Auction Details: Preview: Mon. June 10 - Sun. June 16 (10AM - 7PM EST), Mon. June 17 (10AM - 5PM EST) | Location: 39 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019
Please call the office at 212-867-7288 for any further inquiries.
Beginning with Classical Chinese paintings and continuing through collections of bronzes, ceramics, stone seals, and teapots, Gianguan Auctions’ June 17th sale takes collectors deep into their favorite categories. Newcomers to the gallery will discover the quality, consistency, and accessibility Gianguan Auctions has stood for since 2002.
The sale begins with well curated collections of personal accessories and swells to encompass paintings by internationally famous artists. Among the outstanding smalls is a set of scholar’s garniture in cloisonné. The five pieces– an inkstone warmer with cover, brush holder; brush washer with ladle, and a weasel bristle pen–have a vibrant sapphire-blue ground decorated with a yellow Wan character above and amid a front-facing dragon in pursuit of a flaming pearl. The details are set within multi-colored ruyi clouds and roiling waves, all set off by a gilt border. Each piece bears the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong four-character mark and is of the period. Lot 154 is estimated at upwards of $40,000 USD.
A rare, polychromed lacquer box with sixteen lobes is an outstanding example of the tianqi method of coloration. Finely incised on the fitted lacquer cover is a central lotus bloom surrounded by scrolling Ba Jixiang (Eight Buddhist Emblems). The flower is made vibrant in shades of red, turquoise blue, burnt amber and green. The lobes of the box itself are decorated with gilt phoenixes amidst clouds. Of the Qing Dynasty with an incised Qianlong six-character m, Lot 71 is of the Period. At 15.5” in diameter and 7” tall, it is valued at more than $10,000.
Further attesting to the creativity of scholar’s items is a well carved floral cup carved from a bamboo root. An anonymous visionary worked chisel and blade with great care to forge a budding flower surrounded by smaller buds on a stand. At just 4” tall, the cup’s surface has been patinated to a dark caramel brown. Lot 78 is expected to bring more than $1,500.
Votive properties include several distinctive pieces such a massive Zitan Guanyin with child clutching a lotus. Carved from a single piece of wood (with mandorla added on) the deity presents as the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. Set above rough waves that indicate the deity’s willingness to rescue those in need and answer the prayers of the infertile, the Guanyin exudes serenity. Lot 170 is 38” tall. Its value is $60,000 or more.
Contrasting is a naturalistic, root-carved grotto housing a Guanyin. The knotty stumps of the tree root flow in free-form around the deity seated within. The cowl and loose robes are in keeping with her peaceful countenance. This is Lot 157, $4,000 upwards.
At the midrange is a porcelain figure of the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The full-length Guanyin is glazed in blue and blanc-de-chine. Of the Yuan Dynasty (12th–13th C), the long flowing robes are open at the chest. The hands are in mudra, with the left holding sutra. Lot 160 has some damage appropriate to age. It is nearly 30” tall; bidding begins at $20,000.
Leading the stone seals is a jade seal within a Zitan box surmounted by an elaborately carved dragon in flight. Chinese and Manchu script decorate the sides. The seal offers three script marks. Of the Qing Dynasty, Lot 104 is estimated at $3,000 or more.
Shoushan stones decorated with Bixie and Young knops follow. There are more, of reddish Juxie stone, Furong and Tianhuang, as well as a delightful collection of boulders,carved with mythical creatures and fantastical motifs. Heights range from 4.5” to 8.5”, as on a celadon jade seal with dragon carved knop. Values start at $800
A favorite of Gianguan regulars are teapots. Within a collection of twelve are an octagonal melon-form Yixing Zisha teapot with conforming bud finial by Chen Mansheng. A diminutive Yixing Zisha Burl teapot with a Knot-tie finial on the cover is by Gao Jianfang. A massive Yixing Zisha teapot by Chen Wenbo is polychromed with a stylized landscape scene. The artist’s mark is on the base. Teapots are Lots 237 - 248 and span $800-$1,500.
An impressive group of Ceramic consignments of both collectible and decorative value are scattered through the sale. At the top tier is a famille rose vase with peony motif. Its slender form with bulbous base and garlic head mouth is in perfect proportion to the 16” height. Of the Qing Dynasty, with the Yongzheng six-character mark within double circles, Lot 118 is of the period. At $150,000 upwards, it is worthy of a museum or private collection.
An entry level famille rose item is large Qing bowl with protruding mid-area decorate in highly detailed florals. Gilt lip and base lines add detail. Among masterpieces produced by the Gu Yue Xuan Studio of the Qing Emperor Guangxu’s reign, the bowl bears the Qing Dynasty, Guyuexuan Mark. It is Lot 129, starting at $6,000.
From the Song Dynasty, a crackle-glaze celadon mallet vase with canted shoulder will stir the emotions of pottery lovers. It is Lot 130, merely 6.5” tall, and has a minimum value of $40,000.
The magic of the copper red glaze is apparent in several of the porcelains. A Ming peony jar with cover is a prime example. Of crushed-raspberry tones with dull gray, it is decorated with scrolls of flower sprays and scroll bands. The Yongle period jar is Lot 227. Starting bid is $10,000.
The Song Dynasty (10th-12th C.) produced a lavender glaze that, in the best instances, has held its vibrancy. Such is case with a Junyao, splayed-tripod leg censer with the numeral Shi. The glaze incorporates drips of blue and purple that fade towards the bottom of the legs to expose the buff brown wash. Lot 224, at 5.5” tall, will find great interest at $6,000-$8-000.
The catalog cover lot “Lady with Fan” leads a selection of four paintings by Zhang Daqian that display his virtuosity and mood in the mid to late 1940s. A traditionalist who eschewed tradition, Zhang Daqian heightened the interest in this statuesque portrait of a courtly maiden by focusing on the detail in the back of her golden silk robe. The face, done in flesh tones with white makeup, is a beguiling three-quarter portrait. Dated 1949, it is Lot 166, inscribed and signed Zhang Daqian, with three artist seals and one collector seals. Estimate is upwards of $80,000.
A color splash skyline entitled “Sunset,” by the same artist, is a tour de force of the technique that was new at mid-Century. Blues run into dark mountain peaks just as the eye might catch at dusk. Signed Daqian, Yuan, the painting carries two artist seals. It is Lot 14. A hard-edged landscape, “Snow Capped Xishan,” comes to life in angles and cool earth tones. It is Lot 82, titled, inscribed, signed, and bearing four artist seals. Two more figurative paintings, "Scholar and Plum Blossom”, Lot 198, and “Scholar Under Willow,” Lot 112, with colophon by Shi Shuping are of strong interest. Estimates on these paintings start at upwards of $20,000.
Cranes, the prince of birds often associated with longevity and peace, are depicted in symbolic guises in four panels by the maestro Lu Kuchon (1898-1983). The tour de force shows pairs under pines, among peonies, in greenery and flying. In each panel, one bird looks upwards while the other tends to more earthly matters. Each scroll is inscribed and signed Kuchan and carries three artist seals. Lot 120 is estimated at more than $60,000.
The masterpiece that deserves mention and will be the measure of more accessible landscapes is “Scholar in the Mountain” by Qing Dynasty painter Shi Tao (1630-1724). The landscape that reaches beyond the world of mortals to embody the transcendental aspirations of the scholar couched in a fold of the mountain, is rendered in tones of black ink. Dated 1686, inscribed and signed Shi Tao, with one artist seal, Lot 109 will command $150,000 or more.
Meanwhile, there are many accessible paintings by such known artists as Fu Baoshi, Cheng Shifa, Wu Guanzhong, Wu Changshuo, Liu Danzhai. They range in value from $3,000 upwards.
For details on these and all the properties in Gianguan Auctions June 17th sale, please visit www.gianguanauctions.com and download the catalog. For inquiry, call 212 867-7288. Previews open Monday, June 10, 2019.
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