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Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy

Sotheby's New York

Part 1

2 P.M., September 19, 2013 Lots 501-766

Su Shi

Lot 565, "Gong Fu Tie," calligraphy by Su Shi (1037-1101), 11 by 3 1/4 inches

By Carter B. Horsley


The September 19, 2013 auction of Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy was 84 percent sold with 223 lots selling for $31,319,375.

Lot 565, "Gong Fu Tie," is a hanging scroll of calligraphy by Su Shi (1037-1101) that is 11 by 3 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.  It sold for $8,229,000!  

"Bearing Nine characters in two lines, Gongfu tie is an undated letter that Su wrote to bid his friend Guo Gufu farewell," according to commentary in the catalogue by Rongde Zhang.

After the auction, she said that the sale of this lot "will be remembered as a landmark in this auction category," adding that "six collectors from the US and different parts of Asia competed for the piece demonstrating the amazing power of Su Shi nearly 1,000 years after his life."

"The extraordinary eight house sale was marked by strong prices for artists across the diverse and wonderful field with Bada Shanren, Zhang Daqian, and many others achieving multiples of the estimates.  Calligraphy was also increasingly in demand with collectors driving pricesfor 15th Century poems and letters by the likes of Zhang Jun, Zhu Yunming, and Wu Kwan far beyond the top estimates," she continued.


Zhang Jun

Lot 525, "Poem in Cursive Script," by Zhang Jun (15th Century), hanging scroll, 58 1/4 by 18 1/4 inches

Lot 525 is a "Poem in Cursive Script" by Zhang Jun (15th Century), hanging scroll.  It measures 58 1/4 by 18 1/4 and its calligraphy is wildly dramatic and lyrical.  It was recently exhibited at the Kyoto National Museum.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.

Zhang Jun detail

 It sold for $509,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Jin Nong lot 655

Lot 655, "Calligraphy in Qi Script," by Jin Nong (1687-1763), hanging scroll, 47 by 15 1/2 inches

Lot 655, "Calligraphy in Qi Script," is a hanging scroll by Jin Nong (1687-1763) that measures 47 by 15 1/2 inches.  

Detail of lot 655

Detail of Lot 655

It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It failed to sell.


Bada Shanren

Lot 654, "Pine Tree and Rock," by Bada Shanren (1626-1705), hanging scroll, 52 by 18 inches

Lot 654 is a hanging scroll by Bada Shanren (1626-1705) entitled "Pine Tree and Rock."  It measures 52 by 18 inches.  It has an estimate of  $700,000 to $900,000.  It sold for $845,000.

Another work in the auction by Bada Shanren, Lot 666, "Studio of Autumn Mountain," a 23-inch handscoll, had an estimate of  $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $2,405,000.

Lan Ying

Lot 659, "Autumn Mountain with Red Trees," by Lan Ying (1595-1666), hanging scroll, 67 1/4 by 30 3/4 inches

Lot 659, "Autumn Mountain with Red Trees," is a hanging scroll by Lan Ying (1595-1666) that measures 67 1/4 by 30 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.  It sold for $365,000.

Jiao Bingzhen

Lot 668, "Cats and Butterfly," by Jiao Bingzhen (circa 1689-1726), hanging scroll, 65 by 37 3/4 inches

Lot 668 is a hanging scroll by Jiao Bingzhen (circa 1689-1726) entitled "Cats and Butterfly."  It measures 65 by 37 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.

Bian Shoumin

Lot 667, "Geese Returning to a Shallow," by Bian Shoumin (1684-1752), hanging scroll, 24 by 34 3/4 inches

Lot 667 is a hanging scroll by Bian Shoumin (1684-1752) entitled "Geese Returning to a Shallow."  It measures 24 by 34 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.

Anonymous landscape

Lot 672, anonymous landscape, hanging scroll, 41 3/4 by 21 3/4 inches

Lot 672 is an impressive 13th Century anonymous landscape hanging scroll that measures 41 3/4 by 21 3/4 inches.  This work has been widely exhibited and published.  It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $965,000.

Shen Zhou

Lot 567, "Boat  on Stream," by Shen Zhou (1427-1509), 11 by 13 1/2 inches

Lot 567 is a pleasant small work by Shen Zhou (1427-1509) entitled "Boat on Stream."  It measures 11 by 13 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $6,000 to $10,000.  It  sold for $56,250.


Yun Shouping

Lot 707, "Flowers and Fruits," fan, 7 1/4 by 20 7/8 inches, by Yun Shouping (1633-1690)


Lot 707 is a lovely fan by Yun Shouping (1633-1690).  Entitled "Flowers and Fruits," it measures 7 1/4 by 20 7/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It failed to sell.

Xu Gu

Lot 731, "Squirrels," by Xu Gu (1824-1896), 48 by 30 5/8 inches

Lot 731 is a painting of scampering squirrels by Xu Gu (1824-1896).  It measures 48 by 30 5/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.  It failed to sell.

Zhang Daqian

Lot 759, "Record of the Pavilion of the Drunken Old Man," by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 52 by 26 1/8 inches

Lot 759, "Record of the Pavilion of the Drunken Old Man," by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) measures 52 by 26 1/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000.  It sold for $845,000.

Zhang Daqian 4

Lot 743, "Watching the Waterfall," by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 51 by 22 1/4 inches

Lo 743, "Watching the Waterfall," is a painting by Zhang Daqian (18990-1983) that measures 51 by 22 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.  It sold for $221,000.


Flower and Cat

Lot 735, "Flower and Cat," by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 32 by 15 1/4 inches

Lot 735, "Flower and Cat" is a nice painting by Zhang Daqian, the legendary forger, artist and collector (1899-1983).  It measures 32 by 15 inches.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $112,500.

Daqian 2

Lot 745, "Lotus," by Zhang Daqian, (1899-1983), hanging scroll, 45 by 17 3/4 inches

Lot 745 is another work by Zhang Daqian, a hanging scroll entitled "Lotus" that measures 45 by 17 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $87,500.


CC Wang

Lot 755, "Autumn  Woods Shrouded in Mist," by C. C. Wang (1907-2003),  21 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches

Lot 755, "Autumn Woods Shrouded in Mist," is a painting by C. C. Wang (1907-2003), an art collector who sold 25 paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1973 (see The City Review article on Chinagate).  This work measures 21 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $27,500.

Li Xiongcai

Lot 751, "Landscape," by Li Xiongcai (1910-2002), 54 1/2 by 27 1/4 inches

Lot 751 is an impressive landscape by Li Xiongcai (1910-2002).  It measures 54 1/2 by 27 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $35,000 to $40,000.  It failed to  sell.




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