Chinese Republic-period artwork found favor at Oakridge Auction Gallery

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ASHBURN, Va — Oakridge Auction Gallery, from September 15-18, enjoyed a number of “flyers” — not least the six-figure performance of an album of Republic period landscape paintings. According to the published provenance, it came from a consignor in Chicago whose grandfather had lived in in Shanghai. It had been confiscated during the Cultural Revolution but later returned to the family. Full results for all sessions are at LiveAuctioneers (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4).

The 16-leaf album featured a series of calligraphies and landscape paintings by three late Qing dynasty and Republic era artists — Gu Xijin (1865-1930), Wu Changshuo (1844-1927) and Lu Hui (1851-1920). Other artisans have added their seals and inscriptions praising the paintings, while Gu Xijin compliments the keen eye of his friend Fei Nianci (1855-1905), who appears to have commissioned some of the work. A government official from Wujin in Jiangsu province, Nianci held several official posts but later returned to his hometown to focus on poetry, calligraphy, and book collecting. The sale’s big winner, it achieved $110,000 ($140,800 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $5,000-$8,000.

Hammering for $86,000 ($110,080 with buyer’s premium) against an estimate of $15,000-$25,000 was a pair of Republic period Chinese famille rose porcelain plaques depicting courtly ladies and signed by Wang Dafan (1888-1961). He was a member of the prominent group of Jingdezhen ceramic artists known as the Zhushan Bayou (Eight Friends of Zhushan), the Republic period decorators instrumental in revitalizing the Chinese porcelain industry after the fall of the Qing dynasty.

Huge multi-estimate prices have been paid in recent years for the best Republic period porcelain plaques by the Zhushan Friends. The auction house sald these 2ft 7in by 8in (80 by 20cm) panels were part of a group of items from a consignor in Bethesda, Maryland who had emigrated with her family from Hong Kong to the US in the 1950s.

Dated 1941, one plaque depicts two girls sitting under a willow tree playing chess and carries the inscription ‘Willow shades are good for summer heat, in the boudoir they play chess.’ Its mate, showing a girl playing the zither to her companion, is inscribed ‘In the moonlight, she leisurely plays music, under the leaves she has a bosom friend. Painted by Wang Dafan at Changjiang guesthouse.’
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Pair of Republic period Chinese famille rose porcelain plaques signed by Wang Dafan, which sold for $86,000 ($110,080 with buyer’s premium) at Oakridge Auction Gallery.
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Chinese sixteen-leaf album painting, which sold for $110,000 ($140,800 with buyer’s premium) at Oakridge Auction Gallery.
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Chinese sixteen-leaf album painting, which sold for $110,000 ($140,800 with buyer’s premium) at Oakridge Auction Gallery.
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Chinese sixteen-leaf album painting, which sold for $110,000 ($140,800 with buyer’s premium) at Oakridge Auction Gallery.
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Simpson Galleries sale sets several world auction records for artists

Joseph DiGiorgio, ‘Hudson River #8,’ $36,600
 Joseph DiGiorgio, ‘Hudson River #8,’ $36,600

Joseph DiGiorgio, ‘Hudson River #8,’ $36,600

HOUSTON – There was spirited bidding on the floor on May 21 as Simpson Galleries celebrated its 60th anniversary with its first live in-house auction since February of 2020. The more than 450 lots on offer included important traditional and modern paintings; Asian works of art; fine Continental furniture; European porcelain; sculpture; glassware and crystal by Lalique and Baccarat; Texas and Houston historical documents; sterling silver by Gotham and Barton; estate jewelry and mid-century Modern design.

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