With another successful September NYC Asia Week almost over, the Asian Art world will set their sights towards the regional auction houses. There is now a great indication for the Asian Art categories that will be trending over the next couple of months.
Despite the market still being focused on Chinese items – including mark and period porcelain, jade carvings, furniture and paintings – collectors and lovers of Asian Art should also pay close attention to Himalayan Buddhist sculpture and Japanese Meiji Period decorative works.
Many of these types of artworks will be offered as part of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers Two-Day auction of Asian Works of Art on September 25th and September 26th. While many regional auction houses have recently been more conservative with the number of Asian Art objects offered for sale, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will be featuring over 800!
The top Chinese highlight is lot 137, A Guan-Type Porcelain Bottle Vase, likely Qianlong mark and of the period (1736-1795). Qing Dynasty vases of this type have been extremely popular over the past couple of years, with monochrome vases fetching high prices in the auction market.
The current vase features a rare Guan-Type glaze on the body. This glaze contains an attractive pale sky-blue tone with even crackles throughout. The Guan kilns of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) produced some of the most important ‘official’ wares for the imperial court, and the Qianlong Emperor was an avid collector of these rare items. In imitating these glazes for his own porcelain wares, he is paying homage to the revered past.
The vase reputedly comes from the estate of John Dwyer, a renowned collector of Chinese porcelain while he was vice president in the Chinese branch of B. F. Goodrich during the late 1940’s. After his death in 1972, the collection was left to a niece.
Lot 291, A Pair of Fine White Jade Bowls, is another Chinese featured item in the Leslie Hindman Asian Art auction. Dated to the 18th/19th Century, these bowls are exceptional for their quality of carving and whiteness of material.
White jade bowls are extremely desirable in the Chinese art market - especially those with an even colour and few blemishes. The simplicity of form for the present bowls further draws the eyes to the quality of the precious material.
In the Japanese section of the sale is lot 490, an impressive Pair of Six-Panel Folding Screens. Dating to the 19th Century, the screens contain highly detailed figures on a gold leaf ground. They depict scenes of court life probably borrowed from the iconic 11th Century novel by Murasaki Shikibu ‘Tale of Genji’. These screens would have been used as room dividers and still can!
The Leslie Hindman auction also features many Buddhist works of art from the Himalayan region. One that particularly stands out is lot 585, A Sino-Tibetan Gilt Bronze Head of Bodhisattva Mahakala.
Measuring almost 7 inches high, this Buddhist guardian would have been part of a much larger sculpture. He is depicted with flaming red hair and a fierce expression, all necessary in protecting the Buddhist dharma from hostile forces.
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.