The Hundred Antiques: Fine & Decorative Asian Art comprises over 190 Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Himalayan works of art and paintings. The sale features Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains, classical furniture, jade, and scholar’s objects, among others. Together, they exemplify the range of artistic expressions, materials, and techniques from Asia’s diverse cultures. Highlights include a large Qing dynasty blue and white tianqiuping, an ornate hardstone-inlaid Nepalese votive plaque, a selection of Indian miniature paintings, jade and jadeite carvings from the Estate of Allen O. Battle, Ph.D, Qing dynasty glass from an important American private collection, a group of early Chinese ceramics from a Boston private collection, and numerous Chinese works of art from the collection of Henry H. Arnhold, sold to benefit the Arnhold Foundation.
This season, Sotheby’s is honored to present a selection of works collected by Dr. Allen O. Battle over the course of 70 years. As a well-loved and dedicated psychiatrist at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Allen O. Battle spent his spare time collecting works that reflected a great appreciation of the Chinese aesthetic. Buying from dealers such as Yamanaka & Co., Nagatani Inc., and Mathias Komor, while also frequenting auctions from the 1940s up until the 2010s, Battle amassed a varied collection of Asian art. The present selection of jadeite and jade carvings in the sale, reveals Battle’s aesthetic taste and a selection of porcelain, jade and Buddhist sculptures from the collection will also be offered in our Important Chinese Art sale.
The Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662 – 1722), the longest reigning in Chinese history, is celebrated for having built the foundation for the glorious age of the Qing empire. As patron of the arts—a duty and privilege for China’s rulers—he is responsible for reviving the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen after a period of stagnation. Under his reign, ceramics reached great heights of technical excellence and innovation, at imperial and commercial kilns alike. Notable advances in porcelain technology included the spirited yet refined decoration of blue and white, the sophisticated development of the famille-verte palette, and elegant monochrome glazes, as exemplified by the following lots.
This exquisite group of ceramics represents an inspiring journey of a discerning Boston private collector into the aesthetic realm of the Song dynasty. In the collector's eyes, the creativity and sophistication in artistic fields of the Song dynasty are captivating and enlightening, and are reflected in the refinement and beauty of the ceramics from this period. Delicately assembled over forty years with acquisitions from major Chinese art dealers mostly in New York and Boston, this charming group is a testament to the collector’s elegant taste, and each carefully selected piece is a memory of enjoyment and pleasure from his long, incredible adventure in collecting.
Lot 522A large blue and white 'lotus and eight Buddhist emblems' vase (Tianqiuping), Qing dynasty, 19th century
Estimate $10,000 – 15,000
The Qing dynasty enjoyed a flourishing in arts of every medium and scale, including a wide range of intimately-sized creations made for the amusement and use of different audiences. Small stone carvings, for example, were easily portable and could be carried and leisurely caressed in the hand, or worn on the body as decorative pendants. Other objects, such as diminutive vases and vessels, adorned the interiors of elegant homes and scholars’ studios, either serving as ornaments in their own right, functioning to facilitate the work of literati, or displaying seasonal flowers. Carefully crafted snuff bottles similarly fulfilled utilitarian and artistic whims of Qing period aesthetes, who would carry their favorite examples with them or proudly present them in a curio cabinet for guests to admire.
Lot 596A gilt copper votive plaque depicting Surya inlaid with semiprecious stone, Nepal, circa 1900
Estimate $5,000 – 7,000
This highly ornate and finely detailed votive plaque covered in filigree copper wires and inlaid with semiprecious stones including coral and turquoise expressly shows the elaborate craftsmanship of the Kathmandu valley. The center depicts the sun god Surya illuminating the universe before him as he stands over a mountainous landscape encased with attendants set in a floral torana. The two kneeled figures at either side hold arrows in a gesture poised to keep darkness at bay. Surya is further surrounded by a host of multi-colored deities of the cosmos fixed within a turquoise beaded border. The rich detailing of floral pendants and foliate patterns along the borders articulated with outstretched white winged birds at each corner leaves no surface bare. The bedazzling surface of this present work shows a textural vividness with its intricately embroidered patterning of metal wire and colored stone.
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