By Jackie Sideli
EAST DENNIS, MASS.- Several times per year, The Eldred Company on Cape Cod has an Asian art sale. December’s Asian sale, the firm’s last of the year, was a two-day sale.
“The sale was disappointing” according to gallery spokesman and auctioneer for the second day John Scofield, no doubt due to the first very significant winter storm, which hit the entire Massachusetts area on Friday, the first day of the sale. Very few people were willing to brave the storm to go out anywhere, never mind travel to Cape Cod for an auction. Still, a few hardy souls did make it, and there were some success stories. The second day saw the sun return, the snow mostly gone, and the crowd filling the very spacious, well-lit auction facility.
This monumental auction offered more than 1,200 lots in two days. The material was very high quality, and of especial note was the exquisite European tapestry, from France or Belgium, Nineteenth Century. A landscape with a foliate border, measuring 65 by 88 inches, this piece opened at $3,000, and with two phones battling it out, it sold for a significant $4,600.
The first day’s offerings included a number of period snuff bottles, many jade examples, and many of jadeite. One such snuff bottle, a green jadeite bottle, in ovoid form, with relief carving of crabs, dragons and shou, dating from the Nineteenth Century brought a very solid $1,840. A stunning Neolithic Pottery jar, also offered on day one, in a tapered baluster form with flared rim, decorated with a red on beige sinuous design brought $1,610. One very good surprise on day one was the bronze mounted amethyst glass vase, with a Bacchanalian theme. With a modest pre-sale estimate of just $200/300, it soared to its ultimate selling price, reaching the very strong $1,265
A set of eight Coalport porcelain dessert plates, which also surfaced on day one, in vivid cobalt and gilt decoration, measuring 8¼ inches in diameter, brought $1,035. A very good Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figure, depicting Tara seated on a lotus throne with ruby and turquoise inlay, and measuring five inches, from the Eighteenth Century brought $1,610.
Early in the second day, a late Nineteenth Century Imari porcelain bowl, in flower form, with floral roundels on a brocade ground, and measuring 13½ inches sold for $1,495. Also offered on day two was a collection of Tsubas. One, an inlaid iron example, in the form of two sho (flutes) joined together, both flutes with gilt inlaid pine tree design, and measuring 2¾ inches. Dating from the Eighteenth Century, this tsuba sold for $575.
Of the many Oriental rugs that were offered, the Hamadan, measuring a substantial 10’5″ by 13’5″ brought $1,035. A rectangular cloisonne enamel tray, depicting a Mount Fuji landscape design, with sparrow and lake in the foreground, and measuring 14¾ by 8¼ inches, from the Meiji Period, sold for $431.
There was quite a lot of excrdf_Descriptionent when, midway through the second day of the sale, the Satsuma Pottery Koro, in diamond form, with pierced lattice sides, and figural cartouches was offered. With a four character gold-on-red mark on base, with Shimazu crest, from the Meiji period, this piece brought a solid $4,830.
Another outstanding offering on the second day was the elegant and beautiful Makazi Kozan Studio porcelain vase. In the lotus blossom form, with underglaze blue figural design, on a red ground, there was plenty of competition for this piece. It sold to a buyer on the phone, for $4,025. A gold lacquer incense box, containing six smaller boxes, each with varying decoration, dating from the Nineteenth Century soared past its pre-sale estimate of $300/400 ultimately selling for $1,150.
Some of the most vigorous action of the auction involved the prints, which were hotly contested by several dealers and collectors at the sale. A Kunisada, depicting a woman in a blue kimono, in the Oban tate-e size sold for $632 surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $80/120, to a buyer at the sale.
Dealer William Stein, from Floating World Gallery LTD in Chicago had flown in from the Windy City just to attend the auction. He purchased many rdf_Descriptions at the sale, including the Hiroshige, in the Oban yoko-e size, of “Drying Strips of a Gourd, A Famous Product Aminakuchi,” from “Fifty-three stations of the Tokaido Road” This sold over its pre-sale estimate, bringing the price to $287. A beautiful Kawase Hasui, Oban Tate-e, “Shibazojoji Temple in Snow” of a figure before a red temple. Dating from 1925, this print sold to a buyer at the sale for $1,840.
There were many fine things offered at this sale so it was unfortunate that the snowstorm hit on day one, but the buyers who made the effort to attend were extremely glad that they did.