On The Square

Sizzling Asian Art Highlights at James D. Julia’s Summer Auction

By Anthony Wu, Asian Art Specialist and Consultant

Aug 08,2016 | 12:00 EDT

James D. Julia is holding their annual summer Asian Art auction on August 26, 2016 as part of their three-day decorative arts sale. Comprised of 280 lots, the total number of items has been considerably pared down from previous years to enhance the quality of the art auction.

Important Pair of Porcelain Plaques by Wang Dafan

Highlighting the sale is lot 3660, an Important Pair of Porcelain Plaques by Wang Dafan (1888-1961).  Each panel depicts a scholar with maiden and date to the summer of the jiyi year (1929), the panels were painted by one of the eminent members of the Zhushan Bayou (Eight Friends of the ‘Pearl Hill’), a group that specialized in famille rose porcelain wares during the Republican Period. Wang Dafan is best known for his depiction of large historical figures and novel shading techniques. These panels were purchased by an American family in the 1960’s and have an estimate of 30,000-40,000 USD.

Cloisonne Basin, Ming Dynasty, China

Another highlight is lot 3575 a Ming Dynasty Cloisonné Basin. The rarity of this basin is in its unusually large size and detailed design of a noble enjoying his garden. Typical mid-17th Century cloisonné wares are cruder and lack the finesse of this example. It carries an attractive estimate of 6,000-8,000 USD.

Bronze Sculpture of an Eagle

With respect to Japanese works of art, the sale features lot 3598, a Bronze Sculpture of an Eagle from the Meiji Period.  With its impressive size (total height 27 inches!), this dynamic sculpture would have been a feature item for the European or American market during the late 19th Century. The estimate is 4,000-6,000 USD.

China Trade Painting, Early 19th Century

One of my personal favorites is lot 3638, a China Trade Painting from the early 19th Century. The attractive scene features three ladies in informal attire enjoying a garden. What strikes me about this piece is the Chinese artist’s use of Western painting techniques such as perspective and shading. China trade paintings were popular decorative elements for European families who wanted scenes depicting the Orient.  On its reverse, a label states that this painting belonged to a Miss Sophia Bull (b 1812 d 1884). The painting’s estimate is 3,000-5,000 USD.