The spring sale of Asian art in Paris is graced with the large gilt bronze figure of Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life who was thought to preside over the Western paradise, dating to the reign of the Emperor Kangxi (opposite). It is joined by several Imperial works of arts of the Qianlong reign (1736 - 1795), including a pale celadon jade sceptre coming from an old French collection, inscribed with an Imperial poem and dated 1785. Also from an established private collection, assembled in the Far-East at the beginning of the 20th century, comes an interesting set of Buddhist implements, a ghanta bell and vajrasceptre marked with the Emperor Qianlong nian zao and stored in their original lacquered wood box. From the same collection comes a ritual gilt bronze bell and its stand, dated to the 13th year of the Emperor's reign, corresponding to 1748. Collectors will certainly be attracted by a group of small Jade carvings and other academic pieces, exemplified by a group of archaic bronzes, assembled in Paris by the Chinese art dealer Chakwan Lu (1906-94) and kept in the family since then. A student of the famous horse's painter Xu Beihong, Chakwan Lu migrated to Paris in 1930 where he became a painter and art dealer until his death in 1994.
Finally the sale will also have a special focus on the Arts of Japan, featuring a fine selection Japanese woodblock prints. Among them are two extremely rare okubi-e portraits by Toshusai Sharaku: one showing the actor Ichikawa Ebizo IV in the role of Takemura Sadanoshin from the play Koinyobo somewake tazuna, the other a portrait of the actor Arashi Ryuzo II as the evil moneylender Ishibe kinkichi from the play Hana ayame bunroku Soga. Both characters rank among the best designs by this enigmatic artist who only produced over a period of one year from 1794 to 1795.