Lot 268. A Set of Joseon Dynasty Studded Armor and Helmet. 19th Century. Length of robe 41 in., 104.1 cm. Price realized: $293,750. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
CHICAGO, IL.- Hindman Auctions saw tremendous engagement in its three days of Asian Art sales on March 25, 26, and 27. The auctions realized nearly $3 million across the three days, the highest total an Asian Art season has ever reached at Hindman. Of particular note, the Chinese and Southeast Asian Works of Art sale realized over $2.2 million, more than double the presale estimate, and saw competitive bidding throughout. The Japanese and Korean Works of Art and the Asian Works of Art Online sales also surpassed expectations and saw over $238,000 and $513,000 in sales, respectively.
“We are so pleased by the outstanding success of the sales and how buyers responded so enthusiastically to the one-of-a-kind consignments we offered despite the challenging climate,” said Annie Wu, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist of Asian Art. “As a department that is continuing to thrive, we are thrilled to have set this new record.”
Outstanding prices were achieved and presale estimates were shattered in the March 25 Chinese and Southeast Asian Works of Art auction. The sale was led by a set of Joseon Dynasty studded armor and helmet (lot 268), which saw incredible engagement, ultimately selling for $293,750 against a presale estimate of $6,000-8,000. The very rare armor and helmet are constructed of vivid red wool, padded and lined with pale blue damask woven silk, and trimmed with fur. The robe is embellished with rows of gilt bosses and medallions between sinuous dragon across the shoulder crest. The helmet case is decorated with dragons and phoenix bordered by auspicious symbols, and topped by a gilt finial supporting a tuft of auburn hair.
Lot 268. A Set of Joseon Dynasty Studded Armor and Helmet, 19th Century. Length of robe 41 in., 104.1 cm. Estimate $6,000-$8,000. Price realized: $293,750. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
each constructed of vivid red wool, padded and lined with pale blue damask woven silk, and trimmed with fur. The robe finished with rows gilt bosses and medallions between sinuous dragon across the shoulder crest and chased roundels near the hem. The helmet case worked with dragons and phoenix bordered by auspicious symbols, and topped by a gilt finial supporting a tuft of auburn hair.
Another noteworthy sale was a set of four scrolls by renowned Chinese artist Qi Baishi titled Flowers of the Four Seasons: Wisteria, Lotus, Chrysanthemum and Prunus,which realized over double its presale estimate, selling for $212,500 (lot 29). Other highlights of the auction included the sale of five loose album leaves depicting landscapes, birds and flowers (lot 15), which soared past its presale estimate of $10,000-20,000 to achieve $175,000 and a transparent amber-tone glass bottle (lot 171), which realized $75,000.
Lot 29. Qi Baishi (Chinese, 1863-1957), Flowers of the Four Seasons: Wisteria, Lotus, Chrysanthemum and Prunus; ink and color on paper, four framed scrolls. Average height 69 3/8 x width 18 1/2 in., 176.2 x 47 cm (each image). Estimate $80,000-$120,000. Price realized $212,500. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
(1) Lotus in the Rain, signed and inscribed, with one artist seal, Qi Baishi
(2) Pines and Chrysanthum,signed and inscribed, with one artist seal, Baishi weng
(3) Chinese Wisteria, signed and inscribed, with one artist seals, Muren
(4) Camellias and Plum Blossom, signed and dated year Genshen (1920), inscribed, two artist seals, Baishi weng and Muren
Property from the Collection of Hugh W. Hubbard, Sold by the Estate of Lloyd B. and Gladys Hubbard Swift, Bethesda, Maryland
Previously from the Collection of Cao Kun (Ts’ao K’un
Reverend Dr. Hugh Wells Hubbard (1887-1975) was an American missionary whose station in China largely covered the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Turkey to missionary parents, Reverend Hubbard was initially reluctant to follow in his family’s footsteps, but found a calling in his first missions, and subsequently dedicated his life’s work to service in China across many fields.
Rev. Hubbard arrived in China in 1908 to teach English and athletics under the auspices of the YMCA. After meeting and marrying his wife, Mabel Ellis, he became ordained as a minister within the Congregational Church, and continued his missionary work under the American Board. He devoted many of his efforts to promoting literacy and rural development with the guidance of Dr. Y.C. James “Jimmy” Yen. Rev. Hubbard believed that the goals of his mission were to serve as a friendly and caring companion to all he encountered, which he achieved in part through these efforts. Inspired by the power of visual arts, he undertook a project to develop educational filmstrips in his own basement for use in his teaching. This work continued in his later collaborations with renowned animator Norman Maclaren for UNESCO.
In addition to his evangelical work, Rev. Hubbard also cultivated strong interests in ornithology and philately. In 1938, Reverend Hubbard collaborated with Dr. George Wilder to publish Birds of Northeastern China. Hubbard was a skilled hunter with a keen eye, who employed his skills both to collect specimens for institutions in the United States, including the Field Museum and Museum of National History; and to amuse children with whom he was held during their wartime internment at Weixian. After returning to the United States, he published The Handbook of Early Chinese Communist Stamps (1928–1938).
Rev. Hubbard’s interest in Chinese art and culture was piqued by early elective courses taken alongside his language instruction in Beijing. Throughout his tenure in China, he enjoyed diversions to curio shops and antique streets. He would visit the Palace Museum whenever in Beijing to cultivate his interest in painting, but made his purchases quite selectively. The present lot is an example of one such purchase. Rev. Hubbard acquired the paintings from the Baoding mansion of Cao Kun, a former warlord and president of the Republic of China, who was closely connected to the artist. They were removed from their mounting as a screen, and fortuitously brought by Rev. Hubbard to the United States while on furlough in 1936. They remained in his care until 1967, when he bequeathed them to his daughter Gladys Hubbard Swift, who had also served as a missionary to China.
Lot 15. Five Loose Album Leaves Depicting Landscapes, Birds and Flowers (Chinese, possibly Yuan-Ming Dynasty), ink and color on silk, mounted on cards. Largest image: 12 1/4 x 11 1/2 in., 31 x 29 cm. Estimate $10,000-$20,000. Price realized (for all album leaves): $175,000. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
(1) Attributed to Fan Kuan (Northern Song Dynasty, 990-1030), Landscape with Pines, four collector's seals, Youshi Qinggong (possibly from Mi Wanzhong, 1570-1628), Zhao Yuan jia cang jian shang (half, from Zhao Yuan, 1483-1537), Xu Qiucha shu hua yin (from Xu Qiucha, Qing Dynasty), and one other
(2) Ma Wan (Southern Song Dynasty, ?-1378), Riverbank with Bamboos
(3) Anonymous, Birds and Peach Blossom
(4) Attributed to Zhao Danian (Northern Song Dynasty), Willows on Riverbank, one collector's seal, Xu Qiucha shang jian yin (from Xu Qiucha, Qing Dynasty)
(5) Anonymous, Scholar‘s in the Studio, one artist's seal and one collector's sea
Lot 171. A Transparent Amber-Tone Glass Bottle, Yongzheng mark. Height 12 in., 30.5 cm.. Estimate $15,000-$25,000. Price realized $75,000. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
the short straight foot supporting a lobe globular body, and rising to a long slender neck with an even mouth; the base incised with a six-character Yongzheng mark. Sotheby's Parke Bernet (label).
Highlighting the March 26 Japanese and Korean Works of Art sale was Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s The complete set of the series New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts (Shinkei sanjurokkaisen), which realized triple its presale estimate, selling for $31,250 (lot 533) against a presale estimate of $10,000-15,000. The work comprises 36 woodblock prints, bound as an album. Other exceptional results included a number of tantos, including one which sold for $11,875, nearly ten times its presale estimate (lot 447). A pair of six-fold floor screens (lot 531) saw excellent interest, selling for $9,375 compared to a presale estimate of $1,500-2,500. Other fantastic sales included Japanese illustrated books, Shintei somoku zusetsu, zenpen (lot 551), which sold for $8,125, more than double their presale estimate and a ten panel floor screen, which sold for $5,160, far above its presale estimate of $500-700.
Lot 533. Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). The complete set of the series New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts (Shinkei sanjurokkaisen), 36 woodblock prints plus a contacts page, bound as an album, each signed Yoshitoshi and variously sealed Yoshitoshi and Taiso, published by Matsuki Heikichi, 1902. Each print vertical oban: 13 3/4 x 9 3/8 in., 35 x 23.8 cm. Estimate $10,000-$15,000. Price realised $31,250. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
Lot 447. A Tanto. Blade: Late 16th century; Mounts 19th century. Length of blade 9 13/16 in., 24.92 cm. Estimate $800-$1,200. Price realised $31,250. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
finely mounted with various sea creatures on the scabbard.
Property from the Collection of Kevin Evensen, Chicago, Illinois.
Lot 531. A Pair of Six-Fold Floor Screens, 19th-20th century, ink and color on gold leaf paper, depicting floral blossoms in a garden, unsigned. Height of each panel 68 1/8 width 25 in., 173 x 63.5 cm. Estimate $1,500-$2,500. Price realised $31,250. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
Lot 551. [JapaneseE Illustratd Books] Shintei somoku zusetsu, zenpen. 20 volumes. Estimate $400-$600. Price realised $31,250. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
Property from the Estate of W.M. Bogdanowicz, Madison, Wisconsin and Naples, Florida.
The March 27 Asian Works of Art Online sale saw fantastic engagement with jade and textile property, including a pair of Chinese silk gauze summer robes (lot 772), which realized $11,875 against a presale estimate of $600-800.
Lot 772. Two Chinese Silk Gauze Summer Robes, Late Qing Dynasty. Estimate $600-800. Price realised $11,875. Courtesy Hindman Auctions.
comprising a blue ground 'dragon' robe woven in pale blue blue and gold threads to show dragons amongst vaporous clouds above a lishui stipe at the hem; the second a Manchu ladies' robe, having a purple ground and high collar, richly picked out with polychromous flowers, the layered sleeves decoration en suite, closed with gilt toggles to the side. Length of dragon robe from collar to hem 53 in. x width across chest 27 in., 134.6 x 68.6 cm.
Property from a Private Chicago Estate.