NEW YORK, NY.- The splendor of China’s heritage is once again the focus of the exceptionally strong collections of classical and modern paintings and dynastic works of art set for auction on September 12 at Gianguan Auctions New York. The symbolism that underlies every facet of Chinese culture and Buddhist art is front and center. The elevation of scholarship is apparent in the craftsmanship displayed in items as varied a carved jades, antique ceramics, and jewelry and teapots.
A collection of multi-million dollar scroll paintings underscores the leadership position accorded Gianguan Auctions in this area. Among the upper tier highlights is Lot 105, “The Steed and Groom,” by Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322). A prince and descendant of the royal family, Zhao Mengfu broke from tradition to explore the layering of grounds at various heights to create depth. In this ink on a stone-black stallion with one red tether is matched with a lone handler within a proscenium of rocky outcroppings. The pre-sale estimate is $10,000,000 to $15,000,000.
Zhao Mengfu (1254 - 1322), Yuan Dynasty, "The Steed and Groom". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Signed Zhao Mengfu, with one artist seal. Sixteen Collectors’ seals Colophons by Wen Zhengming and Dong Qichang; 50 × 25 in., 127 × 63.5 cm. Estimated Price: $10,000,000 - $15,000,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Considered one of the four great masters of the Yuan Dynasty, Huang Gongwang (1269-1354) created Lot 102, “Rain Falling on Mist Forest”. Comprised of rolling hills and rocky boulders, the landscape is inscribed and signed Dachi Daoren, one of the artist’s sobriquets, and has one artist seal. Ten collectors’ seals, a frontispiece by Wen Peng and a colophon by Xiang Yuanbian give this painting its pre-sale estimated value of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.
Huang Gongwang (1269-1354), Yuan Dynasty, “Rain Falling on Mist Forest”. Hanging Scroll, Ink on Paper. Inscribed and signed Dachi Daoren, with one artist seal. Ten Collectors’ seals. Frontispiece by Wen Peng. Colophon by Xiang Yuanbian; 50⅛ × 24¼ in., 127.3 × 61.6 cm. Estimated Price: $4,000,000 - $6,000,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The epitome of Ming Dynasty Buddhist art is Qiu Ying’s “Venerable Buddha,” Lot 91. The image of Buddha, with halo and colorful robes, is rendered transcendent by placing him amidst clouds and followed by a companion hoisting a ceremonial parasol. Deftly colored, signed and with one artist seal, nine Emperors’ seals and six collectors’ seals, the painting has a $2,000,000-$3,000,000 value.
Qiu Ying (1495 - 1552), Ming Dynasty, "Venerable Buddha". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Signed Qiu Ying, with one artist seal. Nine Emperors’ seals. Six Collectors’s seals; 50¼ × 25⅛ in., 127.6 × 63.8 cm. Estimated Price: $2,000,000 - $3,000,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The contemporary Buddhist art highlight is HH Dorje Chang Buddha III’s 2013 “Loquat”. Treating the ink as if it were as precious as gold, the artist has honed in on an ascending branch laden with fruit. Deft strokes give it an airy elegance, a simplicity that belies the hidden power within. There are no broken strokes or extraneous marks. The ink on paper painting carries the bell seal of Droje Chang Buddha III and a three-dimensional finger print Gui Yuan. It is priced at $9,000,000.
Dorje Chang Buddha III (Contemporary), "Loquat". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Inscription: A mere few strokes and ink tones gain the purpose; Why clutter the space with extraneous marks?. Painted in 2013. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Bell Seal: Dorje Chang Buddha III. Three-dimensional fingerprint Gui Yuan. 31½ x 27⅜ in., 80 x 69.5 cm. Estimated Price: $9,000,000 - $11,000,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Xu Beihong, the 20th century master known as the father of modern Chinese art, excelled at capturing the personality of horses. Lot 110, “Two Horses” is a supreme example of this skill. Here he pairs a white and black duo frolicking in full gallop. The 1944 work is inscribed and signed Beihong. It has three artists’ seals. Bidding begins at $200,000 and may go as high as $300,000.
Xu Beihong (1895 - 1953), "Two Horses". Hanging Scroll, Ink on Paper. Dated 1944. Inscribed and signed Beihong, with three artist seals; 39⅝ × 39⅝ in. 100.6 × 100.6 cm. Estimated Price: $200,000 - $300,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
In 1939, Xu Beihong staged a war benefit at Victoria Memorial Hall in Singapore. Among the artists showcased was the 19th century painter Ren Bonian aka Ren Yi. (1940-1896). Lot 87, his “A Traveling Master”, is punctuated with carefully applied blue and yellow dabs at hat and sash. It is a hint of the color splash techniques of the mid-20th century. The work is estimated at $12,000-$20,000.
Ren Yi (Bonian) (1840 - 1896), Qing Dynasty, "A Travelling Master". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Dated 1875. Inscribed and signed Ren Yi, with two artist seals. 46½ x 25½ in., 118 x 65 cm. Estimated Price: $12,000 - $20,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The vibrant color splashed works of mid-century Chinese artists were frequently of traditional tonality over laid with bold color splotches. Lot 101, “Spring in Southern China” by Wu Guanzhong, advances the color concept by emblazing an abstraction of sketched houses along a river with bridge in tones of blue, yellow, pink and green. Its pre-sale estimate is $40,000-$60,000.
Wu Guanzhong (1919 - 2010), "Spring in Southern China". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Dated 1979. Signed Wu Guanzhong, with one artist seal; 52 × 26 in., 132 × 66 cm. Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Lot 86, Liu Halsu’s “Mountain Springs,” translates the ferocity of rushing water with roiling bursts of blue, white and black and a smattering of fiery pink. Signed Liu Haisu at 89, it has one artist seal. It catalog value is $8,000-$15,000.
Liu Haisu (1896 - 1994), "Mountains Springs". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Dated 1984. Signed Liu Haisu at 89, and with one artist seal; 37½ x 19¾ in., 95.2 x 50 cm. Estimated Price: $8,000 - $15,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Lot 97, Qi Baishi’s “Insect on Leaf in Water” is a minimalist work in gentle strokes of an ephemeral insect rafting on a leaf as a dragonfly circles above. It is signed and has two artist seals. It will see $50,000-$60,000.
Qi Baishi (1864 - 1957), "Insect on Leaf in Water". Hanging Scroll, Ink & Color on Paper. Signed Qi Huang, with two artist seals; 36 × 11 in., 91.4 × 27.9 cm. Estimated Price: $50,000 - $60,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Buddhist treasures again beckon with Lot 253, a rare painted clay-coated linen figure of Guanyin. It is defined as “bodiless” because all that remains is lacquer coated linen, the result of a technique that requires dissolving the clay in water and removing it. The seated figure is draped in robes and has an overall rich-red lacquer cast. Its value: $8,000-$15,000.
A Fine and Rare Lacquer Painted Clay-Linen-Bodiless Figure of Guanyin, Qing dynasty. Height: 15⅝ in (39.7 cm). Estimated Price: $8,000 - $15,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The Guanyin was first molded with clay and then coated with lacquered linen, when the figure was parched, a hole is drilled at the bottom of the mold and then immersed into water to dissolve the clay body. Then polish the hardened fabric and coat it with layers of lacquer to make bodiless lacquer statute. Shown seated on a double lotus base, wearing loose robes draped with a shawl that falls in graceful folds around the body with jeweled necklaces, the broad face with gentle downcast expression, applied overall with a rich red-colored lacquer.
The archaic peoples had their own rituals, about which little is known. Lot 195, however, is a Taotie mask with pictogram on an animal bone. Of the Liangzhu culture, it is believed to be a Royal Decree, used to more troops. The shallow relief is carved on the obverse and reverse. It’s price: $10,000-$20,000.
Neolithic Liangzhu Culture (2000 - 3000 BC), Carved Taotie Mask with Pictogram on Animal Bone. Height: 5⅞ in (14.9 cm). Estimated Price: $10,000 - $20,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Exceptional antique ceramics are highlighted by Lot 214, a Qing Doucai Bajixiang double-gourd vase on which polychrome clouds scroll up and around the body highlighting the Bajixiang emblems. A countersunk bas e is turquoise with and underglazed blue reign mark. The Qing six-character mark is visible. Bidding begins at $120,000 and may soar to as much as $180,000.
A Fine and Rare Doucai Bajixiang Double-Ground Vase, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Six character Mark and of the Period. Estimated Price: $120,000 - $180,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Height: 11¼ in (28.6 cm). The lower globular bulb supporting a smaller similarly shaped bulb, delicately painted in polychrome colored cloud scrolls swirling up and around the body with Bajixiang Emblems, the eight auspicious Buddhist emblems. Ruyi head pendants bordered the mouth-rim and the foot-rim encircled by a cresting wave scroll. The countersank base painted turquoise with an underglazed blue reign mark.
The marquee carved jade item is Lot 233, a Mughal style bowl. Translucent and rising from a short foot to a slightly flared rim, the exterior is carved in low relief with ruyi trefoils, acanthus-leaf scrolls and meandering blossoms skirted by petal lappets. Six inches in diameter and two inches tall, the bowl is $15,000-$30,000.
Chinese animals, flowers and mythological creatures dominate the decorative arts portion of the auction. Lot 17 is a Warring States yellow jade hair ornament carved with a vulture. Its estimate is $8,000-$15,000. Lot 273 is a large pottery painted ox of the Han Dynasty. Hollow molded, standing foursquare, it retains original gray pigment on the body and red and white swirling clouds. The price for the large creature is $3,000-$5,000.
A Very Rare Yellow Jade Hair Ornament Carved with Vulture, Warring States Period. Estimated Price: $8,000 - $15,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Carved as a hollowed cylindrical section, the periphery entwined with a relief carved vulture perched atop the rim, detailed with swirling boss and incised feather patterns with a center protruding flange. At the near section two round holes to insert hair pin. The translucent stone of Celadon yellow pale tone with buff inclusions. Possibly used to tie hair or for as a decorative item. Height: 6 in (15.2 cm). Weight: 946 g.
A Large Pottery Painted Ox, Han Dynasty. Estimated Price: $3,000 - $5,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The ox is hollow molded, standing foursquare with cloven hooves. Grey painted in swirling clouds in red and white pigment. Height: 11 in (27.9 cm). Length: 17½ in (44.5 cm)
Han Dynasty carved jades further the quest into the mysterious. Lot 36 is a rare white jade mythical beast rhyton with Qilins. It is embellished with gold wire and stones. The Han reign Mark is impressed on the underside. It will bring $15,000-$30,000. Lot 24 is a white jade Qilin with cub on its back. Of even tone with russet inclusions, its estimated is $5,000-$8,000 Lot 143 offers a jade Bixie with its head turned backward. It too has the reign mark on the underside and is valued at $6,000-$8,000.
A Fine and Rare White Jade Mythical Beast Rhyton with Qilins, Han Dynasty. Estimated Price: $15,000 - $30,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The well hollowed horn emerges from the back of a phoenix dragon beast, with qilins clambering on the side to form loose ring handles. The vessel is carved with archaistic scrolls and embellished with gold wire and stones. Impressed Han Reign Mark Jiàn Yuán on the underside. Height: 5⅞ in (14.9 cm). Weight: 470 g
The powerful dragon makes a dramatic appearance at Lot 167 in a set of nine chasing flaming pearls across the bodies of a massive pair of egg- yellow Meiping. The dragons are green and aubergine. The green and aubergine dragons are set amidst flaming clouds and flame motifs encircled by ruyi. Inscribed with the Ming Dynasty Kangxi six-character mark, and of the period, the vases are $30,000-$40,000.
A Pair of Massive Fine Yellow-Ground Wucai Dragon Meiping with Cover, Qing dynasty. Estimated Price: $30,000 - $40,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Boldly incised with nine leaping dragons, in green and aubergine enamels chasing flaming pearls amidst scattered billowing clouds and flame motifs, encircled by ruyi and classic bands, on a brightly enameled egg-yolk yellow ground. The cover has a bud finial. The shoulder inscribed with a Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Six-Character Reign Mark and of the Period. Height: 38½ in (97.8 cm)
Lot 255, a Ming blue and white ovoid vase features two phoenixes, king of birds and symbolic of good fortune and opportunity. Of the period and bearing the Xuande six-charter mark the price is $30,000-$40,000.
A Very Fine Blue and White Phoenix Ovoid Vase, Ming Dynasty, Xuande Six Character within Double Circles Mark and of the Period. Estimated Price: $30,000 - $40,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
The body is painted in underglazed-blue with two phoenixes in flight amidst floral scroll encircled by two key-fret band on the shoulder and above the foot with blue lines. The flared short neck is decorated with an upright plantain band. Height: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Representative of the scholar’s quest is Lot 270, a rare Ji-Yun tortoise shell box. Its rectangular shape is overlaid with tortoise shell. A poem is inscribed in gilt on the top. The interior is fitted with a shallow upper tray that slides. It has a brass plate and latch. Of the Qing Dynasty, the box bears the Jiaqing four-character mark. A collector will be lucky to get it for $5,000-$8,000.
A Fine and Rare Ji-Yun Tortoise Shell Lacquer Scholar Box, Qing Dynasty, Jiaqing Four Character Gilt Mark at Base. Estimated Price: $5,000 - $8,000. Photo Gianguan Auctions.
Of rectangular form, with hinged cover, the lacquer box is tortoiseshell clad with a poem inscribed in gilt lettering on top. The interior fitted with a shallow upper tray that slides out and storage compartment below, brass plate and latch. Height: 2¾ in (7 cm). Length: 11⅘ in (30 cm). Width: 6⅝ in (16.8 cm)
For the complete line up of properties in the sale scheduled at Gianguan Auctions on Saturday, September 12th, please visit www.gianguanauctions.com.
The auction will be conducted live at the gallery, 295 Madison Avenue. Online bidding takes place on invaluable.com, Liveauctioneers.com, and on the Gianguan website. For details and condition reports, please call 212-226-2660