Aerial view of the Nubian pyramids at Meroe in 2001. B.N. Chagny image. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

Sudan’s neglected pyramids difficult to visit



Aerial view of the Nubian pyramids at Meroe in 2001. B.N. Chagny image. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

AL-BEGRAWIYA, Sudan (AP) – The small, steep pyramids rising up from the desert hills of northern Sudan resemble those in neighboring Egypt, but unlike the famed pyramids of Giza, the Sudanese site is largely deserted.

The pyramids at Meroe, some 125 miles north of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, are rarely visited despite being a UNESCO World Heritage site like those in Egypt. Sanctions against the government of longtime President Omar al-Bashir over Sudan’s long-running internal conflicts limit its access to foreign aid and donations, while also hampering tourism.

The site, known as the Island of Meroe because an ancient, long-dried river ran around it, once served as the principle residence of the rulers of the Kush kingdom, known as the Black Pharaohs. Their pyramids, ranging from 20 feet to 100 feet tall, were built between 720 and 300 B.C. The entrances usually face east to greet the rising sun.

The pyramids bear decorative elements inspired by Pharaonic Egypt, Greece and Rome, according to UNESCO, making them priceless relics. However, overeager archaeologists in the 19th century tore off the golden tips of some pyramids and reduced some to rubble, said Abdel-Rahman Omar, the head of the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum.

On a recent day, a few tourists and white camels roamed the site, watched by a handful of security guards. Sudan’s tourism industry has been devastated by economic sanctions imposed over the conflicts in Darfur and other regions. Al-Bashir’s government, which came to power following a bloodless Islamist coup in 1989, has struggled to care for its antiquities.

Qatar has pledged $135 million to renovate and support Sudan’s antiquities in the last few years. But Omar said Sudan still receives just 15,000 tourists per year.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-26-15 1311GMT

Despite the global embargo on elephant ivory that has been in place since 1990, the rate of elephant slaughter for tusks is at the highest point in a decade. In this picture, three female African bush elephants travel as a small herd in Tanzania. Photo by Ikiwaner, taken July 29, 2010, licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

Vermont lawmakers consider ban on ivory sales


Despite the global embargo on elephant ivory that has been in place since 1990, the rate of elephant slaughter for tusks is at the highest point in a decade. In this picture, three female African bush elephants travel as a small herd in Tanzania. Photo by Ikiwaner, taken July 29, 2010, licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – A debate in Vermont over a proposed ban on the sale of ivory and rhinoceros horns in the small New England state is bringing home much wider issues of international terrorism and animal extinction.

The latest concern among supporters of the proposed ban is a move to insert exemptions in the state legislation for old pianos and other antiques. Supporters got to air their concerns at a legislative hearing Thursday that featured talk of grandma’s piano, the slaughter and near extinction of African elephants, and terrorism.

New York passed a crackdown on ivory sales last year, and New Jersey an outright ban. Legislation is pending in Vermont and seven other states, said Joanne Bourbeau, Northeast regional director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Ashley McAvey, an activist from Shelburne who is heading efforts to get a ban passed in Vermont and asked lawmakers to bring the ban bill, said she would like to see legislation similar to the law in New Jersey. She told the Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee that permitting any sales of the materials will encourage an international market that is funding terrorist groups and leading to the likely extinction of African elephants.

“Ivory is ivory is ivory is ivory is ivory,” she said.

Still, Rep. David Deen, the committee chairman, was less certain of the nexus. “People are having trouble connecting their grandmother’s piano with terrorism,” he said.

Consideration of the bill comes at a time of increasing concern about illegal poaching of elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns and other wildlife as a funding source for terrorist groups. The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services heard testimony Wednesday in Washington that the group Al-Shabaab has been able to raise as much as $600,000 a month from the sale of elephant tusks, a violation of international law. Four gunmen from the Somali extremist group killed 148 people earlier this month at a college in Garissa, Kenya.

Meanwhile, the National Academy of Sciences reported last year that 40,000 African elephants were killed in 2011 alone.

“It is the demand for ivory and rhino horn that is driving the elephant and rhino massacre,” Bourbeau said in previous testimony before Vermont lawmakers. “Most of the demand for ivory is in China, where the ivory carving tradition dates back to prehistoric times.”

McAvey said that while the U.S. has banned the importation of new ivory since 1976, the country ranks second behind China as an importer. Under international criticism, China imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports last month.

The committee also heard from Cameron Wood of the Legislative Council, who walked lawmakers through changes to the bill that would allow exemptions for ivory legally purchased before the 1970s. And antiques and piano dealers are fighting back.

“The idea, however, of limiting possession and sale of what was once a legal and accepted commodity and destroying and/or banning the sale of antique items seems like our government overstepping its bounds,” Greg Hamilton, president of the Vermont Antiques Dealers Association, wrote in an email to lawmakers.

Dale Howe, co-owner of Frederick Johnson Pianos in White River Junction, took a view similar Thursday to the committee chairman’s. “I don’t know how a 50-year-old piano has any effect on what’s happening today,” he said in an interview.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-23-15 2215GMT

Ferrari, rare ’57 Chrysler 300C lead Morphy’s May 16 Automobile Auction

1988 Ferrari Testarossa, Rosso red with tan leather, all original, flat 12-cylinder engine, 22,400 miles. Estimate $80-000-$100,000. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, Pa. – Since the days of Henry Ford, Americans have had a love affair with cars – driving them, showing them off, and collecting them. Morphy Auctions’ automobile division caters to the luxury, sports and classic car collector with its boutique sales of rare, premium-quality vehicles, such as the 53-lot event planned for Saturday, May 16 at the company’s flagship gallery.

Sleek examples of motoring and design perfection, the cars entered in the auction are in magnificent condition and ready for their close-ups. Leading the five-star fleet is Lot 37, a 1957 Chrysler 300C convertible coupe with push-button Torqueflite transmission, consigned by a collector from Hershey, Pa.

“Fewer than 500 of these cars were produced, so it’s very rare,” said Bill Windham, VP of Morphy’s automobile division. “It has a 375 horsepower Hemi engine, which, at the time of the car’s production, was the most powerful engine available in any street car. The combination of a 300C, a Hemi engine and the fact that it’s a convertible makes it especially desirable.”

RM of Canada undertook the complete body-off restoration of the mighty Chrysler. “One can only imagine the hours and attention to detail that went into the job. It’s a masterpiece,” Windham said. The pre-sale estimate has been set at $175,000-$200,000.

Lot 42, a 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Woody Wagon is the stunning reflection of the nut-and-bolt restoration that elevated it to incomparable status.

“It might well be the finest ’46 Ford Woody in existence,” Windham said. “Every single nut and bolt was taken apart and reassembled – a project that took 20 years to complete. The wood, alone, is a work of art and exemplifies the owner’s passion for quality and attention to detail.” Equipped with a 239/100 engine and 3-speed manual transmission, the like-new Woody could cruise to a $90,000-$110,000 winning bid on auction day.

Chevys will be out in force, started with Lot 39, the 1967 Indy Pace Car Camaro SS/RS convertible.

With appropriate Pace Car cowl-trim tag coding, this rare classic is even more desirable due to its factory 4-speed transmission. Described in Morphy’s catalog as a “total rotisserie restored example,” its engine bay and underside are spotless, and the drive train has been completely disassembled and rebuilt to factory specifications. With its 350/290 V8 engine, this matching-numbers example is a confident candidate for any motoring enthusiast’s collection and is estimated at $75,000-$90,000.

Following as Lot 40, its stablemate is a 1970 Chevelle SS LS6, the highest-horsepower model to roll off Chevrolet’s production line.

It has a 454 cubic inch 450 h.p. motor, Turbo 400 automatic transmission, 4.10 rear axle, positraction and many extras. The original Black Cherry paint and Ivory interior are flawless. “Jim Brady of Super Sports oversaw the frame-up restoration on this car, which will transfer with full documentation. This is an investment-grade muscle car,” Windham said. Estimate: $75,000-$100,000.

Making it a Chevrolet trifecta, Lot 41 is a 1953 Corvette, fully restored and finished in the Black with Red-interior color scheme.

Thousands of dollars were spent on the high-quality frame-off restoration, with particular attention paid to originality. It has a 235 in-line 6-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, and is one of the finest of the original 3,640 first-year Corvettes available on the market today. It is expected to make $70,000-$80,000 at auction.

The speediest of the European sports cars in the sale is Lot 31, a Rossa Corsa Red 1988 Ferrari Testarossa that has clocked only 22,400 miles. The sound of its flat-12 engine through a 5-speed transmission is spine tingling.

“Manual-shifting Ferraris, or what aficionados call three-pedal Ferraris – are really taking off in the marketplace,” Windham said. “Ferrari no longer produces a manual-shifting model, and although later ‘paddle shifters’ – which operate hydraulically – produce faster gear changes, they eliminate a large component of driver interaction and skill. Enthusiasts enjoy the full relationship between driver and car that a manual clutch provides.”

Windham said Testarossas have appreciated 20% in the past 12-18 months.

“A few years ago, this car could have been bought for $55,000 to $60,000, but with the current demand for three-pedal Ferraris, this one is entered in the auction with an $80,000 to $100,000 estimate,” Windham said.

The Saturday, May 16 Automobile Auction will start at 12 noon Eastern Time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

For additional information on any automobile or motorcycle in the May 16 auction, call Bill Windham at 717-335-3435; email bill.windham@morphyauctions.com.

 

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), 'Two Puritans,' oil on canvas, painted in 1945. Estimate: $20,000,000–$30,000,000. Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2015

Hopper’s ‘Two Puritans’ to be offered at auction for first time


Edward Hopper (1882-1967), 'Two Puritans,' oil on canvas, painted in 1945. Estimate: $20,000,000–$30,000,000. Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd. 2015

NEW YORK – On May 21, as the star lot of its sale of American Art, Christie’s will offer Two Puritans by Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Painted in 1945 at the height of Hopper’s career, Two Puritans, one of only three canvases by the artist of that year and the only one in private hands, is estimated to bring in excess of $20 million when it appears at auction for the first time this spring.

The painting has been included in nearly every major exhibition and publication on the artist and, most recently was on view in Paris at the Grand Palais, where the Hopper exhibition broke attendance records, proving that the artist has arrived on an international stage.

“Edward Hopper’s masterwork Two Puritans can be considered at once an intimate and revealing portrait of the artist and his wife, as well as a testament to his dogged dedication to realism in the face of a changing visual world that increasingly championed abstraction,” said Elizabeth Beaman, Christie’s head of American Art. “We are privileged to offer this seminal work, which has never appeared at auction before.”

Hopper’s oeuvre is defined by what is a first glance a seemingly mundane, American subject yet in each canvas, and perhaps most poignantly in Two Puritans, a complex psychological subtext lies just beneath the surface, betraying the simplicity of the scene.

Hopper’s choice and earnest representation of commonplace subject matter in works such as Two Puritans set the artist apart from his contemporaries and allowed him to create a new and uniquely American iconography. In Two Puritans and throughout his career, Hopper painted aspects of America that few other artists addressed. He portrayed unromantic visions of life in a broad and increasingly modern style. While Hopper’s paintings have formal qualities in common with other Modernists, his art remained steadfastly realist.

In recent seasons, prices for Hopper’s paintings have soared at auction, driven by renewed demand for masterpiece-quality works. In October 2013, East Wind Over Weehawken sold for $40,485,000 setting a new world auction record for the artist.

Artist unknown, First Park, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick.

Reading the Streets: First Park street art


Artist unknown, First Park, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick.

NEW YORK – First Avenue and Houston Street is finally notable for something other than endless construction and the long tease of building the (mythical?) Second Avenue Subway. First came Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, and on the first warm weekend in what feels like years, I visited First Park, the skinny green strip on Houston between First and Second avenues, which joined the art party last year.

First up is the black and white Ronald McDonald as Michael Jackson mural. Jackson looks pissed; his iconic uniform, with its block M against a circle, hanging limply off of his tired body. I hope the afterlife offers better paying positions.




At first I thought the piece was part of the Wack Donalds project by French artist Mr. One Teas, featuring Ronald McDonald in sometimes hilarious, sometimes compromising positions. This piece however, is by Ivan Orama, the artist behind one of my favorite pieces at the 21st Precinct Show last summer, a sassy, pig-tailed girl, mouth wide open, the better to scream “New York City will eat you if you let it” with.




Next to the King of Pop is Ms Me’s creation: a woman in a bank robber ski mask with Mickey Mouse ears, because the best bank robbers have a touch of whimsy. Her left breast has also turned into what looks like a baby unicorn whose horn has just begun to emerge. Part robber, part mythical creature, I couldn’t stop staring. The animal was cute, but I’m pretty sure the cuteness is a distraction, the better to steal my wallet.




On the way out, I spotted an unexpectedly poignant piece, a contrast to the playful surrealism of the one before: a mural of two boys, lying down with their feet up against the wall, eyes wide but weary. The boy in the blue baseball cap turns to his friend, asking, “You sure it’s still worth it?”

Too real, I thought. Can I go back to the mouse/robber? Has this mural been reading my mind? Creepiness aside, I hope the answer to the boy’s question is “yes.”


Detroit's 1928 Fisher Building with its 28-story tower was designed by architect Joseph Nathaniel French of Albert Kahn Associates. Image by Mikerussell at en.wikipedia.

Landmark Detroit buildings going up for auction in June


Detroit's 1928 Fisher Building with its 28-story tower was designed by architect Joseph Nathaniel French of Albert Kahn Associates. Image by Mikerussell at en.wikipedia.

DETROIT (AP) – Two historic Detroit buildings are going up for auction after the previous owner defaulted on the mortgage.

The Detroit News reported Wednesday the Fisher and Albert Kahn buildings will be part of a package auction in June. The opportunity to buy the New Center area buildings comes after FK Acquisition LLC defaulted on a $27 million mortgage two years ago.

The 30-story Fisher, a national historic landmark, was built in 1928. The nearby 8-story Kahn is named after the architect and firm he established, Albert Kahn Associates, which remains a key tenant.

Analysts say the downtown building-buying frenzy led by businessman Dan Gilbert has yet to take root in the New Center area. But the construction of a light-rail line and growth in neighboring Midtown are thought to be promising signs.

___

Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-23-15 1249GMT

Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art. Photo copyright Nic Lehoux

VIDEO: New Whitney design by Renzo Piano a game changer


Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art. Photo copyright Nic Lehoux

NEW YORK (AP) – Street banners for weeks have teased: “Whitney, Unpacking in the Meatpacking, May 2015.”

Finally, after four years of construction, the Whitney Museum of American Art is unpacked and ready to greet fans old and new in its new home – a gleaming asymmetrical steel-and-glass architectural sculpture with sweeping views of the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s hip Meatpacking District.

The $422 million Renzo Piano-designed building is a game-changer for the museum. The 220,000-square-foot space, including 18,000 feet unencumbered by structural columns and 13,000 feet of outdoor terrace galleries, doubles its former home on the Upper East Side. That translates to more room for its 22,000-object permanent collection, more galleries for temporary exhibitions, more programming and for the first time room for a works-on-paper study center, a 170-seat theater and an education center with state-of-the-art classrooms.

The Whitney officially opens May 1 with an inaugural exhibition that showcases the airy, light-infused building and the breadth and depth of its permanent collection.

“America is Hard to See” – which takes its name from a Robert Frost poem – features 650 works by 400 artists from 1900 to the present, filling every gallery floor of the eight-story building.

Roughly one-quarter of the art has never been seen before or not for decades and more than 150 are making their debuts.

Probably best described as industrial modern, the facility is an eccentric mix of shapes and angles with many floor-to-ceiling windows.

In an interview, Donna De Salvo, the museum’s chief curator who worked closely with the architectural team, spoke animatedly about the opportunities the design presented for “new narratives about how we think about American art.”= The museum has raised a total of $760 million, which includes $225 million for its endowment.

The game changer is the space, De Salvo said. “We didn’t have adequate space in our prior facility to really fully take advantage of all the things we have to offer.”

Now two floors are designated for its permanent collection; two other floors and the lobby house temporary exhibitions. The elevators are custom-designed with works by artist Richard Artschwager. De Salvo said she believed artists will be inspired by the new spaces and will “reinvent them over and over again.” They’re tailored to the needs of how artists – and curators – work, she said.

Floors throughout are sprung, allowing for both performance and installations. Open-grid ceilings permit walls and art to be arranged into multitude configurations.

The column-free gallery – the size of a football field – can hold multiple exhibitions or a single show. Four open-air terraces provide a place for sculpture, installations, projections and performance pieces and open up to the neighborhood and its trendy restaurants, luxury apartment buildings, boutiques and clubs. The gallery-rich Chelsea area lies north and Greenwich Village is just south of the museum.

Bounded on the east by the High Line and the Hudson River Park on the west, the Whitney serves as “a metaphorical bridge between the two spaces,” said museum director Adam Weinberg. Outdoor metal staircases connect to the terraces on three floors, steps from lower building rooftops.

People strolling along the 1.45-mile elevated park can get a glimpse of the museum’s conservation lab and art handling area.

“You can actually see art moving through the building to give you a sense of the process of what goes on behind the scenes,” said Weinberg. “The idea is to connect to the process of the art and the museum, to reveal what goes on inside.”

The inaugural show begins in the lobby gallery with an introduction to the museum’s precursor, the Whitney Studio Club in Greenwich Village, and its founding in 1930 by heiress-sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The museum migrated north over the years, moving into its third home in 1966 at the Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue, now leased to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition continues on the top floor and works down chronologically, presenting works in 23 “chapters,” each named for a work of art. One section called “Music, Pink and Blue,” derived from a Georgia O’Keefe painting, looks at art-making in the 1920s when artists tried to capture the feeling and sensation of music in their art form. Another section looks at the engagement of artists as activists during the 1930s.

Each section presents works across all media – painting, photography, video, installation and drawing – because “it’s a much truer picture of how artists work,” said De Salvo.

A major exhibition of the works of Frank Stella that will occupy the entire fifth floor will be presented in the fall.= “I love the connectivity to the city,” said Laurel Emery of the building as she came down from the High Line with Jim Kegley.

The two real estate developers from Atlanta said they loved how the design interacted with the surrounding architecture.

“It’s very approachable. It’ll attract a lot of art people,” said Kegley.

___

Online:

http://whitney.org/

Video:

http://bcove.me/dfx24rlg

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-23-15 1717GMT

On Sept. 8, 2009, HSI New York recovered the 2,600-year-old nesting sarcophagus from a garage in Brooklyn, New York. One year later, on Sept. 24, 2010, following leads from the Brooklyn case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport seized a shipment of smuggled Egyptian goods, including a funerary boat model and figurines. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement images.

US returns dozens of smuggled ancient artifacts to Egypt



On Sept. 8, 2009, HSI New York recovered the 2,600-year-old nesting sarcophagus from a garage in Brooklyn, New York. One year later, on Sept. 24, 2010, following leads from the Brooklyn case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport seized a shipment of smuggled Egyptian goods, including a funerary boat model and figurines. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement images.

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials have returned dozens of illegally smuggled artifacts to Egypt, including a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus.

The items were repatriated to Egyptian officials Wednesday at the National Geographic Society in Washington. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its investigation has identified a criminal network that smuggled and imported more than 7,000 artifacts from around the world.

U.S. officials say the sarcophagus was recovered in 2009 from a garage in Brooklyn, New York. A year later, border patrol agents seized a funerary boat model, figurines (below) and other goods at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. In a related seizure, agents recovered 638 ancient coins from different countries. Of those, 65 were repatriated to Egypt.




To date, the investigation has resulted in four indictments, two convictions and 16 seizures totaling about $3 million.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-04-22-15 1833GMT

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the ESB). Photograph by Tim Schenck

Empire State Building to light up for The Whitney, May 1


The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the ESB). Photograph by Tim Schenck

NEW YORK – The Whitney Museum of American Art will partner with Empire State Realty Trust on a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only Empire State Building lightshow on Friday, May 1, 2015, marking two historic occasions: the opening day of the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano–designed building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and the eighty-fourth anniversary of the Empire State Building.

Focusing on twelve iconic works from the Whitney’s collection, lighting designer Marc Brickman will interpret pieces by artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Peter Halley, and Barbara Kruger, among others, utilizing the Empire State Building’s LED tower lights to create a dynamic show. Beginning at 8 pm on Friday, May 1, each of the twelve artworks will be showcased for thirty minutes, with the light show ending at 2 am on Saturday, May 2.

Most of the works that inspired the light show will be on view at the Whitney as part of the new building’s inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See (May 1–September 27, 2015).

“We’re thrilled to see these incredible works from the Whitney’s collection interpreted on one of the most iconic buildings in the world—one that has been the subject of many an artist’s work,” said Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs. “We can’t imagine a more spectacular way in which to signal the opening of our new building and celebrate the art and artists of the United States.”

“The Empire State Building has brought music, sports, and elections to life with our state-of-the-art lighting system, and now we’re delighted to showcase the impressive artwork of the Whitney Museum of American Art,” said Anthony E. Malkin, Chairman and CEO of ESRT. “Our partnership with the Whitney will give the people of New York a celebration of two of the city’s iconic institutions.”

To kick off the celebration, a lighting ceremony will take place at the Empire State Building for invited media and guests on May 1. John B. Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Empire State Realty Trust; Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director; Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs; and some of the artists whose work will be interpreted in the light show will jointly flip the “switch” and light the building in celebratory colors.

A special viewing for Museum visitors will be held on Friday, May 1, from 8 pm until 10 pm, at the Whitney’s new building at 99 Gansevoort Street, which has stunning views of the Empire State Building from its four, east-facing terraces.

The artworks can be viewed online at www.whitney.org/ESBand on May 1, an online slideshow will be synchronized to the lightshow, so that viewers throughout the city can look at the Empire State Building and the art works in real time.

# # #

Dreweatts to auction newly discovered Asian treasures May 19


An important work of art is this bronze model of a tiger from Warring States-Western Han style. A symbol of peace, the tiger is one of the oldest and most revered animals in Chinese history.  This big cat, 5 1/4 inches long, has an estimate of 3,000-5,000 pounds. Dreweatts & Bloomsbury images

NEWBURY, UK – Dreweatts will present the company’s first Chinese ceramics and Asian works of art sale of 2015 on Tuesday, May 19. Featuring 170 lots from Yuan through Ming, Qing and the other Imperial dynasties to 20th century, the auction features textiles, ceramics, works of art and artworks from a number of private collections. The auction will be held at Dreweatts’ Donnington Priory.

LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

“With works spanning eight centuries of Asian art history the auction appeals to buyers of all tastes,” said Mark Newstead, Dreweatts’ head of Asian and European ceramics and works of art.

The jewel from one family’s private collection and leading the works of art lots is a large pair of cloisonné enamel double crane censers measuring 60 inches high. As birds with a long life span, cranes are associated with longevity, immortality and wisdom in Chinese tradition, particularly following the rise of Daoism from the Han dynasty. The pair has been in a family collection for a number of generations and is estimated to achieve 6,000-8,000 pounds ($9,034-$12,045).




A 19th century rare embroidered Imperial apricot ground, twelve symbols dragon robe leads the textile works in the sale. Imperial dragon robes were worn during festive holidays by the emperor and as such were adorned with the twelve symbols of Imperial sovereignty arranged in groups; the sun, the moon, the stars, the dragon, and the flowery fowl, which are depicted on the upper garment, the temple-cup, the aquatic grass, the flames, the grain of rice, the hatchet, and the symbol of distinction, which are embroidered on the lower garment (estimate: 8,000-10,000 pounds).




Bridging the gap from textiles to artworks is a 17th–18th century rare Tibetan thangka (painting on cotton or silk) of Shantirakshita, the Guardian of Peace, a renowned eighth century Indian Buddhist Brahim and abbot of Nalanda (estimate: 2,000-3,000 pounds).




Already attracting attention in the ceramics section of the sale is a Republican Period vase amusingly painted, with a figure hiding and peeking out from inside a pagoda and a seated dog at the entrance to a palace garden estimated at 800-1,200 pounds.




A good 19th century porcelain screen depicting a walled garden and mounted in a hardwood frame stands about 37 inches high (estimate: 800-1,200 pounds).






View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.