Rivertown to auction fine Asian art from old family collections, Oct. 12

Chinese Qing Dynasty famille rose vase, Qianlong mark and period, 11¾ x 7in. Provenance: Estate of William Nelson, who worked for the State Department in the 1970s and 1990s. Estimate: $200-$400

HOUSTON – Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services, one of the world’s most trusted sources of Asian fine and decorative art, will present a 202-lot auction on Saturday, October 12 featuring rarities that follow a timeline from the Shang Dynasty (2nd millennium BC) through the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Exquisite porcelain, ceramics, jade, bronzes, scholarly objects and paintings come with provenance from private collections amassed in 1920s/’30s 

The carefully curated connoisseur’s selection includes distinguished estate and family items from the United States, Great Britain and Continental Europe. Sources include the David Collins collection, the estate of William Nelson, the Fan Guang collection, and property from the collections of Charles George, and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson.

No reserve has been placed 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 artworks in this sale, which took our expert appraiser many months to authenticate and catalog.”

Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze Buddha, Yongle mark and period, 9½ x 6¾ x 5in. Provenance: Collection of David Collins (1902-1975), who served with the British Consular Service in China and Eastern Tibet in the 1920s/’30s. Estimate: $200-$400

Three of the many exquisite bronzes entered in the sale come with provenance from the collection of David Collins (1902-1975) and subsequently by descent through the Collins family. Mr. Collins acquired his bronzes and other important Chinese and Tibetan artworks during the 1920s and ’30s while an official with the British Consular Service in China and Eastern Tibet. In all, 38 pieces from the Collins collection are offered in the October 12 auction.

Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze figure of Padmasambhava, 10½ x 9¾ x 4¾in. Provenance: Collection of David Collins (1902-1975), who served with the British Consular Service in China and Eastern Tibet in the 1920s/’30s. Estimate: $200-$400

Among the highlights is a superb Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze Buddha, Yongle mark and period, measuring 9½ inches high. In a vintage photograph of David Collins’ residence (available to view in the online catalog), the Buddha is visible through the glass window of an elegant Chinese cabinet. Estimate: $200-$400

Chinese Ming Dynsty gilt-bronze figure of Buddha, 15th century, 12¾ x 8½ x 4½ in. Provenance: Collection of David Collins (1902-1975), who served with the British Consular Service in China and Eastern Tibet in the 1920s/’30s. Estimate: $200-$400

Other premier bronzes from the Collins collection include a Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze figure of Padmasambhava, 10½ inches; and an ornately presented 15th-century Ming Dynasty Buddha, 12¾ inches. Each is estimated at $200-$400 and appears in a family photo accompanying the catalog description.

Chinese Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon jar, 9½ x 7in. Provenance: Collection of Chinese government official and historian Fan Guang (1886-1962). Estimate: $200-$400

A stunning array of antique Chinese ceramics awaits bidders, with a variety of styles and glazes on display. Both a 9-inch Song Dynasty Henan black-glazed, ribbed jar and 9½-inch Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon jar with attractive bas-relief botanical motif come with provenance from the collection of Fan Guang (1886-1962).

Chinese Song Dynasty Henan black-glazed, ribbed jar, 9 x 8¾in. Provenance: Collection of Chinese government official and historian Fan Guang (1886-1962). Estimate: $200-$400

A political figure and historian, Fan Guang served as China’s political vice minister of Foreign Affairs from 1928 to 1931 and counselor to the Ministry of Finance from 1940 to 1944. The auction features 28 lots from this old collection, which passed by descent with Fan Guang’s family to the present heir in California. Each piece is an attractive buying opportunity with a pre-sale estimate of $200-$400.

Chinese Qing Dynasty famille rose vase, Qianlong mark and period, 14¾ x 9¼ in. Provenance: Estate of William Nelson, who worked for the State Department in the 1970s and 1990s. Estimate: $200-$400

Yet another honored source of Chinese decorative art in this auction is the estate of William Nelson, who traveled extensively in Asia while working for the US State Department in the 1970s and 1990s. Mr. Nelson acquired many fine pieces at Hong Kong art auctions while on diplomatic missions in the Far East. Premier examples from William Nelson’s holdings include a 19¾-inch Qing Dynasty vase, Qianlong mark and period; and two extremely beautiful famille rose vases, both Qianlong mark and period, that were purchased at auction in 1995. One of them (shown at top of page) stands 11¾ inches tall and features a mountain scene in a central cartouche, while the other is 14¾ inches, with a pink and white floral pattern against a rich cobalt blue ground. Each of the three vases is entered in the sale with a $200-$400 estimate.

Large Chinese Qing Dynasty vase, Qianlong mark and period, 19¾ x 11¼ in. Provenance: Estate of William Nelson, who worked for the State Department in the 1970s and 1990s. Estimate: $200-$400

Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services’ Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 no-reserve auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any lot in the sale, please call 844-273-9740; email contact@rivertownantiquesauctions.com.