NEW YORK – On September 18, Gianguan Auctions will hold a sale of Important Chinese Works of Art and Paintings, featuring traditional and contemporary master paintings, carved jades, fine ceramics, Yixing teapots, bronze and Buddhist sculptures. The online auction will start at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the lineup is an Imperial celadon jade seal of Emperor Qianlong, housed in a Zitan box with an embellished jade medallion. It is of square form, surmounted by a ferocious recumbent dragon powerfully depicted crouching on its haunches. The seal face is deeply and crisply carved with four evenly spaced and proportioned characters that translate to: The Calligraphy and Painting of Qianlong Emperor. The stone is of celadon tone with brown opaque mottling and darker speckling. The Imperial seal is estimated at $20,000-$25,000.
Equally striking is another Qing dynasty Tianhuang seal carved with a Buddhist lion and cub. The square seal is inscribed on four sides, each with an auspicious emblem. The stone sports a golden honey hue with a lustrous sheen, and the seal face is uncarved. It is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
Highlights of the ceramic collection include a Ming dynasty blue and white Monks’ Cap ewer, created from Sengmaohu. Monk’s-cap ewers were used in ritual ceremonies of the Lamaist sect of Buddhism. The pear-shaped globular body is painted in vibrant cobalt, with six lobed medallions of ruyi enclosing floral branches. Below the ruyi medallions is a continuous frieze of lanca characters. The blue and white porcelain ewer is estimated at $40,000-$60,000.
Connoisseurs of monochrome will enjoy an exquisite Song dynasty Dingyao collection of molded plates decorated with dragons, phoenixes, mandarin ducks with scrolling sprays, and key fret borders. Their estimates range from $2,000 to $8,000.
The selection of Buddhist and religious statues include a Sui-Tang dynasty jade Shakyamuni with flaming mandorla. The figure is carved in high relief and seated on a double-lotus throne, framed by a flame-shaped mandorla. On the back of the mandorla is another carved Bodhisattva seated and draped in loose overlapping sashes. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
Cloisonne collectors will want to consider a pair of octagonal dragon vases, brilliantly decorated in bright cloisonne enamels on a turquoise-ground. The pair carry an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth went to China in the early 1970s and purchased modern Chinese paintings including traditional masters, bringing them to the western art world. One of these is Lot 87, Wu Weiye’s Visiting Friends with Qin. Dated 1647, which places it in the Ming dynasty, this fluent and energetic landscape painting was in the collection of Liang Qingbiao, himself a known scholar and calligrapher before it passed on to Ellsworth. The Wu Weiye scroll is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.
Contemporary artist Li Keran embarked on a trip south of the Yangtze river and started a new landscape painting method of using brush and ink to record the actual landscape, closely observed. His Ten Leaves Album of Landscape, rendered in 1982, became a hallmark of his mature style and celebrated work. It is estimated at $50,000-$80,000.
The sale also features a collection of Neolithic period carved jade workmanship from the Hongshan culture. These archaic jades have long been considered as a symbol of royalty with historical significance. Leading the group is Lot 76, a Warring States carved eagle in twin parts as a token of war decree. The emperor used this token to grant his general to dispatch the army. The right talisman is kept by the emperor, and the left is handed over to the general leading the soldiers. The alluring jade is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.
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