Fine carvings among Asian treasures in Montecito sale Feb. 23
Among the Asian items will be gemston and ivory carvings, Peking glass and antiques.
A wide variety of Asian hardstone carvings are presented at this auction including a rich selection of semiprecious stone carvings; also known as gemstones, such as jade, jadeite in many colors, tigereye, black jade, turquoise, lapis, agate, water-bile agate, amethyst, Shoushan stone and other carved gemstones. Some of the gemstone items are antique and some just older pieces. Gemstone carvings were highly prized in many cultures and often attributed special powers or religious importance. They have gained a special place in art history and modern decorative art.
A good example is the huge jadeite carving, 3 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet high, which weighs well over 300 pounds (lot 2101). All craved from one massive piece of jadeite resembling exotic and extensive carving of Lady Yang bathing over a village in natural surroundings under a crescent moon standing over a rock close to vivid ocean waves. Such a large and precious stone was carved only by the most qualified masters as the slightest mistake could destroy it.
The auction will have a great selection of mammoth ivory carvings in many shapes, forms and sizes masterfully carved in many different themes. Although the specie has been extinct for over 10,000 years, mammoth tusks were well preserved because of geographic range in Siberia, Alaska and other cold regions and still found by locals in northern Siberia during the warm months and exported to East Asia where the master carvers create precious art pieces. Lot 2140, a mammoth ivory carving, 16 inches long, represents an astonishing scene of five figurines, three of which are believed to be the Immortals while the other two are younger characters playing music in a festivie mood next to a mountain with clouds surrounding the summit. The detailed carving is incredible, especially the tree branches, and the coloring of the ivory is done with great care to avoid overpowering the ivory properties.
Montecito Auction Co. will also be offering a few magnificent Peking glass items. It is a traditional form of overlaying colored glass over another colored glass and then carving it to perfection. It is a meticulous and time-consuming process in Chinese art tradition going back to Qing Dynasty in 17th and 18th centuries. Lot 2030, a Peking glass red and blue vase is presented at this auction. Unlike most Peking glass pieces, the first layer of glass is carved as well in this example. Usually, only the outer layer of Peking glass carries the carving over a flat-surfaced colored base glass layer. The red surface of base glass on this lot is carved in great detail. The blue overlay is carved perfectly to resemble two kinds of birds, swallow and nightingale, with flowers and blossoms.
Several other precious antiques pieces are worth mentioning as well, most notably is lot 2105, the 33 inches almost square antique Islamic handwoven embroidery panel, also called Suzanni (refers to needles), with gilded wires on yarns. The borders are filled with Arabic words and the center medallion carries a beautiful Arabic artistic scripture surrounded by four moons with a star engulfed by the moon, which is a common symbol in the Islamic world. Embroidery was an important medieval Islamic art and one made with gilded yarn was a sign of high social status.
Other highlights include the ceremonial jade blade lot 2055A and a Cizhou vessel Yuan/Song Dynasty, with flying phoenix, lot 2110. One of our most interesting pieces is the lot 2037A, a zoomorphic terra-cotta vessel covered with sheepskin, circa 12th or 13th century originating from India.
For details contact the Montecito Auction Co. auctioneer Cyrus L. Santoriello via email: Montecitoauctions@gmail.com or phone 805-630-0970.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE