NEW YORK — Gianguan Auctions will celebrate the 20th annual Asian Art Week with an auction to be held on Saturday, March 27, starting at 10 a.m. Eastern. The sale will feature a fine selection of classical paintings, splendid Sino-Tibetan gilt bronzes, beautiful jades from neolithic to contemporary, Ming and Qing porcelains and Buddhist sculptures from private collections. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be provided by LiveAuctioneers.com. The auction opens with its marquee item from the Qing Dynasty, a rare group of finely cast gilt bronze figures of Guandi, Guan Ping and Zhou Cang. Surviving examples of 18th-century bronze figures of Guandi with his attendants are rare. Covered in thick gilding and cast with elaborate armor incised with decorations and intricately defined features, these historical figures of Guandi, the deified form of Guan Yu, remains one of the most popular Chinese historical figures, and is worshipped by Daoist and Buddhist practitioners as a guardian deity. This leading lot is estimated to sell between $40,000-$60,000.
Elaborate Buddhist statues start with splendid a gilt bronze seated figure of Guanyin dating to the Qing Dynasty. The base is sealed and incised with a double vajra. The separate pedestal base is cast at the bottom with rows of lotus petals on a hexagonal bottom base, and is enclosed by a balustrade and supported on six short feet joined by cusped aprons. This lot carries an estimate of $12,000-$20,000.
Equally dramatic is a Qing Dynasty Jingdezhen Kiln famille-rose Guanyin. She is modeled standing atop a dragon with a phoenix on a base of cresting waves. Her hair is in a high topknot, and she holds a pearl in her right hand and a bead necklace in the other, capturing the femininity of the goddess. This lot carries an estimate of $5,000-$6,000.
Next up is a zitan Guanyin on a lotus seat, also dating to the Qing Dynasty. Zitan wood became a very expensive commodity by the early Qing period since their number dwindled dramatically from excessive lumbering activities throughout the Ming Dynasty. The scarcity was compounded by the fact that these trees are slow growing and require centuries to fully mature into usable material. This massive zitan figure is indeed an uncommon find. It’s estimated to sell between $6,000-$8,000.
A great value with strong history is this polychromed Bodhisattva. Dressed with a dhoti skirt, beaded necklace and bracelets, the figure shows traces of gesso and remaining pigment. Seated informally on a lotus pedestal with the right arm relaxed and a raised right knee, the straightened left arm supports the figure on its left side. This item carries a pre-sale estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
A specially curated collection of Chinese paintings highlights the country’s most celebrated artist, Qi Baishi’s landscape expressionist painting. Ink & Color on Paper Album of Ten Leaves is inscribed and signed with his seal on each leaf. In his later years, Qi painted a number of landscapes but in a modern subjective manner, depicting the places he remembered in a highly individual, unconventional style, a bit impressionistic, a bit abstract. He painted what he thought and experienced in linear strokes. This item is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.
Another extraordinary work by Qi is Lotus Landing. On a vast size paper, he rendered only a few lotus pods swaying with a single blossom. At ease and lightened, Qi was an artist who spoke his mind without pandering to the taste of collectors. Articulating xieyi, in images, transferring ideas to paper spontaneously. The item carries a pre-sale estimate of $60,000-$80,000.
The auction will be conducted live online through LiveAuctioneers.com.