Asia Week Highlights Unveiled

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Featuring pieces dating from the Neolithic period to the early 20th century, Sotheby’s Asia Week auctions offer the finest examples of Asian art. Collectors can trace four thousand years of China’s artistic and technical mastery during the Important Chinese Art auction on 13 September and the Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy auction on 14 September. Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art on 16 September presents more than 400 lots of collectible and decorative art offered at attractive price points. Click ahead to browse the highlights.

Asia Week Highlights Unveiled

  • A Rare And Magnificent Blue And White Ewer, Yongzheng Seal Mark And Period. Estimate $500,000–700,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    The rare form of this ewer is likely derived from European or Middle Eastern metalwork. One of its most distinctive features is the band of molded chrysanthemum petals encircling the lower body and shoulder. Porcelain wares inspired by the multi-layered petals of chrysanthemum flowers were a particular innovation of the Yongzheng period.

  • Zhang Daqian, Blue Cliff and Old Tree. Estimate $450,000–650,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    The most dramatic and innovative landscapes by Zhang Daqian is exemplified in this work, in his use of vivid azurite and malachite colors, and in his deviation from recognizable representation. This artwork was painted from a spectacular lakeside residence in Brazil and dated 1968 – a time when the artist reached a new height in artistic vision while faced with a decline in ocular vision.

  • Wang Hui, Landscape after Ni Zan. Estimate $300,000–500,000.

    Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy | 14 September
    In this painting, the artist Wang Hui demonstrates an intimate knowledge of an artwork once in the collection of Xu Gaoyang, which unfortunately has not survived. The lost painting, also an imitative work of art, was an appropriation of the Rongxi Studio by Ni Zan, currently in the Taipei National Museum permanent collections. More robust and energized, Wang Hui’s brushwork and treatment of details betray a well-founded classical training in a range of different styles and techniques beyond Ni Zan, and an ability to seamlessly assimilate a vast repertoire of approaches into a coherent and unique style of his own.

  • An Exceptionally Rare And Large Gilt-Lacquer Bronze Figure Of Budai Date Jiajing 4th Year, Corresponding To 1525. Estimate $250,000–350,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    Budai, the God of Happiness, and also called ‘the laughing Buddha,’ was popular in Chinese culture for his association with happiness, plenitude and wisdom of contentment. In Buddhism the role of Budai is to remind people of the ever-presence of the Buddha and to protect his laws. As a devoted follower of Daoism, the Jiajing emperor attempted to suppress Buddhism and thus Buddhist figures from his era are comparably few in number.

  • A Finely-Carved Spinach-Green Jade 'Daoist' Table Screen, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century. Estimate $200,000–300,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    This screen is notable for its depth of carving and detailing which enhances the translucent and luminous tone of the spinach green jade stone. It depicts a scene from the life of the philosopher Laozi, and in its style and technique exemplifies the imperial style of the 18th century, whereby the Qianlong Emperor advocated that jade mountains and carved panels should carry the spirit of paintings by famous past masters.

  • A Large 'Huanghuali' Corner-Leg Painting Table (Huazhuo), Qing Dynasty, 18th Century. Estimate $200,000–300,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    Painting tables are distinguished by their large size, particularly the depth, creating a generous surface for free, unimpeded movement by the artist. The painting table was the most important piece of furniture in the scholar’s studio and placed in a central position in the room.

  • A Blue And White 'Fruits' Meiping, Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period. Estimate $150,000–250,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    This vase represents one of the classic patterns of the Yongle period (1403-24). Both in terms of its well-proportioned shape and its lush fruit pattern, one of the most popular motifs of early Ming (1368-1644) blue-and-white, this design set a standard of excellence that would be emulated for centuries to come.

  • Chen Peiqiu, Flowers And Birds After Song Dynasty Masters, 1980, Album of ten leaves. Estimate $150,000–200,000.

    Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy | 14 September
    Chen Peiqiu was fascinated by the ancient masters of traditional Chinese painting. She copied their works – a foundational practice to learn the medium – attempting to match the masters’ use of the Chinese brush and the ways in which they infused their compositions with energy and spirit. As she developed as an artist, Chen mixed traditional brushstrokes with her own free-hand style and daring use of colour. Thanks to the distinctive idiom she created, the artist has been able to capture her subject matter – most often birds, flowers and landscapes – with vivid elegance.

  • An Exceptionally Rare Green-Glazed Phoenix-Head Pottery Ewer, Tang Dynasty. Estimate $80,000–120,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    From an esteemed Japanese private collection, the present vessel speaks of the joie de vivre in early Tang art – a delight in ornamentation and colour, a style developed to its full maturity, when the inventiveness of the potters aimed at pushing a medium to its limits.

  • An Exceptionally Large Jade Notched Disc (Xuanji), Late Neolithic Period - Shang Dynasty. Estimate $60,000–80,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    Discs feature prominently among jade artefacts recovered from sites of the Neolithic period to Han dynasty. Among them, notched discs form a small but distinctive group. The present disc is unusually large, and only one other jade notched disc of this impressive size appears to be recorded, sold in our Paris rooms, 16th December 2015, lot 24.

  • Shen Zongjing, Waterfall in the Pine Forest. Estimate $25,000–45,000.

    Important Chinese Art | 13 September
    The rocks and trees in this artwork are depicted in a way that enforces the contours, giving an impression of substantial weight and proud bearing. Shen Zongjing was the son of a leading artist who won imperial favor. Genetically predisposed to the arts and rigorously trained in classical techniques, he grew to become an artist of formidable talent. Most of his paintings are in ink only, and he is well known for landscapes of the antique and rustic style which evokes influences from Ni Zan, Huang Gongwang, Juran, and Dong Qichang.

  • Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art|16 September
    Over 400 lots of collectible and decorative Chinese, Japanese and Korean works of art and paintings will be presented in Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art. Offerings include early ceramics, Ming and Qing porcelain, snuff bottles, jade, huanghuali and hardwood furniture, Buddhist sculpture, textiles, paintings and calligraphy. With attractive estimates ranging from $100 to $50,000.




    (As shown in the image, from left to right)
    A group of 26 textiles (one shown), Qing dynasty. Estimate $3,000–5,000.
    Four jade belt hooks (one shown, attached to a magnifying glass), Qing dynasty, 18th–19th century. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    Shunkei Mori Chuka senzen (selected insects under your elbow), a 24-sheet woodblock print book published by Unso-do, Japan, 1820. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
    An inkstone with “zitan” box and cover, Qing dynasty, 19th century. Estimate $2,000–3,000.


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