Rivertown to auction important Asian estate antiques and art, Jan. 27

 

15th Century Ming Dynasty hardstone-inlaid gilt bronze figure of Buddha, 11½ in. Provenance: Samuel E. Wilson (1891-1965), thence by descent. Est. $60,000-$80,000

HOUSTON – Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services, one of the world’s most trusted sources of Asian fine and decorative art, will present a 178-lot auction on January 27 featuring rarities from the Neolithic Period through the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.com.

Featured: Porcelain, jade, bronzes, artworks, scholarly objects from premier collections

The fully curated connoisseur’s selection includes distinguished estate and family items from the United States, Great Britain and Continental Europe. They include the Charles George collection, property from the collections of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson, Samuel E. Wilson, and Robin George; and a former Beverly Hills, Calif., private collection.

There will be no reserve on any of the lots. “We are absolutely confident that the artworks and antiques chosen for this sale, which are of utmost quality and impeccable provenance, will attract the market prices they deserve,” said Rivertown spokesperson Rafael Leite. “We’re very proud of the selection represented in this sale, which took our expert appraiser many months to authenticate and catalog.”

One of the star lots in the sale is a serene 15th Century hardstone-inlaid gilt bronze Buddha (shown at top of page). This magnificent Ming Dynasty treasure was acquired in China in the 1920s by Samuel E. Wilson (1891-1965), who was posted there as a journalist. It stands 11½ inches high by 7 inches wide and shows no signs of repair or restorations. It is expected to sell for $60,000-$80,000.

Western Zhou Dynasty bronze ritual vessel, no repairs or restoration. Provenance: Samuel E. Wilson (1891-1965), thence by descent. Est. $60,000-$80,000

Another top prize from the Wilson collection is a Western Zhou Dynasty bronze ritual vessel (shown above) with an imposing design that blends perfect symmetry with ancient craftsmanship. There are no repairs, and its unrestored beauty is enhanced by natural verdigris. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000

An exceptional example of Ming Dynasty ceramic artistry, a 20¾-inch blue and white dragon vase is profusely decorated from top to bottom and bears the Wanli Mark and Period. The vessel was previously in the collection of career diplomat Edward Johnson and his wife, who spent 20 years in China during the early 20th century. In stunningly beautiful condition with no repairs, chips or cracks, the vase comes to auction with a $60,000-$80,000 estimate.

Ming Dynasty blue and white dragon vase, 20¾ inches wide, Wanli Mark and of the period. Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson. Est. $60,000-$80,000

Four other vases – each with its own distinctive shape and coloration – will cross the auction block with individual estimates of $20,000-$25,000 and a minimum opening bid of $10,000. Lot 53, a 12-inch Ming Dynasty vase with Jiajing Mark and Period, displays a lovely gilt floral pattern against a pleasing yellow ground; while Lot 55, an 8-inch Qing Dynasty vase with Yongzheng Mark and Period, is an exercise in simplicity. Its bottleneck shape and sky blue color form a graceful combination that pleases the eye. See below.

12-inch Ming Dynasty vase with Jiajing Mark and Period. Provenance: Beverly Hills private collection. Est. $20,000-$25,000

8-inch Qing Dynasty vase with Yongzheng Mark and Period. Provenance: Beverly Hills private collection. Est. $20,000-$25,000

Lot 56, an 8-inch double-gourd-shape Qing Dynasty blue and white vase with Qianlong Mark and Period. Also of the Qing Dynasty and exhibiting the same marks, Lot 57 has a lozenge-patterned monochromatic body and a neck similar to that of a ewer. All of the aforementioned pieces were once part of a Beverly Hills private collection whose owner purchased them from important dealers in New York and London during the 1970s/80s. See below.

8-inch double-gourd-shape Qing Dynasty blue and white vase with Qianlong Mark and Period. Provenance: Beverly Hills private collection. Est. $20,000-$25,000

10-inch Qing Dynasty vase with Yongzheng Mark and Period. Provenance: Beverly Hills private collection. Est. $20,000-$25,000

A Neolithic Period Qijia Culture (2200-1600 BC) jade cong (shown below) estimated at $20,000-$25,000 is another of the remarkable objects acquired in China by the late Samuel E. Wilson. While cong are generally considered to be ritual objects, their specific function is not known. Later Chinese writings spoke of the cong as symbolizing the earth, while the bi represented the heavens.

Jade cong, Neolithic Period, Qijia Culture (2200-1600 BC) jade cong. Provenance: Samuel E. Wilson (1891-1965), thence by descent. Est. $20,000-$25,000

An elegant and especially fine Ming Dynasty gilt bronze figure of Vajrasattva (shown below), with Yong Mark and Period, stands 10½ inches high and comes with provenance from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson. Estimate: $$20,000-$25,000

Ming Dynasty gilt bronze figure of Vajrasattva, Yongle Mark and Period, 10½ inches. Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson. Est. $20,000-$25,000

Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services’ January 27, 2018 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call 844-273-9740 or email contact@rivertownantiquesauctions.com .