On The Square

Summer Sale of Asian Art at James D. Julia

By Anthony Wu

Aug 01,2017 | 14:00 EDT

While the Asian Art auction world is taking a summer break, James D. Julia in Fairfield Maine will be featuring their sale of Chinese, Japanese and Indian art as part of their 3-Day Summer Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Auction from August 16th to 18th. 

The 172 lots of Asian items will be featured on August 18th, the third day of the sale, and includes porcelains, textiles, furniture, paintings and metalwork. One of the top highlights is lot 3569, An Impressive Chinese Huanghuali and Hardwood Corner Leg Table with an auction estimate of $20,000-$40,000 USD. 

Lot 3569, Impressive Huanghuali and Hardwood, Corner Leg Side Table; Estimate $20,000 - $40,000

Dated to the Qing Dynasty, this elegant table pays homage to early 17th Century examples through its simplicity of form and graceful lines. Huanghuali 黄花梨 (yellow flowering pear wood) is a rare species of Chinese rosewood that was primarily used to construct furnishing and objects for a scholarly household. These include painting tables, cabinets, stools, brushpots and document boxes. Huanghuali is renowned for its honey-orange colour and wonderful graining.  

The provenance for the table is spectacular – it came from the Janet and Richard B. Hobart Collection. It was purchased in Peking (modern day Beijing) in 1923 and has been within the Hobart Family ever since. Many pieces of furniture from this collection now belong in major museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the British Museum in London.

Lot 3528, Porcelain Tile Painting, China, 20th Century; Estimate $6,000 - $9,000

In the porcelain category is lot 3528, A Chinese Porcelain Tile Painting. Painted in famille rose enamels, it depicts the Bodhisattva Maitreya in the guise of the monk Budai (in Western popular culture, he is known as the ‘laughing Buddha’). The painting is realistic in its depiction of the figures and shading, and has the signature Wang Qi  王琦. Wang Qi was one of the porcelain painting masters known as the Zhushan Bayou 珠山八友(The Eight Friends of the Pearl Mountain).

Lot 3551, Indian Kutch Silver Four Piece Tea Service, India, Late 19th Century; Estimate $8,000 - $12,000

Another featured item is lot 3551 an Indian Kutch Silver Four Piece Tea Service. Dated to the late 19th Century, this rare silver set amalgamates classical Indian decorative motifs with European silversmith design. It includes a large tray, a teapot, a creamer and a sugar castor. 

The large tray features a detailed design of wildlife, trees and houses in a lush jungle backdrop, while the three vessels have chased design of scrolling vines on the body along with elephant head handles inset with ruby eyes. 

Lot 3523, Tsuguharu Foujita, A Book of Cats: Being 20 Drawings, New York: Covici Friede, 1930; Estimate $10,000 - $15,000

Finally, for those cat lovers out there is lot 3523, “A Book of Cats: Being 20 Drawings” with etchings by Tsuguhara Foujita (1886-1968). After studying at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music, he moved to Paris when he was 27 years old where he developed a style synthesizing traditional Japanese ink drawing with Western aesthetics. Foujita was renowned for his portraits of women and depictions of cats.

 “A Book of Cats” features twenty cat poems by the British writer Michael Joseph (1897-1958). Foujita accompanies each of the poems with an endearing etching of the cat described in the poem. This poetry book features some of the most beloved depictions of cats in art history.

The James D. Julia Asian Art auction promises to have something for every Asian Art collector!