Following our 40th Anniversary Evening sale that set twelve world records in modern and contemporary Asian art, we welcome this spring's sale with a collection of exceptional artworks including Bloodline: The Big Family No.3 by Zhang Xiaogang, Potted Chrysanthemums by Sanyu, which will appear for the first time at auction and Morning Prayer by Chen Yifei. We will also bring to auction the debut of Chitaisei Honkōshin to Asia – an important work from post-war Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga. Also featured in the sale is Southeast Asian modern master Sudjana Kerton's painting, Tanah Airku (My Homeland), a celebrated piece that is fresh to market.
Zhang Xiaogang, Bloodline: The Big Family No. 3, 1995. 179 by 229 cm.; 701/2 by 901/4 in. HK$65,000,000–80,000,000.
Contemporary Asian Art
Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art department has meticulously selected around 20 works in presenting the new face of contemporary Asian art. In particular, a specially curated section is devoted to rare installation works by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. There is also a curated thematic section on Japanese contemporary photography, featuring important works by Japanese masters such as Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama. Other highlights include Dancing 2, an early work by Zhang Enli from the artist’s first solo exhibition.
Zhang Enli, Dancing 2 (detail), 2000. 215.2 by 147.4 cm.; 843/4 by 58 in. HK$2,500,000–3,800,000.
20th Century Chinese Art
This season’s Eyes on Art section of the sale invites discussions from well-established galleries around the globe with a vision of developing a mega collection. Sotheby’s will also feature Chinese Artists in North America, which will map out their footprints and achievements on the continent. Among this season’s offerings is Self-Portrait by Yun Gee (Zhu Yuan-Zhi), who was only 20 years old when he created this ingenious masterpiece, filled with geometry and exquisite colours representative of Synchromism, while leading the West Coast Art at the time. This work has been widely exhibited and is certain to capture the world’s attention during our day sales.
Yun Gee, Self-Portrait, circa 1927. 48 by 38cm.; 187/8 by 15 in. HK$3,800,000–5,000,000.
Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings is proud to showcase a collection of artworks that emphasise the rich cultural voice alive within the region. We are delighted to bring together this sui generis group of talented individuals. Each country’s identity has a defining presence and vital role in global artistry.
Samsul Arifin, Rivalitas #2, 2007. 120 by 180 cm.; 47 by 703/4 in. HK$150,000–250,000.
The sale aims at providing a pure aesthetic experience by presenting side by side some of the most exciting artists working in the ink medium today, such as Liu Dan, Zeng Xiaojun, Li Huayi, Xu Lei, Tai Xiangzhou and Cai Xiaosong, together with a dashing array of objects that have for centuries inspired and continue to inspire painters today – grotesque tree roots, strange rocks and other abstract objects from nature.
A Rootwood Sculpture, Qing Dynasty, 17th/18th Century. HK$300,000–500,000.
Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite
A splendid jadeite bead necklace of important provenance takes centre stage in the upcoming April auction. Previously in the lavish collection of legendary heiress, socialite and philanthropist Ms Barbara Hutton, this exceptional necklace will be offered alongside a superb collection of gemstones, each of exceedingly impressive size and the finest quality in their respective categories, including an extremely rare 102.61-carat unheated sapphire, a charming Golconda diamond known as ‘The Maharaja’s Dream,’ and a magnificent 29.62-carat unheated Mogok Burmese ruby ring mounted by Cartier.
An Exceptional Jadeite Bead Necklace of Extreme Importance., 27 beads approximately 15.4 to 19.2mm with ruby-set clasp by Cartier. Estimate upon request.
Fine Chinese Paintings
This spring, the Chinese Paintings department presents a selection of works by modern artists including Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, Fu Baoshi, Wu Changshuo and Xie Zhiliu, many of which come from European and North American collections and are fresh on the market. One of the highlights is Lotus in the Wind by Zhang Daqian, from The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The painting is regarded as the artist’s signature lotus work from the 1960s, and is known for its exuberant brushstrokes and intriguing dynamics.
Zhang Daqian, Lotus in the Wind, 1961. 179.1 by 96.5 cm.; 701/2 by 38 in. HK$5,000,000–7,000,000.
The Meiyintang ‘Chicken’ Cup
The term ‘chicken cup’ denotes a tiny porcelain wine cup painted with cocks, hens and chicks, and for centuries evoked for connoisseurs of Chinese porcelain – imperial and otherwise – one of the most desirable possessions. Created in the Chenghua reign (1465–87), when quality was at its peak and quantities produced at their lowest, chicken cups are outstanding in their tactile material, their wide range of colours, and their charming, unmannered painting style. The present cup has a long history in the West, going back to the 1950s and comes now from the Meiyintang collection, one of the finest private collections of Chinese ceramics.
The Meiyintang ‘Chicken’ Cup. An exceptionally important and fine doucai ‘chicken’ cup. Mark and period of Chenghua. Estimate upon request.
Ding is and always has been one of the most admired ceramic wares of China. This large flower-shaped bowl is unique and represents this ware at its best. Combining exquisite material with fine potting and pleasing proportions, it is freely carved with a spirited design. The tactile ivory-tinged glaze, with its characteristic ‘tears’ of a deeper tone, preserves its attractive original lustre. Comparable pieces are outstandingly rare and hardly any are left in private collections. By 1949 the bowl was in the fabled collection of Alfred and Ivy Clark, and it was featured in many important exhibitions but has not been publicly shown since 1971, when the present owner acquired it at Sotheby’s.
“The Clark Ding Basin”. A Magnificently Carved Dingyao Basin, Northern Song Dynasty. Estimate upon request.
The sixth sale of the illustrious Water, Pine and Stone Retreat Collection features a selection of later bronzes including censers, figures and scholarly objects.
A Large Bronze Incense Burner and Cover, Ding. Cast Mark and Period of Kangxi. HK$2,000,000–3,000,000.
The Hung Collection is one of the most famous Chinese furniture collections to ever come on the market. This selection of fifteen in the more than two hundred-piece collection features huanghuali and zitan tables, chairs and cabinets. The Hung Collection of furniture has been widely published and exhibited. Many of the pieces are extremely rare, including this huanghuali table with very unusual open fret-work on the apron.
A Huanghuali Rectangular Table. Ming Dynasty, 17th Century. HK$4,000,000–6,000,000.
This extraordinary group of early-15th-century Buddhist bronzes from the private collection of celebrated art dealer Jules Speelman returns after eight years and features eleven pieces that span from the 10th to the 17th century, demonstrating the sublime manifestations, versatility and quasi-magical properties of the medium. The pièce de résistance, a richly gilt, large Northern Song dynasty figure of Avalokitesvara, draws from a thousand year-old indigenous tradition of Buddhist bronze figures representing the finest known example from this celebrated period, to the exception of its mate, formerly in the collection of Avery Brundage and housed today in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
An Extremely Rare and Important Massive Gilt-Bronze Figure of Bodhisattva. Northern Song Dynasty. HK$30,000,000–40,000,000.
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale will feature important ceramics from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as works of art including gilt-bronze Buddhist sculptures and jades.
A Magnificent Gilt-Bronze Standing Figure of Maitreya. Mark and Period of Yongle. HK$40,000,000–60,000,000.
We welcome this season with a selection of watches of the utmost quality and importance to meet our collectors’ varied desires and discerning tastes. Among numerous world-class brands and renowned independent makers to be featured, a dashing collection of extraordinary pieces from spectacularly crafted enamel watches to highly complicated tourbillon and minute repeating wristwatches, to timepieces of innovative design, our April auction will display time in the most impressive way.
Patek Philippe, A very fine and rare platinum minute repeating tourbillon wristwatch with enamel dial and Breguet numerals. Ref 3939P, circa 2009. HK$2,200,000–3,200,000.
Gardens of Pleasure: Sex in Ancient China
An Exhibition of The Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection
16 April - 3 May
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery will present part of the Ferdinand M. Bertholet Collection in the eponymously-titled exhibition, which will feature over 60 exceptional masterpieces, including paintings, objects, ivory and ceramics, from the
Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 AD). Bertholet, the renowned collector and artist, began his artistic journey at a young age by assembling the world’s largest collection of erotic art. He was particularly inspired by the paintings of C. T. Loo’s collection, which depict not only the alluring sexual images but also the fashion and social perspectives of the period.
Please note that due to the explicit nature of some images, this exhibition is suitable only for adults aged 18 and above and may offend.
Love games in a flowering garden (detail). From the Gardens of Pleasure series, Late 17th Century. 39.5 by 55.5 cm.; 151/2 by 217/8 in.