On The Square

Asian Art Highlights on Bidsquare!

By Anthony Wu, Asian Specialist

Nov 27,2017 | 09:00 EST

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! December is typically a quiet period for Asian Art, but there are always great items to discover on Bidsquare.

First up is Jackson’s International Auctioneers and Appraisers three-day sale of Native American, Asian, European and American Works! Day 1 of the sale takes place on December 5th and features over 500 Asian Works of Art from China, Japan, and the Himalayan Region. Highlighting this sale are two incredible Japanese pieces from the late Meiji Period (1868-1913).

Lot 79, A Very Fine Japanese Mixed Metal Bronze Lidded Urn; Estimate $800 - $1,200

One of these is lot 79, A Very Fine Japanese Mixed Metal Bronze Lidded Urn. Standing at a good height of 9.5 inches, the attractive urn has fluted sides containing realistic mixed metal chrysanthemum blooms in silver and gold. The urn’s shoulders are flanked with elephant head handles, and the top is capped by a lovely shishi Buddhist lion-dog.  

Lot 529, A Very Fine Pair of Shibayama Style Ivory Tusks; Estimate $4,000 - $6,000

Another Japanese highlight is lot 529 A Very Fine Pair of Shibayama Style Ivory Tusks. These beautiful vases are carved out of large pieces of ivory and would have been exported for a Western audience during the late 19th Century.

Using the shibayama technique of inlay, each vase is decorated with a large tree containing a hen and a rooster. Each of the details is meticulously inlaid with pieces of lacquer and multi-cololoured mother-of-pearl fragments. 

Over in Boonton, New Jersey, Millea Bros. Ltd., is holding their 3-Day Select Sale. Day 1 of the sale on November 7th includes over 200 lots of Asian Art from China, Japan, and India. Many categories are represented such jade carvings, porcelain, Chinese paintings, furniture, woodblock prints and sculpture. 

Lot 1026, Chinese Export figures in Silk Robes; Estimate $1,000 - $1,500

One interesting group of items is lot 1026, two Chinese Export Figures in Silk Robes. Realistically modeled and standing at 17 inches, these figures have wood bodies and ceramic heads. Their clothing is made from actual silk, and would have been representative of the fashion from late 19th Century China. These figures were exported to Westerners with a fascination of Chinese culture because of the burgeoning tea trade.


Lot 1153, A Pair of Chinese Porcelain Inset Armchairs; Estimate $1,500 - $2,500

On the subject of Chinese Export Art is lot 1153 A Pair of Chinese Porcelain Inset Armchairs. The chairs are unique in their own right with the various mother-of-pearl inlays depicting lotus blooms and Daoist motifs.

However, what is really unusual about these chairs are the large rose medallion porcelain panels set into the back splat and the seat frame. This type of porcelain design is typically used for dinner services, vases and garniture sets – they are rarely seen in large panel-form. The panels probably weren’t original to the chairs since porcelain isn’t the most ideal material to sit on, but rather inlays for a large set of screens. 


Lot 1154, Large Asian Gilt Bronze Amitabha Buddha; Estimate $1,200 - $1,800

Finally, at Millea Bros is lot 1154, a Large Asian Gilt Bronze Amitabha Buddha. This large seated figure of the principal Buddha of the Pure Land sect is modeled in the late 16th Century style of the Ming Dynasty.

The Buddha is seated in lotus position with the right hand calling the earth to witness his enlightenment, and the left hand in mediation. His serene face is deep in contemplation, giving a sense of tranquility to the viewer.

Click here to view the full catalog for Millea Bros, Millea Bros Select, Day 1: Asian | English Antiques | Silver & Objects of Vertu sale on December 7th.

Click here to view the full catalog for Jacksons International Auctioneers, Native American, Asian, European & American Works sale on December 5th

Anthony Wu is an Asian Art consultant, researcher, writer based in Toronto, Canada. After working eleven years as the Asian Art specialist at two of Canada’s largest regional auctions, he started his own art advising firm where he consults for various auction houses, museums, and private clients in Canada and the USA. He is a certified Chinese Fine Art appraiser with the Appraisers Association of America.