PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s September 9 Asian Arts auction will offer collectors a wide array of Asian fine and decorative arts. A highlight of the sale is the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins—including a fine group of Song to Ming dynasty ceramics and related wares of Southeast Asia— and a complementary private Pennsylvania collection, giving collectors and connoisseurs the rare opportunity to bid on a range of wares not often brought to auction. Additional highlights include Chinese paintings from private collections by such masters as Pu Ru (Lot 556, “Scholar Seated in a boat,” $10,000-15,000), Fan Zeng (Lot 569, $50,000-80,000, acquired directly from the artist’s studio at the suggestion of Robert Ellsworth in 1979), and Liu Dan (Lot 577, $20,000-30,000). 

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Lot 556. Pu Ru (1896 - 1963), Scholar seated in a boat, under a tree, in a mountainous landscape, circa 1950s. Ink and color on paper, signed and inscribed, with three seals, upper right. Sight H: 22 in., 55.8cm W: 10 1/2 in., 26.7cm. Estimate $10,000-15,000. Sold for $23,750. © Freeman’s

ProvenanceWu Guozheng (K. C. Wu) (1908-1984), former mayor of Shanghai (1946-1949) and governor of Taiwan 
Gift from the above to Henry Ludlow Ashmore (1920-1995), thence by decent 
Acquired from the estate of the above by the present owner, 2015 

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Lot 569. Fan Zeng (b. 1938), 20th century, Yi Yuanji playing with a monkey (Yi Yuanji xi hou tu). Ink and color on paper, inscribed, signed, and with five seals, framed and glazed. Sight H: 54 in., 137.1cm; W: 26 1/2 in., 92.7cm. Estimate $50,000-80,000. Sold for $93,750. © Freeman’s

ProvenanceAcquired directly from the studio of the artist by the present owner, while traveling through China with Robert Ellsworth in 1979. 

NoteThe present work is a large and attractive example of the artist's exploration of the theme of the Northern Song dynasty painter, Yi Yuanji, going to the wild and interacting with monkeys to observe and paint them. 

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Lot 577. Liu Dan (b. 1953), Open Book, 1986, mixed media collage, ink and watercolor on paper, framed and glazed. Sight H: 15 in., 38 cm, W: 22 1/2 in., 57 cm. Estimate $20,000 - $30,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s 

ProvenanceProperty of a Montana lady 
Purchased at Sax Kobler Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1986 

Also on offer are a rare and large Chinese blue and white porcelain hexagonal vase, Qianlong mark and period (Lot 287, $30,000-40,000), and a rare Sancaiglazed Chinese tilework figure of a seated dignitary (Lot 246, $8,000-12,000), both coming from private Philadelphia collections. Notable textiles include a rare late Qing “nine-dragon” chaofu court robe (Lot 406, $10,000-15,000), together with other fine Chinese robes, textiles and court headdresses, formerly in a private California collection, as well as three imperial “dragon” rank badges (Lots 415, $2,000-3,000, and 416, $2,500-3,500). Additionally, Freeman’s is pleased to present a large 15th/16th century Ming dynasty Buddhist painting depicting Buddha Akshobhya (Lot 545, $20,000-30,000). Other notable lots include a fine and large Indian carved sandstone figure of a Jain goddess (Lot 124, $20,000-30,000) and a wide and interesting variety of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Southeast Asian fine and decorative arts.  

A rare and impressive Chinese blue and white porcelain hexagonal vase, Qianlong six-character mark and of the period (1736-1795)

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Lot 287. A rare and impressive Chinese blue and white porcelain hexagonal vase, Qianlong six-character mark and of the period (1736-1795). Estimate $30,000 - $40,000. Sold for $143,750. © Freeman’s

Of baluster form, hexagonal section, with spreading shoulder, waisted neck, flared lip and spreading foot; the neck and body decorated with elaborate lotus and chrysanthemum composite scrolls, the neck, shoulder and lip with leiwen-scroll and stylized lappet borders, an additional band of classic scroll at the shoulder, a band of crashing waves at the foot; the underside with six-character seal mark. 

ProvenanceIn the collection of the present owner prior to April of 1985 

NoteExamples of vases of the present scale and decoration are rare. For comparable vases see the examples sold at Sotheby''s Hong Kong, October 23, 2005, lot 357 (where it was noted a similar example was sold in those rooms, November 5, 1996, lot 820); and the example sold at Sotheby''s Hong Kong, April 4, 2012, lot 3239 (where it was noted at the time that only three examples were known)

A large and rare Chinese sancai-glazed tileworks figure of an official, Ming dynasty, dated Zhengde, 10th year, corresponding to 1516

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Lot 246. A large and rare Chinese sancai-glazed tileworks figure of an official, Ming dynasty, dated Zhengde, 10th year, corresponding to 1516. H: 32 3/4 in., 83.2cm. Estimate $8,000 - $12,000. Sold for $9,375. © Freeman’s

Possibly depicting one of the Shiwang, or judges of the afterlife, the seated dark-faced dignitary with elaborate headdress and draped robes depicted with clasped hands, a dragon entwined about his throne, the reverse inscribed with a lengthy dedication dated Zhengde tenth year, sixth month, 24th day. 

Provenance: Alistair Sampson Antiques, Ltd, London 
Acquired from the above by the present owner at a New York Asian Art show.

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Lot 406. A rare Chinese silk and gold-embroidered figured brown silk formal court robe, chaofu, Late Qing dynasty. Estimate $10,000 - $15,000. Sold for $13,000. © Freeman’s

The brown silk woven in a Ming-style scrolled-cloud pattern, embroidered with five-clawed dragons, colorful crashing waves, scrolled "ruyi" clouds, and auspicious symbols. Overall H: 50 1/4 in., 127cm; L: 81 in., 205.7cm 

ProvenanceFormerly in a Private Collection, Southern California.

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Lot 415. Pair of Chinese Kesi tapestry imperial "Dragon" roundels , 18th-early 19th century. Estimate $2,000 - $3,000. Sold for $4,875. © Freeman’s

Finely worked, each depicting a sinuous five clawed dragon among scrolling clouds, Buddhist symbols and crashing waves, a "Shou" symbol above each head. Framed, matted and glazed. H: 14 in., 35.6cm ; W: 12 in., 30.5cm.

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Lot 416. A Chinese embroidered "Dragon" rank badge for the imperial court, Qing dynasty, 19th century. Estimate $2,500 - $3,500Sold for $3,625. © Freeman’s

Depicting a sinuous five-clawed dragon among clouds, bats and crashing waves. H: 15 7/8 in., 40.5cm; W: 15 5/8 in., 39.7cm.

ProvenanceProperty from a private collection, Moorestown, New Jersey

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Lot 545. Chinese School, 15th-16th century, Akshobhya Buddha Enthroned. H: 48 in., 122cm; W: 27 1/4 in., 69.2cm. Estimate $20,000 - $30,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

The transcendant crowned Buddha seated in padmasana with hands in modified bhumisparsha mudra, on a stepped throne with atlante supports, an elaborate mandorla behind enclosing five additional Buddhas; beneath the throne, a roundel enclosing a vase of peony blossoms, above, apsaras bearing a parasol canopy, all among colored clouds, and on a patterned ground, ink and colors with gold on silk, framed, matted and glazed. 

ProvenanceAcquired by the present owner from a Southampton, New York estate (by descent from a New York family) 

NoteFor other examples of Ming dynasty Buddhist works, see "Ming Dynasty Shui Lu Paintings at Bao Ning Si", Beijing, n.d., #5; Sotheby''s selling exhibition, "Footprints of the Buddha", September 3-23, 2013, #21; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, accession #1996.0106; Marsha Weidner, ed, "Latter Days of the Law", Lawrence, Kansas, 1994, pp. 232-236, plates 3 and 4. See also the examples sold at Aguttes, Neuilly sur Seine, February 14, 2017, lot 98, and at at Freeman''s, Philadelphia, April 25, 2017, lot 458. 

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Lot 124: A Central Indian carved pink sandstone figure of a Goddess, 11th-12th century. Estimate $20,000 - $30,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

Possibly the Jain Goddess Padmavati, the voluptuous bejeweled four-armed goddess depicted seated in rajaliasana, holding attributes including a lotus bud and rosary, her face with almond-shaped eyes, a faint smile on her lips. H: 33 1/2 in., 85.1cm; W: 17 in., 43.2cm; D: 7 1/2 in. 19cm.

ProvenanceMme. Viviane Harroch, Villefranche sur Mer, France 
Acquired from the above by the present owner

The collection of Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics assembled by Mr. & Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins, almost completely acquired in Singapore, is of note for the fine array of Chinese ceramics dating from the Tang through the Qing dynasties. Highlights of the Chinese ceramics include Song, Jin and Yuan dynasty black-glazed wares such as two attractive Jin/ Yuan dynasty globular bottle vases boldly painted with stylized birds (Lots 155, $5,000-7,000, and 157, $3,000-5,000), a related “guan” jar (Lot 154, $4,000-6,000), and a fine five dynasties/northern Song Ewer (Lot 151, $10,000-15,000). Additional Song ceramics include a rare “persimmon”-glazed “Ding” ware bowl and cover (Lot 164, $8,000-12,000) and a “Yaozhou” molded celadon “chrysanthemum” conical bowl (Lot 165, $6,000-8,000).  

A Chinese black-glazed jar, Jin-Yuan Dynasty

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Lot 155: A Chinese black-glazed jar, Jin-Yuan Dynasty (1115-1368), H: 7 3/4 in., 19.7cm. Estimate $5,000 - $7,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

The globular jar with pinched and ridged neck, the shoulder decorated with two silvery stylized birds in flight. Accompanied by a copy of Oxford Authentication thermoluminescence analysis report No.: P108g75, dated 11 March, 2008, stating the results are consistant with the proposed dating of this object. 

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins.

A Chinese black-glazed globular jar, Jin-Yuan dynasty (1115-1368)

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Lot 157: A Chinese black-glazed globular jar, Jin-Yuan dynasty (1115-1368), Estimate $3,000 - $5,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

Of globular form with pinched and ridged neck, the neck decorated with three stylized iron-brown cranes in flight. H: 7 3/8 in., 18.8cm

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins. Acquired from KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd., Singapore.  

A Chinese black-glazed wide-mouthed jar, 'Guan', Jin-Yuan dynasty (1115-1368)

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Lot 154: A Chinese black-glazed wide-mouthed jar, "Guan", Jin-Yuan dynasty (1115-1368), H: 8 in., 20.3cm; D: 11 1/4 in., 28.6cm. Estimate $4,000 - $6,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

The shoulder decorated with three iron-brown birds in flight.  

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins. 
Acquired from KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd., Singapore.

A Chinese black-glazed ewer, Five dynasties-Northern Song dynasty (907-1126)

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Lot 151: A Chinese black-glazed ewer, Five dynasties-Northern Song dynasty (907-1126), H: 7 in., 17.8cm. Estimate $10,000-15,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

The globular body with squared shoulder, tall, slightly flared neck, ridged loop handle, and short curved spout. Accompanied by a copy of Oxford Authentication thermoluminescence analysis report No. P102s84, dated 5 August, 2002, stating the results are consistant with the proposed dating of this object. 

Provenance: Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins. 
Acquired from KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd., Singapore, December 7, 2007

A Chinese small persimmon-glazed Ding jar and cover, Song dynasty (960-1279), possibly Dangyangyu xiuwo county, Henan

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Lot 164: A Chinese small persimmon-glazed Ding jar and cover, Song dynasty (960-1279), possibly Dangyangyu xiuwo county, Henan; H with cover: 3 7/8 in., 9.9cm. Estimate $8,000 - $12,000. Unsold. © Freeman’s

The hemispherical bowl raised on a short circular foot, the slightly domed cover with small scroll finial, the exterior with an attractive russet-brown, slightly matte glaze, the interior of the bowl with a creamy slip. 

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins.  

NoteFor a Cizhou-type "partridge-feather"-glazed jar and cover of similar form, see Robert Mowry et al, "Hare''s Fur, Tortoiseshell and Partridge Feathers, Chinese Brown and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400", Cambridge, 1996, p. 144, no. 39.

A Chinese Yaozhou celadon-glazed molded conical bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126)

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Lot 165: A Chinese Yaozhou celadon-glazed molded conical bowl, Northern Song dynasty (960-1126); H: 3 1/4 in, 8.2cm; D: 7 7/8 in., 20cm. Estimate $6,000 - $8,000. Sold for $6,250. © Freeman’s

The interior moded with stylized floral scrollwork, the exterior with incised "petals.", a fine olive-green glaze overall, pooling in the carved patterns. 

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins. 
Acquired from KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd., Singapore, May 4, 2007.

What makes the collection more unusual is the representative selection of Southeast Asian wares,” Ben Farina, Department Head of Asian Arts said. “This includes the products of Vietnamese, Thai and Burmese kilns. The Southeast Asian ceramics are diverse, illustrating a broad range of types and forms.” 

These include an elegant Vietnamese white-glazed “lotus” jar and cover, Ly dynasty, 12th-13th century (Lot 170, $5,000-7,000), several Vietnamese blue and white-decorated dishes, boxes and vessels influenced by Yuan and Ming dynasty blue and white porcelains (Lots 175-183), two rare Burmese green-decorated white-glazed bowls (Lots 189 and 190, $700-900 each), and a broad range of Thai dishes and vessels from the Sawankhalok, Phan and Kalong kilns. These Thai celadons were inspired by the celadons of the Longquan kilns of Song, Yuan and early Ming China which were so widely treasured by the societies of maritime Asia and the Middle East. Several of these Southeast Asian pieces have been published and discussed in “Southeast Asian ceramics, New Light on Old Pottery” edited by John Miksic, of the National University of Singapore. “  

A Vietnamese white-glazed 'Lotus' jar and cover, Ly dynasty, 12th-13th century

A Vietnamese white-glazed 'Lotus' jar and cover, Ly dynasty, 12th-13th century

Lot 170: A Vietnamese white-glazed "Lotus" jar and cover, Ly dynasty, 12th-13th century; H: 8 1/4 in., 21cm; D: 7 1/2 in., 19cm. Estimate $5,000 - $7,000. Sold for $4,550. © Freeman's

The cover and shoulder finely modeled with lotus petals and six small lug handles, the glaze pooling to a pale celadon tint. 

ProvenanceProperty from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord and Pamela Watkins. 
Acquired from KenSoon Asiatic Art Pte Ltd., Singapore.

Freeman’s is pleased to have been given the rare opportunity to present such a diverse collection, which not only illustrates the rich trade links forged between the societies and cultures from the 10th-17th centuries in East Asia, but which also serves as a tribute to the eye of the collectors, who so carefully assembled a group of works as aesthetically pleasing as they are reminders of the history of this important region of the world,” Farina remarked. 

The Watkins Collection also includes an attractive collection of huanghuali furniture, a large Burmese seated giltwood Buddha (Lot 118, $5,000-7,00), a Laotian gilt wood figure of a Buddha (Lot 115, $3,000-5,000) and additional furniture and decorative arts.  

Freeman’s offers two Asian Arts sales per year, in the spring and fall. The April 25 Asian Arts auction totaled $1.06 million in sales.