By Michele Leight
This auction of fine
Chinese ceramics and works of art including property from the
Arthur B. Sackler Collections at Christie's September 14 and 15,
2009 is highlighted by a rare "narcissus" bowl, some
very desirable small early bronze works, an impressive screen, and
two very fine early pottery statues.
Lot 341 is a
fine and rare numbered Junyao tripod "narcissus" bowl
that is dated to the Yuan/Early Ming Dynasty, 14th/15th Century.
It is 8 3/16 inches in diameter and has an estimate of $300,000
to $500,000. These type bowls are famous for their lustrous opalescence
and the catalogue suggests that the number on the base may refer
to its size or to the room in the court where it was kept. The
lot sold for $1,258,500 including the buyer's premium to a private
was quite successful with 83 percent of the 351 offered lots selling
for a total of $20,659,175.
are delighted with the results of today's sale," Tina Zonars,
international director of Chinese works of art at Christie's,
said after the auction, "which more than doubled its pre-sale
estimate. In a sale room packed with international buyers,
including a strong attendance from China, collectors competed
vigorously in the saleroom, on the telephone, and on Christie's
Lot 300 is a rare silver and gold inlay
bronze corner fitting from the Warring States Period, 475-221
B.C. The stunning piece is 5 inches high. The catalogue
provides the following description: "The fantastic bear-like
creature with large pointed ears shown in a crouching position
balanced on a single foot in front and spread tail-like supportin
back, both arms raised to support an angular corner above, with
coiled birds outlining the breasts, dragon scrolls on the shoulders,
and further scrolls decorating the remainder of the muscular body,
all finely inlaid in gold and silver wire and inlay of varying
widths, the greenish-grey patina with some pale blue-green encrustation."
The lot has a modest estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. The
catalogue also notes that there are two similar works in the Nelson-Atkins
Museum in Kansas City and that another pair from the David Weill
collection is now the Musee Guimet in Paris. According to
Bishop W. C. White in his book on Tombs of Old Lo-yang, printed
in Shanghai in 1934, eight of these supports, which he identified
as supports for a low table, "were said to have been found
in 1928 in tomb No. 7 of the royal necropolis of the Zhou in Jincun,
in the vicinity of Luoyang." The lot failed to sell.
Lot 209 is a rare, large cloisonne enamel figure of an equestrian
from the Quianlong/Jiaqing Period, 1736-1820. The 26-inch
high figure has a likely pair, according to the catalogue, in
the collection of the Albany Institute of Art. It has an
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $92,500.
Lot 292 is an impressive and massive Tielimu and Jumu 12-panel
screen, Weiping, 18th/19th Century. It is 137 inches high
and 267 inches wide. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It sold for $62,500.
Lot 305 is a very nice Western Han Dynastry (206
B.C.-A.D. 8) pottery figure of a court lady. It is 26 inches
high and was formerly with C. T. Loo Inc., of New York and the
Eliza Miller and Janet de Coux Collection. It has a modest
estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It sold for $6,250.
Lot 306 also comes from the Eliza Miller and Nanet de Coux Collection
as well as from Frank Caro of New York. It is an impressive
dark grey pottery figure of an official and is dated to the Northern
Wei Dynasty (386-534 A.D.). It is 18 1/8 inches high and
has a modest estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It failed
Lot 340 is an interesting and fine Junyao waterpot and vessel
from the Song/Yuan Dynasty, 12th/13th Century. It is 5 inches
across and the catalogue states that "this very rare pomegranate-form
combination waterpot and vessel is similar to another, also with
Jun glaze, included" in an 1994 exhibition at the Hong Kong
Museum of Art. This lot has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 422 is a rare and finely painted "mallet"
vase that is 9 1/8 inches high and has an estimate of $600,000
to $800,000. In the catalogue, Rosemary Scott remarks that
"the elegant form of these vases, with their long, slender,
slightly waisted necks rising from pronounced shoulders, is particularly
associated with the Kangxi reigh. In Chinese the name given
to this form is yaoling zun, or 'hand bell vase.' The
reference is to bronze bells, which formed part of the repertoire
of Chinese instruments used in formal secular and religious music,
although pottery bells of similar if less refined form,
were made in China as early as the Neolithic period."
sold for $578,500.
Lot 426 is a very attractive and very rare
copper-red decorated double-gourd vase from the Kangzi/Yongzheng
Period (1662-1735), or earlier. It is 5 1/2 inches high
and has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It was once in
the collection of John D. Rockefeller III of New York. It
sold for $110,500.