Published: May 3, 2011
Frank Kaminski pulled out all the stops for his two-day sale of Asian art and antiques on April 8 and 9 and his efforts paid off handsomely. For its first Asian arts sale, the auction house paid careful attention to its buyers with catered Chinese food and a translator, who interpreted Kaminski’s opening remarks to the audience. Much of the material is headed back to China.
The object of greatest desire was an album of ten Twentieth Century drawings by the highly respected and versatile artist Wu Guanzhong that sold for $253,000. The album, which depicts scenes of southern China, is headed back to China. The artist presented the album to Alice Boney in 1978 and it is inscribed to her. Born in 1901, Boney was a prominent dealer in Chinese and Japanese art in the Far East and New York who in 1958 went to Japan for six months and stayed for 16 years. Chinese American linguist Daniel T.Y. Lee, who bought the album from Boney, died in 2001 and his heirs consigned it.
A pair of Ming period scroll paintings on silk, each measuring 63 inches, came from a Connecticut collection and sold separately. Each gilt-framed image depicted a large, multi-level house with pavilions and figures against a mountainous landscape with a body of water. One example with the house and pavilions on the right side of the image fetched $34,500, while the other, with the house and pavilions on the left, drew $33,350. Both pictures went to the same eager buyer in the gallery. An Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century ink and color portrait of Guan Yin on gold paper and mounted on silk fetched $7,475, while a pair of late Nineteenth Century Chinese Export oil on canvas paintings of courtly figures in a landscape sold for $5,175.
Three pieces of huanghuali wood furniture found favor. A Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century pair of horseshoe chairs elicited $87,400 from the Internet. The pair came from a Massachusetts collection, the source of other highly regarded objects in the sale. A Nineteenth Century altar table carved with scrolling spandrels and open work panels on either end opened at $20,000 and ended only at $64,440 from a Chinese collector in Australia. A Nineteenth Century folding stool was $4,600 in the gallery. The table and the stool both came from the Albourne Rancho estate in Glendora, Calif.
The hottest lots among the ceramics were two highly contested large fish bowls. A 9¾-inch wucai porcelain example was decorated with fish and foliage and bore marks for the Wanli period and realized $55,200. A Ming dynasty blue and white porcelain fish tank decorated with fish and lotus blossoms went for $51,750. They came from the same Massachusetts collection as the altar table.
A Nineteenth Century famille verte fishbowl decorated with panels of baskets of flowers brought $4,600.
From a Palm Springs, Calif., collection, a 107/8-inch late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century stoneware cong vase in a pale blue green crackle glaze sold for $32,200.
Fetching $29,900 was a 6¾-inch pair of Qing famille rose bowls with the Jiaqing mark, and bringing $6,900 from an online bidder was a pair of famille rose vases with the Qianlong mark. A pair of rose medallion garden seats with a continuous band of figures in a garden sold for $8,575.
A Republic period porcelain vase decorated with the eight auspicious emblems and lotus on a turquoise ground bore the Jiaqing mark and sold for $19,550.
Decorated with iron red dragons in pursuit of the flaming pearl a Guangxu period (late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century) porcelain charger brought $11,500 on the phone.
A 6¼-inch Qianlong blue and white charger in the Ming style painted with the eight Buddhist emblems, a central lotus and clouds sold for $8,050, and an 11-inch blue and white porcelain Yuhuchunping, a vase in traditional pear shape form, sold for $7,475.
An Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century miniature (5½ inches) green jade screen with a gilt landscape with figures and a pavilion on one side and birds and flowering trees on the other sold for $23,000. A larger (7¾ inches) carved green jade example brought $6,900.
Featuring three carved jade panels, a Nineteenth Century carved zitan scepter went for $13,800. A Nineteenth Century carved spinach jade vase on stand brought $4,888, and a Twentieth Century carved jadeite pendant inset with gold brought $5,750.
Benjamin J. Wang, Asian specialist at Kaminski Auctions, said he was a little surprised when a Nineteenth Century ivory plaque carved with a scene of the Feast of Peaches (Pantaohui) in heaven drew $18,400. He added that much of the sale was where he thought it would be. Eight carved ivory figures of the Immortals, each mounted on his animal, fetched $12,950.
Other Chinese ivory pieces included a 19-inch (including base) carved figure of a woman that brought $5,463, a 13-inch carved figure of a woman holding a mirror and a flower that reached $4,313 and a Qing dynasty pair of carved and painted ivory figures of reindeer that fetched $4,888.
A 13-inch carved Indian ivory figure of the goddess Saraswati poised on a lotus blossom with a peacock realized $6,325.
Bringing $30,000 was a Nineteenth Century carved rosewood table screen. One side has two faces, one of which fits over the other. One is a domestic elders and boys, while the other depicts a young woman at her bath. The other side is inset with calligraphy. A Twentieth Century carved wood screen with gilt decoration of cranes and foliage on one side and calligraphy on the other reaped $6,325. A Ming carved wood figure of Guan Yin brought $7,475.
An early Twentieth Century cinnabar screen inlaid on one side with jade and agate vases of flowers and carved bone bamboo on the other brought $9,200.
From the Nineteenth Century, an imperial robe embroidered in silk and gold thread with five clawed dragons and clouds sold for $7,435, while another example embroidered with a kesi dragon amid clouds fetched $3,738. An Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century imperial silk robe with embroidered dragons and clouds on the edges and on a square panel sold online for $5,175.
Also from the Nineteenth Century, a cloisonné censer with a turquoise ground loose ring handles sold for $8,050, and a large cloisonné box with a yellow ground and inlaid with nine pieces of carved jade inlay went online for $3,450. A small (2¾ inches tall) bronze cloisonné box with a lotus decoration brought $3,105.
An enameled hand warmer from the Nineteenth Century decorated extensively with flowers and two cartouches, one with an elephant and the other with a rooster, sold for $5,463, and a Chinese bronze censer decorated with auspicious symbols elicited $5,463.
A Nineteenth Century Japanese pair of bronze vases, each with two gilt panels depicting a monk on one side with a bird in a landscape on the other, was $6,325.
All prices quoted reflect the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, www.kaminskiauctions.com or 978-927-2228.
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