NEW YORK, NY.- On September 11 and 13, Bonhams New York will offer three auctions of The Dr. Sylvan and Faith Golder Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles, Twentieth Century Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, and Japanese Works of Art. The sales present an array of rare and exquisite ceramics, jades, metalwork, prints, and paintings, many offered from important private collections including property from the Ackerman collection, the collection of Judi Blum and the collection of Dr. Sylvan and Faith Golder. 


Photo: Bonhams.

The Dr. Sylvan and Faith Golder Collection of Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles, Part I- September 11 at 10AM 
The sale consists of 126 bottles made of coral, glass, jade, as well as nephrite with estimates ranging from $1,000-18,000. Among the highlights are a coral ‘kuilong’ snuff bottle, beautifully carved example from the 18th century (estimate: $18,000-25,000); an enameled glass “lotus” snuff bottle, also dating from the 18th century a product of the imperial glass workshops, (estimate: $15,000-25,000); and a white jade 'bronze ritual vessels' snuff bottle, 1750-1800, probably Imperial, attributed to the Palace Workshops (estimate: $15,000 - 25,000). 


Lot 9042. A coral ‘kuilong’ snuff bottle, 18th Century, Possibly imperial, attributed to the Palace Workshops. Estimate US$ 18,000 - 25,000 (€15,000 - 21,000)Photo: Bonhams.

Of flattened ovoid form, surmounted by a tubular neck and supported on an oval foot ring, each side carved in low relief with a pair of confronting archaistic upright kuilong, their bodies decorated with bosses and C-scrolls, the material displaying variegated shades of peach to deep pink with white inclusions. 2 1/4in (5.8cm) high

ProvenanceJohn Ford Associates, 1979


Lot 9020. An enameled glass “lotus” snuff bottle, Imperial, Qianlong mark and of the period (1736-1795). Estimate US$ 15,000 - 25,000 (€13,000 - 21,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Of tapering ovoid form, delicately enameled around the body with a continuous band of blossoming lotus and leaves with butterflies fluttering above, the shoulder encircled with a band of confronted stylized foliate dragons divided from each other by two circular discs inscribed shang shang (superior appreciation), the band suspending beaded medallions incorporating the four-character mark, the flat base with traces of a iron-red mark, Guyue Xuan2 1/8in (5.5cm) high

ProvenanceDr. Walter Langsom Collection

NoteAlthough the mark on the base is very faint, the type of glass, the form, restrained palette, style of painting, and enamels all link this to the intriguing group of mid-Qianlong enamels produced at the court for a few years starting from mid-1767. 

For another enameled glass snuff bottle, with similar subject matter, style of mark and enamelling technique, with iron-red Guyue Xuan seal mark, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 27 May 2012, lot 99, see Hugh Moss, Victor Graham and Ka Bo Tsang, A Treasury of Chinese Snuff Bottles: The Mary and George Bloch Collection, vol.6, part I, Hong Kong, 2008, no. 1088, and another, also sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 25 May 2011, lot 90, and illustrated op. cit., no. 1089. One example without the Guyue Xuan mark, but again of a similar style and possibly by the same hand, is illustrated op. cit, no. 1087.


Lot 9000. A white jade 'bronze ritual vessels' snuff bottle, 1750-1800, probably Imperial, attributed to the Palace Workshops. Estimate US$ 15,000 - 25,000 (€13,000 - 21,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Of flattened rounded rectangular form, carved in low relief with depictions of ancient bronze vessels, including rectangular dingyan, tripod censers, and covered censers, the translucent stone of an even white color with cloudy inclusions and refined polish. 2 5/8in (6.8cm) high

ProvenanceAsian Art Studio, 2005
Fu Ming Fair Antiques


Photo: Bonhams.

Twentieth Century Chinese Painting and Calligraphy- September 11 at 1pm 
Bonhams sale of Twentieth Century Chinese Painting and Calligraphy will present 48 works from a century of tumultuous change from artists who were profoundly affected by the social upheavals and political shifts in their country. Highlights include Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) depiction of the island of Gulangyu fusing elements of Cubism and traditional Chinese art (estimate: $80,000-100,000); Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) whose portrait of a Vulture (estimate: $80,000-100,000) recalls the styles of several early Qing dynasty (1644-1911) painters; Taiwanese-based Liu Guosong (born 1932) whose dramatic cosmic view “Which is Earth? D” (estimate: $100,000-150,000) was inspired by space exploration; and Jia Youfu’s (born 1942) strikingly modern composition “Sunshine After the Rain” (estimate: $120,000-180,000), not only borrows from aesthetic principles of the Northern Song dynasty’s (960-1126) monumental landscape tradition, but in fact depicts that very same mountain range that were painted a thousand years before.  



Lot 8045. Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010), Gulangyu, 1980's. Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, with two seals of the artist reading Wu Guanzhong yin and Bashi niandai, 26 3/4 x 27 1/2in (68 x 70cm).  Estimate US$ 80,000 - 100,000 (€68,000 - 85,000). Photo: Bonhams.

NoteWu Guanzhong is noted for his paintings of towns and cities, ranging from intimate sketches of Jiangnan canal towns to sweeping views of the Hong Kong skyline. In this portrayal of Gulangyu, a small island off the coast of Xiamen, he deviates from earlier, comparatively representational works, and explores a high degree of abstraction. The artist's travels and training through Europe, and his fascination with Western modern art deeply influenced his interpretations of traditional Chinese ink painting. In the present artwork, the artist takes cues from cubism, with the scene's elements broken up into an intriguingly dense composition of lines and tones. We view the island's buildings though multiple angles and planes, calling to mind Dong Qichang's (1555-1636) experiments with perspective. Wu Guanzhong first traveled to Gulangyu in 1977. Two similar works but of a vertical rather than horizontal format, also unsigned, are dated to 1985 are included in Wu Guangzhong Quan ji vol 6, pp. 304-305.


Lot 8021. Pan Tianshou (1897-1971), Vulture. Mounted for framing, ink and color on paper, signed Leipo toufeng shouzhe, with two artist's seals reading Pan Tianshouand Dayi shouzhe36 7/8 x 16 3/4in (93.7 x 42.6cm)Estimate US$ 80,000 - 100,000 (€68,000 - 85,000). Photo: Bonhams.

Provenance: Quincy Adams Shaw Jr. (1896-1987)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Quincy Adams Shaw Jr. was born into a Boston family of enormous prominence and wealth, his grandfather, the first Quincy Adams Shaw, having been the president of the famed Calumet & Hecla Mining Company. The Shaw family built a significant art collection, including both Asian and European works, later gifting pieces by Millet, Corot and Donatello to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Note: The depiction of birds in Chinese painting enjoys a remarkably long and storied tradition, their presence on silk or paper often linked with, or commenting on political power and position. The magic realism that emerged from the court of Song Huizong (r.1100-1125) gave the world the gifts of a five-colored parakeet delicately perched on an apricot tree and bubuls on a blossoming allspice bush. Under the aegis of the Ming emperors, Lin Liang (c. 1416-1480) and Lu Ji (1477- ) employed broad monochrome brushstrokes to depict eagles and hawks symbolizing courage and might. The collapse of the Ming inextricably inspired the outcast prince Bada Shanren (1626-1705) to create his ink mynah birds, their eyes rolled upward in defiance and imbued with the cool and lofty lengyi aesthetic. 

In the mid-20th century Pan Tianshou's unique rendering of vultures are a culmination of a thousand years of painting history. As a leading advocate of guohua painting and a scholar of Chinese painting history, he deeply understood the tradition. Here the vulture is created not only with brush, but also by the artist's own fingers dipped in ink, and in the present example the baleful bird of prey is here perched on a wedge of rock, fiercely glancing outside the composition with an intense focus. 

For Pan Tianshou, politics and power and their relationship with painting would bring his own demise. Jiang Qing (1914-1991) described his vultures as "gloomy" and "ugly". And on May 19, 1968, fellow Gang of Four member Yao Wenyuan (1932-2005) went even further commenting "Pan Tianshou's vultures are the avatars of spies, which has to do with the fact that he himself is a spy". The damning proclamation would lead to his public denouncement and eventual death in a Hangzhou hospital three years later, a culmination of five years of political persecution.



Lot 8034. Liu Guosong (Liu Kuo-Sung, born 1932), Which is Earth? D, 1969. Mounted, framed and glazed, ink and color with collage on paper, dated 1969, signed Liu Guosong, with one artist's seal reading Liu Guosong. 30 1/4 x 61 1/4in (76.8 x 155.6cm). Estimate US$ 100,000 - 150,000 (€85,000 - 130,000). Photo: Bonhams.

ProvenanceLee Nordness Gallery, New York
Laguna Beach Art Association, Laguna Beach, CA 

ExhibitedLaguna Beach Art Association, 1970
Nordness Gallery, 1969

NoteCombining boldly-inked calligraphic brushstrokes, paint and collage, and then reducing the surface by removing long fibers from his own specially-made paper to leave dendritic patterns in white, Liu Guosong creates a composition that is cosmic and sublime, yet at the same time reduced to simple geometric forms--an arc and a sphere. These motifs define the artist's "Which is Earth?" series, the first in the his body of work--"Space". The paintings were inspired by the NASA missions, namely the Apollo 8 mission that produced the image "Earthrise" on December 24, 1968, and the 1969 moon landing the following July. 

"Which is Earth? D" painted in 1969 and on auction here, is one of the earliest in this successful series, although the artist continued to produce "Which is Earth?" paintings for the next five years. Although celestial bodies had rarely been the principal subject of traditional Chinese painting, cosmic principles have played a crucial role the Chinese artist's approach to the terrestrial landscape since the Song dynasty. 

In 1956, thirteen years prior to this paintings creation, Liu Guosong was a founder of the Fifth Moon Group, a modern painting society in Taiwan. Incorporating concepts from the Abstract Expressionism movement that evolved in New York City a decade before, members of the Fifth Moon group sought a sharp break from tradition. However viewing an exhibition of Song dynasty paintings in the early 1960's, Liu Guosong reached a turning point and thereafter sought to bring the tradition into the modern. The fusion of tradition and the modern would be a hallmark of the artist's style for years thereafter. 

"Which is Earth? D" was originally exhibited at the Lee Nordness Gallery in New York in 1969 and the Laguna Beach Gallery in 1970. An important venue for Liu Guosong, Laguna Beach was the site of the artist's first solo exhibition in North America several years earlier in 1966. "Which is Earth? D" is now publicly available in the first time in over 45 years.


Lot 8044. Jia Youfu (born 1942), Sunshine after the Rain. Horizontal hanging scroll, ink and color on paper, inscribed by the artist and signed Youfu, with two artist's seals reading Piao and Youfu. 26 1/2 x 52 1/2in (67.2 x 133.5cm). Estimate US$ 100,000 - 150,000 (€85,000 - 130,000). Photo: Bonhams.

ProvenanceAcquired August, 2006 

NoteAs bands of orange and yellow light break through the dark, ominous clouds, an oxherd quietly makes his way under precipitous cliffs, the rocky faces rendered in ink. The timeless landscape portrayed is China's Taihang Mountains, a range of 250 miles that divides Shanxi and Hebei provinces. Beginning in the late 1970's Jia Youfu made numerous sojourns to the Taihang mountains, under the advice of Li Keran (1907-1989), with whom Jia Youfu studied while at the Central Academy of Art in the early 1960's.  

The flame-colored sky between the breaking clouds are a notably modern touch in this work of "contemporary ink". And, the textured applications of dark ink and contrasting untreated white spaces quietly nod to the influences of Li Keran, who advanced traditional Chinese landscape painting in the mid-20th century. Yet despite the contemporary aesthetics, the landscape also evokes the principles of the Five Dynasties and Northern Song painters Fan Kuan (d. 1023) and Jing Hao (late 9th -10th century).  

In this large horizontal hanging scroll, Jia Youfu captures the same awe and majesty of the monumental cliffs that defined early Chinese landscape paintings. It is perhaps no coincidence that the Jia Youfu's depiction of the Taihang Mountains recalls the great monumental landscapes of the Five Dynasties and Northern Song dynasty. For it was the same mountains that were also the inspiration for Fan Kuan and Jing Hao a millennium before.  

When Jia Youfu was shown this composition again many years after he completed, he remarked that it was a painting executed during a transformative time in the his career.


Photo: Bonhams.

Japanese Works of Art- September 13, 10AM 
The sale of Japanese Works of Art will be held on September 13 and features 372 lots, representing works from a variety of collecting categories including Meiji era works of art, screens, paintings, and prints. Highlights include Meiji era (1868-1912) works of art from the Ackerman collection featuring renowned Japanese artists like Ando Jubei, Hattori Tadasaburo (estimate: $50,000-70,000), and Yabu Meizan, (estimate: $80,000-120,000). In the print collection, Judi Blum, a longtime member of the Ukiyo-e Society (now the Japanese Art Society of America) brings her collection to sale with a balanced selection of works by Kuniyoshi and his followers, as well as some dynamic works by earlier masters such as Keisai Eisen.


Lot 1026. Ando Jubei (1876-1953), A fine wireless cloisonné-enamel vase, Taisho (1912-1926) or Showa (1926-1989) era, first half 20th century; 12 1/4in (31cm) high. Estimate US$ 50,000 - 70,000 (€42,000 - 59,000). Photo: Bonhams.

The lantern-shaped vessel worked in polychrome enamels and silver wire with dragonflies in flight, the insects decorated in various shades of blue, green, and brown, the wings accented with silver wires, the background gradually changing from yellow to sea-foam green toward the base, signed on the base with the Ando mark, silver mounts stamped Jungin(Pure silver) on the foot rim

Note: The most famous and largest of all the great Nagoya enameling enterprises, the Ando Company grew from modest beginnings in 1880 and started to enjoy to attract widespread notice in the mid-1890s; thereafter enamels made or commissioned by Ando received medals at international expositions virtually every year from 1900 until 1911. The Company continued to prosper even after the heyday of Japanese cloisonné enameling in the early years of the twentieth century; the present lot is an outstanding example of later Ando work. For further information, please refer to Frederic T. Schneider, The Art of Japanese Cloisonné Enamel: History, Techniques and Artists: 1600 to the Present, Jefferson NC, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010, p. 77.



Lot 1012. Hattori Tadasaburo (died 1939), A fine and large moriage cloisonné-enamel vase, Taisho era (1912-1926), circa 1912-1920; 15 1/2in (39.3cm) high. Estimate US$ 50,000 - 70,000 (€42,000 - 59,000). Photo: Bonhams.

The cylindrical vase with a square shoulder, the neck flaring out to the mouth and worked in standard and musen cloisonné techniques with an overall design of sasa (broadleaf bamboo), the silver wires of varying thickness deliniating the stems and veins of the leaves, the enamels of several shades of green and white imitating the natural tones of the plant, all against a light gray background, the foot decorated with tightly scrolling vines and flowers, incised signature on the base Hattoriin leaf-shaped reserve, mounts silver

Note: Hattori Tadasaburo of Nagoya was among the finest cloisonné-enameling masters of his day, excelling in a wide range of innovative techniques and styles. He opened his own studio in 1888 and won international honors at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbia Exposition; at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held at St. Louis in 1904, his enamels were, most unusually, shown in the Art Palace rather than the larger but less prestigious Palace of Varied Industries. It is not certain whether or not he invented the demanding moriage ("piled-up") technique seen here, but he was certainly among the first to exhibit it, starting at St. Louis, and is admired for the way that he succeeded in raising moriage designs to an unusually high level above the ground enamel; see Frederic T. Schneider, The Art of Japanese Cloisonné Enamel: History, Techniques and Artists: 1600 to the Present, Jefferson NC, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010, p. 202. For a pair of vases by Hattori Tadasaburo, see lot 1330.




Lot 1286. Yabu Meizan (1853-1934), A large and highly important Satsuma presentation vase, Meiji era (1868-1912), early 20th century;  14 1/2in (36.7cm) high (not including base). Estimate US$ 80,000 - 100,000 (€68,000 - 85,000. Photo: Bonhams.

The square-sided vase finished with a slightly tapered cylindrical neck and decorated in polychrome enamels and gilt with four panels raised in relief containing scenes of three Japanese macaques in a blossoming cherry tree, a winter landscape, an autumn landscape, and groups of people enjoying chrysanthemums in bloom, the edges of the panels painted with repeated dots within circles and the surrounding areas decorated with scrolling vines and flowers, the shoulder with scattered chrysanthemums encircling the neck painted with lozenges containing stylized dragons above a keyfret band, the rim with formal lappets and chrysanthemum among vines, signed in gilt on the underside Yabu Meizan in a double square reserve; with a fitted hardwood stand, probably original to the vase

Note: Yabu Meizan (1853-1934), the most successful of all manufacturers of Satsuma ware, opened his workshop in Osaka in 1880 and first garnered critical acclaim in 1885 when he won a bronze medal at the Fourteenth Kyoto Exhibition. From 1888 he concentrated on the export market, particularly the United States, producing wares decorated with Chinese or Buddhist subjects, but during the 1890s he began to favor native Japanese themes. Throughout the first decade of the twentieth century, Yabu focused his energy on the great international expositions, especially Paris (1900), St Louis (1904), and London (1910), visiting each venue and playing a major organizational role. It is highly likely that the present ambitious lot, an outstanding example of the mature Yabu style, was intended for one of these influential global events.