Asian art sales deliver three days of glorious results at Hindman


Left, archaic bronze rectangular food vessel, Fangding, $487,500; Right, Japanese silver rabbit-form bonbonniere, $8,125

Left, archaic bronze rectangular food vessel, fangding, $487,500; Right, silver rabbit-form bonbonniere, $8,125

CHICAGO – The sale of an archaic bronze food vessel in Hindman Auctions’ March 29 Chinese and Himalayan Works of Art auction capped three successful days of Asian Art sales. The auction achieved more than $2.24 million, doubling its presale estimate. Also headlining the sale was property from the estate of Hisazo Nagatani, an admired collector and connoisseur of Asian works art. Stunning results were seen across all three sales, beginning with Japanese and Korean Works of Art on March 25, followed by Strong Diversions: Property from a Lifetime of Play on March 28, and concluding with Chinese and Himalayan Works of Art on March 29.

Chinese and Himalayan Works of Art | March 29

A Chinese archaic bronze ceremonial fangding vessel, called a Sanji fangding, was the star lot of the March 29 auction. It achieved $487,500, doubling its presale estimate of $150,000-$200,000.

Archaic bronze rectangular food vessel, Fangding, $487,500

Archaic bronze rectangular food vessel, fangding, $487,500

The vessel was once owned by renowned official and collector Liu Tizhi, and while the inscriptions on this vessel have been illustrated in many publications, this sale was the first time the piece had been seen in public in almost a century. The decoration, the casting and the form of this vessel suggests it is from the mid-Western Han Dynasty, and that it was once used by the San clan during ceremonies.

Estate of Hisazo Nagatani

Among the many notable collections included in the auction was property from beloved Chicago collector Hisazo Nagatani, which saw tremendous bidding activity.

Translucent grayish-celadon jadeite covered vase, $81,250

Translucent grayish-celadon jadeite covered vase, $81,250

An early 20th-century translucent grayish-celadon jadeite covered vase with a pair of handles each shaped as the head of a mythical beast earned $81,250, 10 times its presale estimate. An archaistic bronze wine jar and cover, known as a fanglei, was another highlight, selling for $40,625 against a presale estimate of $1,500-$2,400. Other standouts of the Nagatani estate included a carved yellow jade covered vase that sold for $37,500 and a carved puddingstone figure of a seated lion that sold for $20,000.

Japanese and Korean Works of Art | March 25

Silver bonbonniere in the March 25 Japanese & Korean Works of Art auction saw exceptional bidding activity, led by a Japanese silver rabbit-form bonbonniere that surpassed its presale estimate of $1,000-$2,000 to realize $8,125. This rabbit was made as a souvenir for the marriage of Princess Nagako of Kuni no Miya, known as the Empress Kojun. Another highlight from the group was a lot of two Japanese silver helmet-form bonbonniere, which sold for $4,063.

Japanese silver rabbit-form bonbonniere, $8,125

Silver rabbit-form bonbonniere, $8,125

A selection of Japanese ikebana bamboo flower-arranging baskets were highly sought-after. The top lot of the group was by Kajiwara Aya, a renowned bamboo artist who was one of the first female bamboo artists accepted as a full member of the Japan Craft Arts Association. The basket sold for $5,625, more than double its presale estimate.

Other sale standouts were a late 19th-century or early 20th-century mixed-metal charger depicting a smiling fishmonger and scholar that sold for $16,250, well above its presale estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Highlights also included ink and color paintings, such as Kawase Hasui’s 1920 colored woodblock print Densensui no zenkei (Panoramic View of Daisensui Pond) from the set Mitsubishi Fukagawa bettei (Pictures of Mitsubishi Fukagawa Villa), which sold for $8,750 against an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.


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