Chinese huanghuali armchairs lead Asian selection at Freeman’s, Oct. 18

Pair of Chinese huanghuali yolk-back armchairs, estimated at $80,000-$120,000

Pair of Chinese huanghuali yolk-back armchairs, estimated at $80,000-$120,000

PHILADELPHIA — Freeman’s will hold its next Asian Arts auction on Tuesday, October 18. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. Head of Freeman’s Asian Arts department Ben Farina said, “I am delighted that the sale is led by a pair of finely figured Chinese huanghuali yolk-back armchairs, a set expertly handcrafted in 17th/18th-century China.” The pair is offered with an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.

Following the $948,000 sale of a pair of huanghuali armchairs in Freeman’s April Asian Arts auction, the present lot brings a highly-collectible and richly-figured set of Chinese furniture to market.

Farina added, “These chairs are significant not only for their form — which would have been reserved for the most important guest or family members of the highest rank in a wealthy Chinese household — but also for the beauty of the grain of the wood. The serpentine splats display an exuberant, flame-like figure, elevating an already-desirable form.”

The October 18 Asian Arts auction also includes selected work of Chinese calligraphy, paintings, and seals from the collection of Dr. Nathan Sivin (1931-2022), an eminent Sinologist and academic. Dr. Sivin and his wife, Carole Delmore Sivin, personally knew many of the important Chinese artists, historians, scientists and scholars represented in the collection. Several works are dedicated to “Xi Wen” (Dr. Sivin’s Chinese name) by the author or artist, including Huang Junbi’s Waterfall in a Misty Mountainous Landscape, which is estimated at $7,000-$9,000.

Japanese arts are well-represented by a collection of finely-executed Japanese lacquers from the estate of Stanley Daniel Fishman, including an exhibition-quality Japanese lacquered table screen that carries an estimate of $7,000-$10,000 and a finely-decorated Japanese lacquer low writing table that has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

Also featured are porcelains, Chinese furniture and decorative arts formerly in the collection of Harry J. Haon II (1901-1989), led by a Chinese pale blue glazed porcelain bowl estimated at $5,000-$7,000. Haon was employed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company and was promoted in 1954 to serve in the Foreign Relations Department as Manager of the European Office in London until his retirement in 1962. He continued to live part-time in London into the late 1970s, and it is believed that many of the Asian arts in his collection were acquired during this period.


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