14

Lot 14. Huang Binhong (1865 – 1955), Recluse by the Stream. Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll. Inscribed and signed Binhong, titled, with a dedication, and one seal of the artist 51.5 x 28.5cm. Estimated at AU$ 50,000 – 80,000. Sold for AU$ 61,000 (€ 37,728) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019

 

SYDNEY.- Wednesday evening 22 May saw continuing market interest in Chinese paintings at the Asian art auction at Bonhams Sydney. Collectors from around the globe participated with intense bidding with as many as eight telephones at a time on numerous lots which saw them achieve results well in excess of their estimates. 

The sale cleared 121% by value and 67% by lot, grossing AU$ 786,924. Featuring a number of important and previously unseen collections, the auction attracted interest internationally and bidders from 10 countries participated. With the strongest performance coming from Chinese paintings, the auction’s highlights were works by artists such as Huang Binhong (1865-1955), Chen Jinzhang (b.1929) and Cheng Shifa (1921 - 2007). Held in Australian collections and discovered through the expertise and scholarship of Bonhams Asian art specialist Yvett Klein, a number of works soared past their estimates as collectors fought to secure lots. 

Director of Bonhams Australia, Merryn Schriever said: “The animated bidding from the telephones and the saleroom in last night’s auction are a testament to the continuing vibrancy in the Asian art market. Both regular and new buyers enthusiastically sought to acquire rare and fresh-to-market works in the sale”. 

The Top Ten Lots: 

14

Lot 14. Huang Binhong (1865 – 1955), Recluse by the Stream. Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll. Inscribed and signed Binhong, titled, with a dedication, and one seal of the artist 51.5 x 28.5cm. Estimated at AU$ 50,000 – 80,000. Sold for AU$ 61,000 (€ 37,728) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019

Note: According to the late owner's handwritten notes dated 5 November 71, this painting was purchased for HK$2,500.

49

49

49

49

Lot 49. Chen Zinzhang (b.1929) and Mai Huasan (1907 – 1986), Landscapes and Calligraphy. Ink or ink and colour on paper, four works mounted for framing Each signed and inscribed, with seals of the artists, three works dedicated to Dr Chung Quin Yuen Two works dated 1983 and 1984 62.0 x 43.0cm, 33.0 x 67.5cm, 34.0 x 40.0cm. Estimated at AU$ 600-800. Sold for AU$ 45,140 (€ 27,919) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019.

Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Dr Chung Quin Yuen (1933 - 2018)

30

Lot 30. A blue-and-white ‘dragon’ bottle vase, Kangxi period (1662-1722); 24.4cm high. Estimated at AU$ 15,000-20,000. Sold for AU$ 42,700 (€ 26,410) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019

ProvenanceSee an Old Friend Arts and Antiques, Hong Kong.

NoteThe four-claw dragon is a familiar motif during the Kangxi period. It appears in underglaze-blue and copper-red, coloured enamel, as well as doucai. Probably the most similar decoration to this lot appears on a bottled vase, see Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong Qing Porcelain from the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing, 1989, p. 23. The closest shape is found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, published in Rose Kerr, Chinese Ceramics. Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty, London, 1986, pl. 5

77

Lot 77. Cheng Shifa (1921-2007), A Portrait of Ah Q. Ink and colour on paper, mounted for framing. Inscribed and signed 'old friend of Ah Q', with one seal of the artist. Dated spring of 1987, 68.0 x 45.0. Estimated at AU$ 30,000 - 35,000. Sold for AU$ 42,700 (€ 25,655) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019.

ProvenanceCollection of Prof. Lim Yean Leng, Melbourne, acquired directly from the artist in 1987 when he visited Melbourne.

NoteThe True Story of Ah Q is a novella by Lu Xun (1881-1936) published in 1922. Throughout the 20th century, it occupied a special status in literature and politics in China due to its criticism of the Chinese national character, guomin xing. In 1961, Cheng Shifa was commissioned by the Yangcheng Evening News to recreate the novella into 108 sequential drawings for children. In 1981, the children's book was republished in commemorating the Centennial Celebration of Lu Xun's Birth. This illustration of Ah Q is an imagination of the protagonist in the modern era. Signed as 'the old friend of Ah Q', the artist humorously relates himself to the subject, as well as contemplates the passage of time whilst revisiting an old artistic theme from a bygone era.

99

Lot 99. Chen Wen His (1906-1991), Squirrels. Ink and colour on paper, framed. Signed Wen Hsi, with two seals of the artist, 132.0 x 33.5cm. Estimated at AU$ 10,000-15,000. Sold for AU$ 39,040 (€ 24,146) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019

ProvenancePossibly directly from Chen Wen Hsi's Old & New Gallery
Private collection, Sydney, acquired in Melbourne in the late 1980s.

NoteThe current owner keeps an old valuation, though the current lot is not listed, signed by Dr Chen Siew-Min, son of Chen Wen Hsi, and issued by The Old & New Gallery dated 1 February 1972, the year Chen Wen Hsi established this gallery in the Tanglin Shopping Centre.

Chen was known to keep his favourite pets in this gallery, such as gibbons and squirrels, for live drawing and these subjects consequently became his most sought-after works such as this current lot

67

Lot 67. Pu Ru (1896-1963), Landscape with Papillion. Ink and colour on paper, framed. Inscribed and signed Pu Ru, dedicated to 'Song Nian', possibly Yuan Songnian (1895-1966), with two seals of the artist.Inscription at the mounting border by Jian Jinglun (1888-1950), with one seal of his, dated summer of dinghai year (1947), 30.0cm diamEstimated at AU$ 8,000 - 12,000. Sold for AU$ 37,830 (€ 23,391) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

ProvenancePrivate collection, NSW.

23

Lot 23. A famille-rose ‘five-bats’ saucer dish, Xianfeng six-character iron red mark and of the period (1851-1861); 28.9cm diam. Estimated at AU$ 8,000-12,000. Sold for AU$ 36,600 (€ 22,637) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019

ProvenancePeng Seng Works of Art, Bangkok, 25 May 1987

Note: The eleven years of the Xianfeng reign saw the Taiping Rebellion, and then the Second Opium War, both of which dealt a devastating blow to the porcelain production at the imperial kilns. After the fifth year of the reign, such production was nearly halted. As a result, the output of the Xianfeng porcelain is very low, and to make the matter worse, the sack of the Old Summer Palace towards the end of the reign further decimated the remaining. Compare a similar piece with identical decoration, see Sotheby's, Important Chinese Ceramics, Works of Art, Jade Carvings and Jadeite Jewellery, Hong Kong, 24 and 25 November 1987, lot 180

43

Lot 43. Gao Quifeng, Eagle. Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll. Inscribed and signed Qifeng Gao Weng, with two seals of the artist, and two seals of the collector(s). Dated first month of the 20th year of the Republic of China (1931), 132.0 x 65.0cm. Estimated at AU$ 30,000 - 50,000. Sold for AU$ 36,600 (€ 22,637) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

ProvenanceCollection of General Xiang Hanpin (1890-1978).

16

 Lot 16. Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), Orchid on Rock. Ink on paper, hanging scroll. Inscribed and signed Changshuo, with two seals of the artist. Dated the sixth month of xinhai year (1911), 75.0 x 27.0cm. Estimated at AU$ 30,000 – 50,000. Sold for AU$ 36,600 (€ 21,882) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019

NoteAccording to the late owner's handwritten notes, this painting was purchased for HK$1200.

15

Lot 15. Gao Jianfu (1879 – 1951), Red Peach Blossoms.Ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll. Inscribed and signed Jianfu, with a dedication, and two seals of the artist, 69.0 x 31.5cm. Estimated at AU$ 8,000-10,000. Sold for AU$ 30,500 ( (€ 18,864) inc. premium© Bonhams 2001-2019.

NoteThis painting is listed on the late owner's typewritten notes dated 21 May 71.

Additional strong results that far exceeded estimates: 

 

55

Lot 55. A pair of famille-rose dragon and phoenix vases, Guangxu period (1875-1908); 31.9cm high. Estimates at AU $12,000 – 15,000. Sold for AU$30,500 (€ 18,864) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

ProvenanceThe Collection of Dame Nellie Melba
Sotheby's Australia, Property from the Collection of Dame Nellie Melba GBE, Melbourne, 31 March to 1 April 2015, lot 236
Private collection, Adelaide.

Note: Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931) was Australia's first international superstar and an opera singer. In 2015, a part of her estate including jewellery, works of art, and Asian porcelain were offered on the market to support the restoration and conservation of her Coombe Cottage estate at country Victoria.

103

Lot 103. Yang Shanshen (1913-2004), Sparrows and Peony. Ink and colour on paper, framed. Inscribed and signed Shanshen, dedicated to Dr Choong Ka Khey, and with two seals of the artist. Dated winter of wuxu year (1958), 35.0 x 135.0cm. Estimated at AU$ 6,000-8,000. Sold for AU$30,500 (€ 18,864) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Dr Choong Ka Khey (1914-1999) and Mrs Choong Siu Yim Ling (1915-2014).

ProvenanceAcquired directly from the artist.

45

Lot 45. Li Xingcai (1910-2001), Pine Tree and Waterfall and Calligraphy. Ink or ink and colour on paper, two works mounted for framing. The painting inscribed and signed Xiongcai, with two seals of the artist, dated jiazi year (1984). The calligraphy inscribed and signed Xiongcai, dedicated to Dr Chung Quin Yuen, dated wuchen year (1988). Painting: 34.0 x 45.3cm, Calligraphy: 28.5 x 56.5cm. Estimated at AU$ 6,000-8,000. Sold for AU$ 24,400 (€ 15,091) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

Provenance(The calligraphy) acquired directly from the artist in 1988.

104

Lot 104. Yang Shanshen (1913-2004), Abstract Landscape. Ink and colour on paper, mounted for framing. Inscribed and signed Shanshen, with two seals of the artist Dated wuxu year (1958) 61.0 x 48.0cm. Estimated at AU$ 3,000-5,000. Sold for AU$19,520 (€ 12,073) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019.

Chinese Paintings from the Collection of Dr Choong Ka Khey (1914-1999) and Mrs Choong Siu Yim Ling (1915-2014).