On The Square

Lets Go Animal!

By Bidsquare

Jun 12,2015 | 17:00 EDT

On Tuesday, June 16, John Moran Auctioneers offers Selections from the Joan Irvine Smith Asian Art Collection. Sprinkled in amongst these are some exquisite animal figures, though judging by the price tags involved there’s not much chance any of these will end up in the nursery.

Lot 2041, a Chinese ceramic horse, and Lot 2038, a pair of Chinese carved white jade seals

One piece you’ll be keen to keep out of junior’s hands in Lot 2041 (above left), a Chinese glazed ceramic horse dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.). This tomb figure, depicted standing and saddled, is typical of the equine artifacts Irvine Smith collected, and is expected to bring close to $40,000.

Irvine Smith was wild about horses and riding her whole life. In the early 1950s, she began collecting Chinese art with an eye for imagery prominently featuring horses. As time passed, however, the scope of the collection was expanded to comprise non-equine Chinese and Japanese antiquities.

Lot 2016 (above) is another Chinese tomb figure, this one a Bactrian ceramic camel. Also from the Tang Dynasty Pottery, this polychrome glazed pottery work stands foursquare, laden with saddlebags.

Those looking for pieces that will scare the kids away should look at Lot 2065 (above), a near pair of Japanese Komainu temple lions. Carved from stone, each of these ferocious looking 20th Century creations are seated, but ready to pounce….

Lot 2005, a pair of Chinese Dayazhai jardinieres

John Moran Auctioneers sale of Selections from the Joan Irvine Smith Asian Art Collection contains 76 lots that capture their owner’s passion for antiquities from the Far East. Spanning many centuries and any number of styles and mediums, the works betray Irvine Smith’s well-trained eye for artistry and craftsmanship. Look now at the full catalog.