NEW YORK – Gianguan Auctions holiday season’s sale on Sunday, Dec. 9, is geared toward buyers looking for quality art at reasonable prices as well as collectors in the market for iconic paintings by internationally renowned Chinese artists Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian and others. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.
Among the exemplary paintings is Qi Baishi’s color ink-on-paper of Massive Peaches, (Lot 17). In contrasting strong bush strokes with a detailed image of a tiny dragonfly, the master is at his best. He moves in another direction with Ducks in a Lotus-Pond (Lot 69), where the bold monochromatic strokes produce a pair suggesting harmony. Both paintings are expected to bring upward of $150,000.
Other paintings portraying harmony and auspiciousness include Lot 1, a 1926 ink on color scroll by Fang Rending titled Mandarin Ducks in the Pond, Yu Zhizhen and Liu Lishing’s 1912 colorful ink-on-paper Chirping Birds (Lot 9), Guan Shanyue’s 1978 works Birds on Twig (Lot 31) and the Qing Dynasty work by Ren Yi (Bonian) Ducks in Lotus Pond (Lot 39). The above paintings range from $6,000 to $20,000.
In a more traditional vein, Mandarin Ducks in Lotus Pond, the 14th century painter Wang Yuan captures the birds’ strikingly colorful plumage. It is a metaphor for harmony and fidelity, Yuan-yang. Inscriptions by Ziang Yuanbian and Lu Zhi complete the ink-on-silk painting. Nine Emperors’ seals and 11 collectors’ seals attest to its provenance. Lot 32 is estimated at $300,000 or more.
A collection of paintings by Zhang Daqian captures China’s style and way of life. Lot 19 is a full-length portrait of A Contemplative Beauty. In Music by the Riverbank (Lot 28) three figures, possibly a family, enjoy a lone musician’s talents. Lot 45 depicts Scholars on Bridge, while Lot 33 explores lore in Luohans Crossing. Estimates range from $40,000 to $150,000 on these paintings.
The artistic calligraphy of Tang Yin, Ming Dynasty, makes an appearance at Lot 14 – in the form of an ink-on-silk Running Script scroll inscribed and signed by the artist. It is expected to go off at above $250,000.
Finally, Wang Shenyong’s Panda, (Lot 41) must be mentioned. Almost photo-realistic in character, the bear clutches a bamboo branch in one paw, his every hair discernible and his expression intent. A $42,000 accompanies the catalog listing.
The afternoon session takes off with collections of Chinese ceramics, bronzes, jade and decorative works of art. In addition to the marquee items, there is a wealth of jewelry and collectibles that are not only beautiful by symbolize good fortune, and more.
For starters, a large collection of jade bracelets, pendants and necklaces with starting prices as low as $300 make affordable acquisitions.
Highlights of the excellent values include Lot 108, a pair of recumbent buffalo necklaces, is steal at $400-$600. Lot 111 is a group of six jadeite hairpins with floral carvings that starts at $1,500. Meanwhile, Lot 110, an oval pendant carved with Nine Dragons is well placed at $1,000-$1,500 as is Lot 118, a well-carved hetian white jade Bixie (descendent of the dragon and symbol of good fortune).
Before sending the dragon off, there are many of the symbolic beasts, in all price ranges. Among the marquee items is Lot 220, a fine Wucai yellow meiping with three ferocious dragons incised in green and brown tones writhing amidst white enameled clouds. $40,000 is the low estimate.
An exceptional lacquer painted bamboo brush pot incised with a dragon chasing pearl and lacquered all over is positioned at Lot 228. At 7 1/4 inches tall, it is estimated at low of $6,000.
A marquee item to admire is Lot 212, a white jadeite carving of the Guanyin, goddess of mercy. Infused with vivid green hues on the side and back, the goddess stands regal, expression serene, eyes downcast. Wearing voluminous robe, she displays bare toes and wears a tiara on her head. She is expected to fetch as much as $1 million.
The richness of Chinese mythology is apparent in Lot 213, a fine Ming Dynasty shoushan stone carving of a Qilin – the fabulous beast with the body of a deer, the hooves of a horse and the horn of an elephant. In this depiction, he carries a rhyton vessel on his back. It’s estimated at $25,000-$30,000.
Lot 214 is a jadeite and lavender carving of Fairy Gods frolicking under the peach tree. Perhaps the Qing Dynasty jade master had a sense of humor as the fairies are savoring wine and laughter. The figures, fruits and branches are highly reticulated and interwoven with intricate details. The estimate: $110,000 and up.
The recumbent camel of white jadeite, of the Ming Dynasty, at Lot 215, shows the appreciation for such highly decorated necessities as beasts of burden. Here, the camel has his mouth agape and tail tucked. Below the two humps are finely incised fur markings of lotus-petal form delineating the body. Nearly 15 inches high, the camel should command $250,000 or more.
The tripod censer, a standard element in imperial households, couldn’t be finer than the Famille Rose example at Lot 221. Of well-potted bronze form, it is glazed in a persimmon ground and decorated with geometric green circles with black borders. A carved key-fret border is set above ruyi bands. Loop handles complete the design. Of the Qing Dynasty, with the Qianlong mark, the censer is set to go off at $10,000 or more.
To conclude, the million-dollar item in Gianguan Auctions’ Dec. 9 sale is lot 226, a Qing Dynasty Famille Rose moon flask. Finely painted with a pea-green ground, the dominant decorative feature is a stylized central peony medallion with Shou characters encircled with eight Buddhist emblems, Bajixiang motifs. With all archetypal features of Qianlong imperial porcelain, this classic shaped, lively color schemed and auspiciously painted flask is the highlight of this sale.
For condition reports, please call the Gianguan Auctions gallery at 212 867-7288. The sale will be conducted live beginning at 11 a.m. EST and on the Internet at liveauctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE