CHICAGO – An archaic bronze vessel and some of the last remaining pieces from the estate of collector Hisazo Nagatani will be offered at Hindman’s March 29 Chinese and Himalayan Works of Art auction. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Headlining this auction will be a selection of Chinese archaic bronze vessels that are thought to have belonged to Chinese scholars. The most anticipated lot among these is a Chinese archaic bronze ceremonial fangding vessel, called a Sanji Fangding, estimated at $150,000-$200,000.
It was once owned by Liu Tizhi, a prominent official and collector. 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. The inscriptions on this vessel have been illustrated in many publications, but this marks the first time the piece will be viewable by the public in almost a century.
Jade Works from the Estate of Hisazo Nagatani
Hizaso Nagatani was an esteemed collector and connoisseur of Asian works of art who joined Yamanaka & Co., one of the early pioneers of the Asian art trade, at the age of 17. He spent his young adulthood based in Beijing traveling throughout China handling porcelains, bronzes, stone sculptures, jades and pottery before relocating to Boston, then eventually Chicago. Once he arrived in the United States, Nagatani’s career began to take off and he was soon managing Yamanaka & Co.’s storefront on the Magnificent Mile. In 1944, he opened a new gallery on North Michigan Avenue, Nagatani & Co, where he built a clientele including local celebrities and industry figures such as Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren, Louis Hill, Robert Mayer, Avery Brundage and the Alsdorfs.
This auction features jade items which are considered to be final objects from the collection of Hisazo Nagatani, giving buyers a unique opportunity to acquire items from this celebrated figure before they are scattered to the wind. A late 19th- or early 20th-century carved yellow jade covered vase, which is naturalistically carved in the round with a dragon on one side, is expected to be among the top lots from the collection. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$25,000. Another highlight is a translucent grayish-celadon jadeite covered vase, estimated at $8,000-$12,000, and a semi-translucent apple green jadeite tripod censer and cover, estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
Furnishings made from precious woods are expected to draw significant attention. Among the highlights are a Huanghuali seal chest called a Guanpixiang, with seven drawers of varying sizes and copper handles. Its estimate is $15,000-$25,000. A tieli wood recessed-leg altar table, also know as a Pingtou’an, is another rare and meticulously crafted piece. It carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
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