've ever seen. Ben Wang Asian Specialist “
Five Chinese 20th century paintings by Qi Bashi sold at Kaminski Auctions March Fine Asian Art and Antique Sale for a record $2.3 million dollars to break all records for the artist. All five paintings were 20th century scroll paintings of ink and color on paper, signed and sealed Qi Bashi and dedicated by the artist to "Yu San ", Wen Tsan Yu with the collector's personal seal.
Wen Tsan Yu was raised in China and later became a professor at Peking University. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1916 with a Ph.B, and from Harvard University in 1919 with a LL.B. The family's maternal great grandfather was Moy Toy Ni, (Charlie Toy) who came to the United States in the late 1800’s and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was widely known as” Chinese Rockefeller” in the early 20th century. Paintings in this collection had been in the family for over 50 years.
Chinese porcelain from the family's collection also brought top prices including a pair of Famille Verte bowls decorated with floral roundels, marked on the base in a double ring that sold for $300,000 and a Chinese Famille Rose vase from the Republic Period of baluster form and painted with a continuous landscape scene with a calligraphy mark on the base that sold for $220,000.
The booming Chinese art market fueled bidding from all over the United States, Hong Kong and China for this rare Chinese scholar's collection. Kaminski Auctions will hold it ‘s next Asian sale on May 12th at 10:00 am at its auction gallery at 117 Elliott Street, Beverly, MA .
Pair of Famille Verte bowls decorated with floral roundels, marked on the base in a double ring.Sold for $300,000. photo Kaminski Auctions