AMESBURY, Mass. – On Sunday, March 18, John McInnis Auctioneers will present a sale of over 500 lots of fine Asian furniture, porcelains, ivory, jade and snuff bottles at their gallery, 76 Main St. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime sale of exceptional Asian antiques,” said John McInnis, auctioneer, “featuring the collection of a New England gentleman, a former CIA operative and adviser to the U.S. State Department during the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. He lived in China and Japan and traveled extensively throughout Asia for three decades.”
The highlights of the sale include finely carved furniture from the Qing Dynasty, a Ming dynasty celadon bottle and a massive 18th century blue-and-white bowl.
“The condition, of the pieces in this sale, are very good and it is a pleasure to handle so many truly spectacular objects,” added McInnis. “Our gallery has a history of selling fine Asian art and furniture. Dealers from around the world recognize our expertise. With technology today, we can easily have online bidders from China, phone bidders from Japan and live bidders from New York or San Francisco at our auctions. Thanks to technology, the location of an auction means less these days. Quality merchandise brings strong prices whether it is sold in London or Amesbury, Mass.”
Among the many furniture highlights at the sale is a Chinese, Late Qing Dynasty, 19th century masterfully carved ebonized hardwood center table of leaf and berry motifs with inset variegated rouge marble top, pierced apron, large urn form standard above a tiered platform quadruped base terminating in scroll feet. The 53-inch-diameter table has a great provenance coming from the John Heard family it was displayed in the Appleton Room of the Heard House Museum in Ipswich, Mass. Deaccessioned in the 1970s, it was purchased and remained with one owner until the present.
“In very good to original condition, this beautiful table has already attracted the attention of collector’s world-wide and I expect it to sell in the $30,000 to $50,000 range,” said McInnis.
Equally exciting is an exceptional Chinese late Qing Dynasty, mid-19th century ebonized and superlatively artisan carved desk/bookcase with a pierce carved gallery over four-shelf back with floral relief sides resting upon a base with rouge variegated inset marble, rising on carved cabriole legs. It is similar to the style of furniture acquired by Robert Bennet Forbes in 1849 and displayed at the Forbes House Museum in Milton Mass., and carries an estimate of $9,000-$14,000.
Anyone interested in Chinese furniture will not want to miss the pair of late Qing, probably huanghuali wood, yoke-back side chairs on straight molded supports joined by stretchers or the Chinese three-part huanghuali partners desk with double bank, paneled doors and three-to-a-side opposing drawers. They are extraordinary examples and in good condition. The pair of chairs carries an estimate of $5,000 to $10,000, while the desk is estimated to sell for between $25,000 and $35,000.
Highlighting the porcelain lots, is a massive Chinese blue-and-white shallow bowl, Qing period, 18th century, which features a centered by leafy stylized lotus and peony pattern, birds-and-flowers to the exterior. The base has an apocryphal Qianlong mark. Also outstanding, is a Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon bulb-mouth bottle (suankouping), with a pear-form body. It is a delicate and graceful example of treasured jade-green ceramic.
The sale will feature a number of snuff bottles, but none as stunning as the Chinese inlaid and polychrome ivory bottle from the Qing dynasty. The 3-inch bottle with matching stopper, is carved with an emperor, reversed by a warrior, the sides and shoulders are inlaid with minute seed pearls and the base has a four-character Qianlong mark.
“The booming Asian economy has created an ever increasing demand for fine Asian art and antiques,” added McInnis. “At our last sale of Asian antiques, we had over 300 online and telephone bidders from Asia and we expect at least that level of interest for the March 18 sale.”
There will be an exhibition of the merchandise on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 15-17 from 1 to 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until sale on March 18. An online catalog with photos, descriptions and estimates is available at www.mcinnisauctions.com. John McInnis is licensed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Florida. There is a 15 percent buyer’s premium and 6.25 percent Massachusetts sales tax. For details call the gallery at 800-822-1417.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE