Published: February 8, 2022
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photo Courtesy Andrew Jones Auctions
LOS ANGELES – While Asian works in a variety of forms – porcelain, furniture, bronzes, paintings and books – were not the only thing in Andrew Jones Auctions’ January 26 & 28 DTLA Collections & Estates sale, it was by far the predominant category. Asiana led each day with both sales achieving a 100 percent sell-through rate and a combined total of $552,000.
“We have happily gotten together with Daniel Herskee,” senior vice president Aileen Ward noted, referencing the firm’s new Asian art consultant, who previously worked in the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices of Bonhams. “He’s helping us hugely with all of the Asian works and we’re very grateful for him. We’ve garnered a huge following, particularly from Chinese works of art. Dan’s just on a whole other level. Chinese works won the day!” The sale was the first one to show the results of Herskee’s eye and talents.
It was Herskee who recognized the “diamond in the rough” that ended up being the sale’s top lot: a Chinese hardstone mounted bronze vase that was in fairly poor condition with extensive losses to the mounts and cracks and losses to those that survived, not to mention areas of discoloration, spotting, dents and wear. Despite all of that, the vase still maintained enough aesthetic and historic appeal to reach its significant final sale price of $42,500 from a Chinese buyer.
The vase was from the Los Angeles estate of Janice Hawtof, who Ward said was a dealer whose estate had a nice variety of things. Another work from Hawtof’s estate was a Chinese watercolor on silk that depicted figures and birds in a wooded mountainous landscape. Estimated at $400/600, it soared to $6,875.
The condition of a Chinese gilt metal thread and wool yellow ground carpet was also relatively poor but the provenance to China’s Imperial Palace boosted interest in the work, which came from a private collection in Ojai, Calif. An inscription panel at one end referenced its placement in the Hall of Supreme Harmony, a location reinforced by the use of yellow. Despite international interest, the carpet is staying in the Los Angeles area, selling to a private collector for $10,000.
A local collector also won a Chinese jade mounted hardwood box that featured, in Ward’s words, “a really lovely piece of jade.” The small box – it measured by 2-1/8 by 8 by 5-3/8 inches – was lined on the interior and sold for $8,125, well beyond expectations.
One of the few top lots that did not hail from the Far East, a Continental School harem scene from a Beverly Hills, Calif., collection satisfied bidders’ appetites for Orientalism. An indistinct signature and a partial date to the mid-Nineteenth Century tempted potential buyers, whose interest in the finely painted and detailed lot pushed it to $32,500; it danced to a new home with a collector in Switzerland, with direct competition from South Carolina.
A buyer in Kuala Lampur snapped up two Chinese celadon porcelain bird feeders that came from a Seattle, Wash., collection. Measuring not more than 3 inches long, the two-piece lot flew to $20,000, ten times its high estimate. The same buyer seemingly had an affinity for birds, Ward observed, noting that they also bought a painted bronze figure of the Roadrunner animation character for $2,000.
Andrew Jones Auctions’ next sale will take place on February 27, with Part III of the John Nelson Collection.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. For information, www.andrewjonesauctions.com or 213-748-8008.
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