Sotheby’s Hong Kong is pleased to present two carefully curated Chinese Works of Art Sales to be held on 9 October 2020, Monochrome II and Important Chinese Art. Monochrome II is the sequel to the highly successful Monochrome sale held in July. Highlights include a jadeite-green glazed jar and cover from the Ming dynasty, a superb silver-streaked Nogime Temmoku bowl from the Southern Song dynasty and a magnificent huanghuali six-post canopy bed from the Ming dynasty. Important Chinese Art is a tightly curated assemblage with a focus on fine and rare imperial porcelain and works of art from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Highlights include an exquisite Yongzheng famille-rose 'peach' bowl and a gilt-bronze figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from the Song dynasty.
This season is highlighted by the return of the Monochrome sale which showcases the timelessness of Chinese aesthetics. Sotheby’s is thrilled to offer again a superb selection of Ming huanghuali furniture which sparked exciting bidding wars in the previous season. We are also excited to present a collection of Qing monochrome porcelains from an esteemed private collection, a stunning group of Song dynasty black tea bowls from the Aoyama Studio collection, as well as an array of exquisite treasures across centuries.
Following on from the success of the debut Monochrome sale in July 2020, the sequel presents again a diverse range of exceptional artworks characterised by their timeless aesthetic and exemplifying the most refined sensibilities in Chinese art. The sale presents the second part of the distinguished collection of Ming furniture, a superb selection of Qing imperial monochrome porcelains from an important Asian private collection, selected archaic jades from the celebrated Hei-Chi collection, as well as a group of Song dynasty black tea bowls from the Aoyama Studio collection.
IMPORTANT CHINESE ART
Yongzheng porcelain bowls with famille-rose peach-and-bat design are extremely rare. The present bowl, with five peaches all rendered on the exterior, appears to be unique, as other examples are designed with six peaches, four on the exterior and two on the interior. Five is an auspicious number, and the five red bats painted on the bowl are among the most popular themes in Chinese decorative arts. Another unusual feature of the present piece is that the fruits do not have the heavy pink outlines seen on other examples, which demonstrates the superb skills of the porcelain painters and the marvellous possibilities of the new famille-rose palette. This bowl once belonged to Edward T. Chow.
This gilt-bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara is highly idiosyncratic in style and outstandingly rare, with only one other comparable sculpture being recorded, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, from the Avery Brundage collection. While its modelling and casting quality is beyond any doubt, it is not easy to immediately place it in the history of Chinese Buddhist bronze sculpting. It comes from a period when the Guanyin image had not yet turned sweet and feminine, and although the basic facial features suggest a woman’s face, the addition of small curls to indicate beard and moustache are an unmistakeable effort to counterbalance this effect. It is highly unusual to find a Bodhisattva figure wearing a dragon-decorated robe, but the dragons seen on the present gilt bronze also confirm a pre-Yuan attribution, similar to ones on Song dynasty Ding wares.