Falangcai-decorated Chinese vase leads Doyle Sept. 20 sale

Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai European-subject porcelain vase, est. $100,000-$300,000

Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai European-subject porcelain vase, est. $100,000-$300,000

NEW YORK – Doyle‘s Asian Works of Art auction on Monday, September 20 at 10am Eastern time will offer the arts of China, Japan and elsewhere throughout Asia dating from the Neolithic period through the 20th century. Showcased will be bronzes, jades, snuff bottles, porcelains, pottery, scholar’s objects and paintings from prominent collections and estates. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The Sarah Belk Gambrell Collection

Doyle is honored to auction Asian porcelains from The Sarah Belk Gambrell collection. This exceptional collection was assembled during many decades by Belk department store heiress and passionate philanthropist Sarah Belk Gambrell (1918-2020).

Highlighting the collection is a rare and important partial Chinese Imperial porcelain vase that reflects the Qianlong Emperor’s (1735-1796) admiration for the European aesthetic. Decorated in Falangcai, or “foreign enamels,” the vase depicts a colorful scene of two European women and a child in a garden. Falangcai was the most expensive and challenging decorating technique employed by the Imperial workshop. The jewel-like colors it produced were unparalleled in their brilliance.

The daughter of Belk department store founder William Henry Belk, Sr., Sarah Belk Gambrell spent her life as a trailblazer. Charting a path in a retail world run by men, she coordinated the women’s wear and cosmetics businesses for hundreds of Belk stores across the South. In 1952, she married banker Charles Glenn Gambrell, and the pair maintained homes in Charlotte and New York.

A generous philanthropist, Mrs. Gambrell was a tireless advocate for women and other marginalized groups nationwide, and in her native city of Charlotte. She served on the national, NYC and Charlotte boards of the YWCA and donated generously to the Mint Museum, Opera Carolina and the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra. Among her educational philanthropies were Queens University in Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University and Furman University. She supported medical institutions, including the NYU Cancer Institute, the UNC Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. She helped build NC’s first homeless shelter for LGBT kids by donating to Time Out Youth.


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