Tiny Chinese bronze censer rises to top of Bruneau auction

This palm-size Chinese Qing Dynasty bronze censer far surpassed estimates, selling for $8,125. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

CRANSTON, R.I. – Fine art coexisted in peaceful harmony alongside Asian objects at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ antiques and fine art auction held on June 6, as a fine Chinese Qing Dynasty miniature bronze censer changed hands for $8,125 to take top lot honors, while paintings by Antonio Cirino, Giuseppe Castiglione and Jeremiah Wilson also performed well. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction featured 325 lots from estates across New England, online and in Bruneau’s gallery in Cranston.

“The auction performed well across the board,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer. “It was a thrill to see surprises like the censer and Jeremiah Wilson landscape.”

Kevin Bruneau, president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, added, “I knew from the beginning when I picked that censer out of the China cabinet in the client’s home it was special. For its diminutive size it was of very fine quality.”

The Chinese Qing Dynasty miniature bronze censer (above) was diminutive in the truest sense of the word, as the object was less than 2 inches tall and about 2½ inches wide. It was exceptionally detailed throughout and featured a swelled and lobed body with intricate taotie lug handles on four small pad feet. The underside of the censer bore the six-character Qing mark.

All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

An Impressionist oil on canvas winter landscape painting by Antonio Cirino (Rhode Island/Italy, 1889-1983), depicting a meandering stream through a snow-capped forest, with a small walking bridge in the background, sold for $2,812. The signed work was accompanied by personal correspondence between Cirino and his family, Christmas cards and other ephemera.

Impressionist winter landscape painting signed by Antonio Cirino (1889-1983). Price realized: $2,812. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

A genre painting of a beautiful young woman by Giuseppe Castiglione (Italian, 1829-1908), titled Meditating the Reply, sold within estimate for $2,125. The work, signed “G Castiglione” lower right and displayed in a 24-by-20-inch frame, showed a young woman in lavish attire, seated at a table draped with an Oriental tapestry pondering her response with a quill and paper in hand.

Genre painting by Giuseppe Castiglione (1829-1908), titled ‘Meditating the Reply.’ Price realized: $2,125. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

An oil on canvas naturalist painting by Jeremiah Wilson (Calif./Pennsylvania/Canada, 1824-1899) showing a lakeside farm with old world windmills as a farmer tended to his livestock in the foreground and a castle in the distant background, rose to $2,375. The painting, housed in a 40-by-61½-inch frame, was signed and dated (“J. Wilson 1859”) lower left.

Oil on canvas naturalist painting by Jeremiah Wilson (1824-1899). Price realized: $2,375. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

A Chinese Hu oxblood sang de boeuf porcelain vase from the Qing Dynasty, 14¼ inches tall, changed hands for $2,000. The vase had a flared rim over a square swelled body on a rough foot, with a puddled celadon glaze to the underside of the foot. Sang de boeuf (French for oxblood) is a rich deep red glaze, created using copper oxide.

Chinese Hu oxblood porcelain vase, which was once cemented into a circa 1920 lamp base. Price realized: $2,000. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

Other noteworthy lots included a vintage French Louis Vuitton original monogram style leather and wood hat box, made in the 20 century and monogrammed “P” on the sides ($2,250); and a complete set of 2016 factory-sealed Small Lie painted cast vinyl figures by the American artist and designer known as KAWS (b. 1974), published by Medicom Toy (Tokyo), 11 inches tall.

Vintage French Louis Vuitton leather and wood hat box. Price realized: $2,250. Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers image

For more information contact Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers at info@bruneauandco.com or 401- 533-9980.