Lauren Auctions presents Heirloom Estate of Chinese General Cai Wenzh, Mar. 24-25
ROSWELL, Ga. – On Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, Lauren Auctions will present a sale titled Heirloom Estate of General Cai Wenzhi. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
General Cai Wenzhi (1911-1994) was a Lieutenant General of the National Revolutionary Army, a Chinese military unit that lasted until December 1947. During the course of several decades in his time with the military, Cai Wenzhi amassed a private collection of truly one-of-a-kind collectables. The list of items includes military memorabilia, daggers, swords, historical photographs, political documents, catalogs, manuscripts and books.
A standout among the paintings in the collection is an early work by Xu Beihong (Chinese, 1895-1953), a watercolor on paper titled Pair of Lions on Mountain Peak and estimated at $100,000-$120,000. This painting articulates the need for artistic expressions that reflected a modern China at the beginning of the 20th century – it is a monumental painting with an epic Chinese theme. It also reflects the artist’s high proficiency in an essential Western art techniques.
Lauren Galleries will also offer several Asian arts pieces from prominent collectors. Notable lots include:
A monumental, elaborate Qing dynasty, Qianlong period gilt cloisonne and turquoise sculpture of Mount Penglai Island. It features high relief carvings of Mt. Penglai on four sides with a standing figure of the Taoist Lao Tzu, as well as enameled cranes, jade ruyi and deer, and two gilded trees and flowers encrusted with pearls and semi-precious stones. Secured to the back of the island is a large, natural turquoise boulder in the shape of a mountain with an attached carved coral prunus tree showing birds and small gilded flowers. The gilded island sits in a low cloisonne tray decorated with a scrolling lotus and tendrils motif with a dragon reserve on the four rims, surmounted on a cloisonne stand. Its underside bears a reign mark denoting it as having been made in the year of Emperor Qianlong of the great Qing dynasty. The piece is estimated at $7,500-$10,000.
Equally impressive is a Chinese Ming dynasty blue and white dragon porcelain charger on a carved hardwood stand. The plate has a broad wide central cavetto and round mouth rim, and it is raised on a slightly concave foot base. The hand-painted ornamentations are rendered in a clean white base color that contrasts with the blue color. They depict the five claws of the imperial dragon soaring amid flames and vapor as it chases a blazing pearl against scrolling cumulus clouds, its face lifted toward the heavens. The backdrop depicts swirling wind and fire painted atop a beautiful white underglaze. The underside, which is unglazed, reveals pale cream-colored and dark grayish-brown spotted firing marks and an edge-cut foot rim. The charger on stand has an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.
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