PHILADELPHIA, PA.- On Friday, June 19, Freeman’s will offer over 200 carefully selected lots in its Asian Arts auction. Spanning centuries and countries, the sale is a compelling offering of furniture, porcelains, jades, textiles, sculpture and fine art from across the Far East, including a group of ancient Chinese bronzes from a private Main Line collection and a selection of mark and period Chinese porcelains of the Qing dynasty.

CHINESE IMPERIAL PORCELAINS
The sale includes a fine selection of elegant imperial Chinese porcelains from the 18th and 19th centuries. The highlight is a rare and refined blue and white-decorated porcelain lobed bowl, Qianlong mark and period (Lot 58, $30,000-50,000). When acquired by the present owner in 2011, only one other known example, with a yellow enamel ground, was noted.

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Lot 58. A fine and rare Chinese six-lobed blue and white porcelain small bowl, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); H: 2, Dia: 4 3/8 in. Estimate $30,000-50,000© Freeman's

With spreading sides and floriform, notched rim, decorated in the well with a lingzhi and bamboo spray in a double circle, six similar sprays on the exterior, a delicate stylized foliate border at the lip, punctuated by florets at the notches, a band of stylized lappets above the circular foot.

This piece is joined by a small group of monochrome red bowls and dishes (Lots 59-62) given to the present owner's mother by her longtime friend, Joseph Paul Gardner -- an architect and dancer who served as one of the Monuments Men in World War II and as first Director (1933-1953) of what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO.

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Lot 59. A Chinese copper-red glazed porcelain dish, Qianlong six-character mark and of the period (1736-1795); H: 1 3/4, Dia: 7 inEstimate $4,000-6,000© Freeman's

With an everted rim, rounded sides, and a tapered foot, the rose-red glaze thinning to white at the rim and toward the foot, the base with four small paper labels and inscribed with the six-character mark in underglaze blue. 

Provenance: Given to the present owner's mother by Joseph Paul Gardner, first Director (1933 - 1953) of what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. They were students together at George Washington Univ. in the 1920s and remained friends until his death in 1972. Gardner was also one of the U.S. Army's "Monument's Men" during World War II.

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Lot 60. A Chinese copper red-glazed porcelain dish, Qianlong six-character seal mark and of the period (1736-1795); H: 1 3/4, Dia: 7 1/4 inEstimate $3,000-5,000© Freeman's

With an everted rim, rounded sides, and a tapered foot, the red of a dusty tone, thinning to white at the rim and toward the foot, the base with three small paper labels and inscribed with the six-character seal mark.

Provenance: Given to the present owner's mother by Joseph Paul Gardner, first Director (1933 - 1953) of what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. They were students together at George Washington Univ. in the 1920s and remained friends until his death in 1972. Gardner was also one of the U.S. Army's "Monument's Men" during World War II.

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Lot 61. Chinese copper-red glazed porcelain bowl, Jiaqing six-character seal mark and probably of the period (1796-1820); H: 2 3/4; Dia: 6 inEstimate $2,000-3,000© Freeman's

Thinly potted, the exterior with a red glaze of slightly raspberry tone with orange-peel texture, the interior and base glazed white, with a very slightly everted rim, raised on a shallow foot, inscribed with the six-character seal mark to the underside.

Provenance: Given to the present owner's mother by Joseph Paul Gardner, first Director (1933 - 1953) of what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. They were students together at George Washington Univ. in the 1920s and remained friends until his death in 1972. Gardner was also one of the U.S. Army's "Monument's Men" during World War II.

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Lot 62. A Chinese copper-red glazed porcelain bowl, Jiaqing six-character seal mark and probably of the period (1796-1820); H: 2 3/4, 6 inEstimate $1,000-1,500© Freeman's

Thinly potted, the exterior with a red glaze of slightly purple tone, thinning toward the lip, the interior and base glazed in white, raised on a shallow foot, inscribed with the six-character seal mark to the underside.

Provenance: Given to the present owner's mother by Joseph Paul Gardner, first Director (1933 - 1953) of what is now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. They were students together at George Washington Univ. in the 1920s and remained friends until his death in 1972. Gardner was also one of the U.S. Army's "Monument's Men" during World War II.

BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS FROM JAPAN TO THE HIMALAYAS
A strong section of the sale is composed of Buddhist figural arts, including examples rarely encountered on the market. For sheer elegance of execution, the 15th century Nepalese or Tibetan gilt copper alloy figure of a bodhisattva (Lot 31, $20,000-30,000) is unequaled among the sculptures. With finely cast and finished details and a rich gilded surface suitably worn by centuries of adoration, the bodhisattva is an example of the fine workmanship, likely Newari, which so influenced the exquisite gilt bronzes of the early Ming dynasty.

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Lot 31. A Nepalese or Tibetan gilt copper alloy figure of a bodhisattva, 15th century; H: 8 1/4 inEstimate $20,000-30,000© Freeman's

Depicted seated in royal ease atop a double-lotus pedestal with beaded borders, face rendered with a benevolent expression accentuated with lowered eyes and a gentle smile, the pendulous earlobes adorned with ornate wheel-shaped earrings, under an elaborate five-leaved tiara, fine necklaces and scarves draped across the body, flanked by multi-stemmed lotus, baseplate incised with a double vajra.

Provenance: Acquired by the present owner from the estate of a doctor in Atlanta, Georgia.

Note: the present work, closely relates to the gilt bronze buddhist figures of the Yongle reign, with elegant sinuous form, elaborate jewelry and deeply articulated draperies, all atop a relatively tall double lotus base with attenuated petals. Unlike the works attributed to the Beijing imperial workshops, the lips of the bodhisatva and the treatment of the hands are accorded a different treatment. This together with the unusual pose and the red-brown copper alloy may suggest a Nepalese or Tibetan origin, cast by Newari artisans.

Of particular note is a small, gold repoussé Southeast Asian figure of a seated Buddha from the 12th-14th century (Lot 26, $10,000-15,000). Acquired by the husband of the present owner from noted New York dealer Doris Wiener, the Buddha is a rare survivor in precious metal, with a lively expression and large presence belying its 2 ¼ inch height. It is joined in the sale by a number of additional Chinese, Japanese and Burmese figures of Buddhas and bodhisattvas, which differ in size and are made of varying elements including wood, sandstone, copper and bronze.

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 Lot 26. A rare miniature Southeast Asian gold repousse figure of Buddha Shakyamuni, Circa 12th-14th century; H: 2 1/4 inEstimate $10,000-15,000© Freeman's

Depicted in the bhumisparsha mudra, dressed in a close-fitting upper garment with long sleeves and U-shaped neckline, the face with a gentle smile and open eyes beneath a continuous double-arched brow, fine curls and a pointed ushnisha, the palm and underside of the foot with a radiating circular motif, all on a slightly domed oval base.

Provenance: Doris Wiener Gallery, Inc., New York
Acquired from the above by the husband of the present owner, October 24, 1994 (As Burmese, 12th century).

Note: Such small gold figures of the Buddha, identified as the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, or the transcendant Buddha, Akshobhya are rarely encountered. Two Indonesian examples, dated to the 9th/10th century, are illustrated in Pratapaditya Pal, "A Collecting Odyssey, Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art from the James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, New York, 1997, p. 300, nos. 129, 130. For a Sinhalese example of an embossed gold figure of Samadhi Buddha, with a core of sandlewood paste, 12th century, found in excavations of a relic chamber of a stupa at Dadigama, see Ulrich von Schroeder, "The Golden Age of Sculpture in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, 1992, pp. 104-105, no 37. The stylistic features of the present Buddha, particularly the wide eyes in "rapt attention" and the joined arched brows, suggests a late Mon/Dvaravati date of the 9th-12th century, particularly from Burma or Northern Thailand during this period. Interestingly, the present Buddha also bears comparison to a bronze figure of the Buddha Subduing Mara, discovered in a crypt in Wat Ratburana in Ayudhya, Thailand, deposited in 1424, but quite possibly of earlier date, illustrated in Bowie et al, "The Sculpture of Thailand", New York 1972, p. 88, no 47. Compare also the 12th century miniature gold figure of Buddha Shakyamuni offered at Sotheby's Hong Kong, October 7, 2015, lot 3103.

JAPANESE PAINTING AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM THE COLLECTION OF BETTY BORMAN, LOS ANGELES
California collector Betty Borman assembled a fine group of Japanese ink paintings and calligraphy, including works by some of the most noted artists of their time. Of particular note is the grandly-scaled “Waterfall” by Tani Buncho (1763-1840) (Lot 194, $6,000-8,000), which may be the artist’s largest extant work, and a six-panel folding screen, “Dragon Vanishing into Clouds,” by famed lacquer artist Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) (Lot 195, $10,000-15,000)

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Lot 194. Tani Buncho (1763-1840), Waterfall. Ink on paper, inscribed, with a cyclical date equivalent to 1838, and with one seal, center right, mounted as a hanging scroll, Japanese wood roller-case and two Japanese wood boxes. H: 130 1/2, W: 55 3/4 in. Estimate $10,000-15,000© Freeman's

Provenance: Property from the Collection of Betty Borman, Los Angeles.

Note: Tani Buncho was one of the most influential literati artists in late Edo Japan. Highly successful and with a large number of students, Buncho's works are varied in style. In the present Waterfall painting, Buncho, with a simplicity of brushstroke and manipulation of the void as an important part of the composition, abstracts the cascading waters in a way modern eyes can immediately relate to. The large scale and concentration of ink to the outer edges offers a profound experience to the viewer, drawing them in, but serving to call attention to the latent energy within what might seem at first to be emptiness. To this end, the present work may be seen in the light of Zenga, Zen paintings, where limited, energetic strokes of the brush capture on paper the ephemeral as a guide or inspiration to the absolute.

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Lot 195. Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), Dragon Vanishing into Clouds, a six-panel folding screen. Ink and gold on paper, inscribed "Gyonen nanajusan-o (at the age of 73) Tairyukyu Zeshin" and with one seal, lower left; H: 67, W: 24 1/2 in. (largest panel)Estimate $10,000-15,000© Freeman's

Provenance: Property from the Collection of Betty Borman, Los Angeles.