In the Gallery: Andrew Graham-Dixon on the Personal Collection of the Late Sir Joseph Hotung, Part II: Evening
London Auction Highlights
Highlights on view 5–19 November
1334 YORK AVE, NEW YORK
34-35 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON
Reflections on Sir Joseph Hotung’s Chinese Masterworks
Sir Joseph collected with an unusually powerful combination of both ‘heart’ and ‘eye’, allied to a strong intellectual focus on the meaning and importance of a piece of art. The decoration of his home became, as a result, an elegant blend of a scholarly mind with the aesthetic of an English gentleman that might be said to describe Sir Joseph himself in life.
Sir Joseph’s fêted collection of jewel-like jades – the spark which lit his passion for collecting – are complimented by archaic bronzes and gilded figures from the Buddhistic tradition. Classical Chinese huanghuali furniture of the literati taste resonates with Georgian pieces from the Golden age of English cabinet-making, united by their restraint in design and quality of execution.
Works by titans of Western painting include important oils by Edgar Degas, Edouard Vuillard and Frans Hals, and feature alongside more intimate works on paper by J. M. W. Turner, Henri Matisse and Alberto Giacometti. Modern masters of Chinese ink painting range from Xu Gu to Qi Baishi, whose monumental assemblage of four Flowers and Fruits adorned the walls of a sweeping staircase in his London townhouse.
Rarities of French silver by the royal silversmith Robert-Joseph Auguste provide a burst of European neoclassicism, complimented a select group of 18thcentury giltwood furniture in tune with their architectural surroundings.