NEW YORK – Gianguan Auctions will inaugurate its new Manhattan gallery at 39 W. 56th St. with a holiday sale of Buddhist art, Chinese porcelains and fine Chinese paintings, ancient to modern. Collections of stone seals, teapots and carved jades also come to the auction block on Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern.
Fine art collectors who appreciate the company they keep need only view the 13 emperor seals, 22 collectors’ seals and colophon by Emperor Qianlong that adorn Lot 117, Traveling Troupe, a Northern Song Dynasty painting (below) by Fan Kuan (950-1032). A masterpiece of tonality, the ink on paper captures the high rising river and plateaus of a mountain while a troupe of travelers in the foreground groom their water buffalo and attend to chores. The estimate on Lot 113, Traveling Troupe, is $15 million to $20 million.
Fast forwarding to mid-century, Lot 100, Spring Trees (below) by Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010) makes a strong abstract statement with a ground of colorful ink splashed overlaid with bold black strokes. Signed, with one artist seal, it is set to go off at $40,000-$60,000.
Chinese porcelains include Famille Rose, Caledon, Zisha, and Blanc de Chine from the Yuan Dynasty through the Ming, Glazes run from copper red to wood grain, flambé and purple splash, creating a compelling inventory for collectors.
The marquee item is Lot 138, a Yuan dynasty dragon jar (below) with a rare copper red underglaze that depicts a three-clawed dragon among flames chasing a flaming pearl. Standing 12 3/4 inches tall, the pear-shaped vase is $200,000-$400,000.
Meanwhile, mid-level collectors will be well pleased with Lot 234, a Ming Dynasty bovine blood-red stem plate that carries the Xuande six-character mark and is of the period. It is estimated at $6,000-$10,000. Entry-level collectors will appreciate Lot 236, a copper-red ewer sculpted with florals and insects, valued at $1,500-$3,000.
Buddhist art rendered in silver, gilt bronze, polychrome porcelain, jade, stone, crystal and gouache carry values from $400 to $40,000. Lot 37, for instance, is a silver figure of a Shakyamuni Buddha seated in dhyanasana. Of the Ming Dynasty with the Zhengde six-character mark, the 12-inch statue (below) weighs 5,300 grams, or slightly more than 11 pounds, and is valued at $30,000-$50,000.
Two Thangka wall murals, Lots 194 and 195, depict Goddess Sarawati with a stringed instrument and Ushnishavijaya holding all her instruments and framed by a flaming mandorla. Painted in gouache, the dynamic pieces will bring $3,000-$4,000.
Stone reflections of faith include Lot 35, a polychrome carved shoushan Budai Louhan (below). Its estimate is $2,800-$5,000.
Always popular with collectors are shoushan and jade seals. The auction puts a fine collection up front. The most sought after will be Lot 32, an olive green jade dragon seal of the Ming Dynasty. Surmounted on a rectangular base is a highly detailed, scaly, recumbent dragon. The base has a six character intaglio: Zhengtong Huangdi Zhibao (Treasure of the Zhengtong Emperor.) The 5-pound seal is valued at $30,000-$50,000.
LiveAuctioneers.com will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.