T he Hundred Antiques: Fine & Decorative Asian Art comprises over 170 Chinese and Japanese works of art and paintings. The sale features Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains, early Chinese ceramics, jade, and scholar’s objects, among others. Highlights include Buddhist sculptures and textiles from the collection of Florence (1886-1939) and Paul H. Benedict (1888-1968), a selection of Qing dynasty glass from a Florida private collection, a group of early Chinese ceramics from the estate of Paul and Marianne Steiner, and numerous Chinese works of art from the collection of Loyd and Linda Crawley.
Mr. Paul Howie (1888-1968) and Florence (1886-1939) Benedict were an American couple who spent decades in China in the first half of the 20th century, developing their careers and their affinity for Chinese culture, and raising a family. Paul was born in Towanda, Pennsylvania and went on to graduate from Yale University (class of 1909) before moving to China as an executive for Standard Oil Company, working variously in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, and Tianjin. Florence (neé Florence Jeannette Chaney) earned a Bachelor of theology at the University of Chicago (class of 1908) and Master’s degree from the same university in 1913. She had a great interest in people of other cultures, writing a Master’s thesis titled “The Social and Educational Protection of the Immigrant Girl in Chicago” (1912), and following her graduation she became a Presbyterian missionary in China, serving in Huaiyuan county, Anhui province. Paul and Florence met in China and married in Huaiyuan in 1918, and raised two sons in Beijing. In 1942 while living in Tianjin, Paul was taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese army and held for seven months in Beijing before being released. He subsequently moved back to the United States. The Chinese furniture, Buddhist figures, and other works of art that the couple collected in their time abroad have stayed in the family for three generations.
The Chinese idiom “min yi shi wei tian” (food is the God of the people) is often cited as the singular, most powerful testament to the importance of the culinary experience in Chinese culture. As early as the Shang dynasty, bronze food and wine vessels were utilized for purposes far more important than simple containers for daily sustenance. Instead, they served as receptacles used in ancient rituals for kings and aristocracy alike. Seeking to emulate and revere these classical practices at the height of China’s artistic zenith, rulers of the Qing dynasty placed equal importance on culinary culture within the walls of the imperial palace. The Qing chao dian zhi (the formalities and structure of the Qing dynasty) by Guo Songyi et. al. records the requirements for formal banquets in the Qing court, and the specified quantities for each porcelain form for its respective banquet. Porcelains specifically made for imperial banquets included bowls, saucers and plates of various sizes; wine vessels, spoons, covered teabowls, zhadou, covered boxes and planters of various shapes and sizes. It is through these imperial dining wares that scholars and connoisseurs are able to extrapolate and experience the opulence of the imperial banquet and relive the life of luxury previously only reserved for the Emperor and Empress of China.
Lot 148 | A 'Huanghuali' and Mixed-Hardwood Square Games Table, Late Qing Dynasty / Early 20th Century
Estimate: 20,000 – 30,000 USD
This variegated group of ceramics represents an inspiring journey of Loyd an Linda Crawley into the aesthetic realm of Chinese works of art. Delicately assembled over decades with acquisitions from all over the world, this entrancing group is a testament to the collector’s passion for Chinese art and history, and each carefully selected piece is a memory of enjoyment and pleasure from his long, incredible adventure in collecting.
Lot 9 | A Famille-Rose 'Sanyang' Bowl, Mark and Period of Guangxu
Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000 USD
Lot 99 | An Archaic Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel (Jue), Late Shang Dynasty
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 USD
The present sale comprises over 40 lots of jade and jadeite carvings dating from the Song / Ming dynasty through the 20th century, and reveals the range of ways in which artisans and aficionados used this precious medium. Represented herein are jades intended to be worn as a personal adornment, such as a hat finial, a scabbard, and various pendants and rings; jades carved for daily use in the form of censers, boxes and covers, bowls, dishes, and snuff bottles. In addition, animals have also been a favorite subject for Chinese craftsmen, including jade carvers as well, from antiquity to the present. This sale also offers jades carved in the form of animals for handling and private admiration, such as buffalos, camels, and mythical creatures.
The sale includes a group of exquisite jades and scholar’s objects from a Canadian private collection. The collection was originally amassed by Charlotte and George McDonald Goldsack during World War II in Shanghai. After faced with much hardship due to the increasing anti-Semitism imposed by the occupied Japanese forces, the couple returned back to Great Britain in 1946 and the collection has remained in the family since then. The present selection of jade carvings and scholar’s objects in the sale, reveals Charlotte and George McDonald Goldsack’s elegant taste, and is a testament to the couple’s courage, strength and tenacity when faced with the hardships of World War II.