S otheby’s Important Chinese Art sale presents an exciting selection of early ceramics, Imperial porcelains, works of art and paintings ranging from early dynastic periods to the 20th century.
Leading the sale are a wonderful group of Chinese porcelains, jades and small works of art from the Ezekiel Collection, formed by Marcus Ezekiel (1854- 1927) and his son Victor Ezekiel (1905-1976), two leading figures in the formative years of Chinese art collecting in London in the first part of the 20th century, and important early members of the Oriental Ceramic Society. The sale also presents select paintings and works of art formerly in the collection of Dr. David Ho (1911-1986) led by a rare example of an inscribed and dated Han dynasty bronze goosefoot lamp, yanzudeng.
Other sale highlights include a large and exquisitely modelled sancai-glazed horse made during the Tang dynasty from an English private collection, two outstanding Song ceramics from an important private collection, and a magnificent and very rare large famille-rose-decorated vase, tianqiuping, made under the Qianlong emperor and discovered in an English private collection. Another focus of the sale is an important group of classical and modern paintings and calligraphies, led by five works by Lin Fengmian which were acquired directly from the artist in Shanghai in the early 1960s by a former Norwegian counsel general in China.
Marcus David Ezekiel was born in Bombay in 1854, the son of David Hay Ezekiel. By 1875 he was in Shanghai, employed by E.D. Sassoon & Co. E. D. Sassoon was Sir Percival David’s maternal grandfather (Sir Percival’s full name was Percival Victor David Ezekiel David). In 1887 Marcus Ezekiel signed an Agreement of Association with E.D. Sassoon & Co., which was to last for four years. He became a Director of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, where he represented E.D. Sassoon & Co.
Marcus Ezekiel's son Victor (1905 - 1976) grew up in a house full of Chinese ceramics, and it is perhaps not surprising that when, in the mid-1950s, he felt that he was in a position to make a collection of his own he chose to collect in quite another medium, avoiding what another collector of Chinese works of art described as "breakables" . It is also not surprising that he chose some aspect of Chinese art as his subject, as he must have heard so many tales of Chinese life from his father.
Sotheby’s London is excited to offer five unseen works by Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) acquired directly from the artist in Shanghai by Rasmus Sundt Gundernsen, (1916-1968), a Norwegian diplomat who was posted in China as Consul General in Shanghai between 1960 and 1963. These exquisite works not only showcase the new synthesis of Eastern and Western art using vibrant colours and sensitive brushstrokes, an unique style which Lin strove to achieve, but also reflect the cross-cultural friendship prevalent at the time in Shanghai between Western diplomats and local artists.