Published: October 12, 2010
White jade was most desirable at Eldred’s Asian arts auction August 26′8 and bidders could not get enough of it. A Ch’ien Lung period white jade ting (incense burner form) carved with lattice, lappet and mask designs and with raised flanges on the body and the cover, which also had mask and bird designs, brought $115,000 from a San Francisco collector. It had come from a Chicago collector.
An Eighteenth Century carved figure of an elephant realized $86,250 from a collector based in San Francisco and China. The elephant included in its provenance the collections of C.T. Loo of Paris, circa 1925; Bluett Company of London, circa 1960; and the collection of Alan and Simone Hartman of New York and Cape Cod. Both jades sold previously at Eldred in May 1978.
Other choice white jade lots included an Eighteenth Century pair of white jade bowls with bat and loose ring handles and concentric rings that sold for $57,500. Provenance included Bulgari, Rome; A. Randolph Hearst family collection; a sale at Christie’s London in 2004; and the Hartman collection. An Eighteenth Century white jade figure of a seated emperor with a child was also $57,500.
An Eighteenth Century white jade bowl in the form of a cherry blossom with high relief carving sold for $48,300, and a white jade covered jar with nine dragons carved in high relief on the body and three more on the domed cover was $34,500. A white jade figural carving of a child aboard a water buffalo was $25,300, as was a late Nineteenth Century white jade covered vase in four-lobe temple jar form with loose ring handles.
Closing out the offering of vases and bowls was a mid-Eighteenth Century moghul-style vase with two leaf-form handles, a ribbed body and a fluted rim that fetched $26,450. A white jade bowl in cloud form and carved with a dragon and clouds fetched $20,700, while an Eighteenth Century moghul-style white jade bowl in leaf form elicited $13,800.
Rounding out the white jade offerings were a circular table screen carved with a figural landscape on one side and flowers on the other, and on a spinach green jade stand, which sold for $23,000, and a covered vase in pear shape, carved thinly with foliage and fruit-form openwork handles and retaining the four-character Ch’ien Lung mark, that was $21,240.
The Chinese trade arrived in force for the annual sales, drawn by the Asian art offerings and the salubrious climate of late summer on Cape Cod. This year brought a larger than usual group, and several dealers had rented houses in the area, combining business and pleasure.
The colored jade offerings were impressive. A large Hsuan-chi notched disk from the Chou dynasty in brown jade with a geometric line design incised on one face and none on the other was $57,500, while a 10-inch Nineteenth Century green and white jadeite covered vase carved in the form of a temple jar with a lion’s head and a bird and floral design brought $23,000. An Eighteenth Century celadon jade coupe in the form of a peach carved with bats and branches with russet tones came from the Hartman collection and sold for $12,650, while a Nineteenth Century celadon jade carving of a guardian lion with two puppies at play with a brocade ball went for $10,350.
An Eighteenth Century spinach green jade seal with a double dragon finial and extensive Ch’ien Lung inscriptions along the sides of the base sold for $35,400. A Seventeenth Century gray jade vase was carved in the form of a rocky landscape with pine trees and a river and was 4½ inches tall. It realized $16,100.
Jade was plentiful at the sale in a variety of colors. A late Nineteenth Century celadon green jade covered vase with carved floral elements and loose ring handles brought $12,650, while a 12½-inch Nineteenth Century pale brown and lavender jade covered vase with lion’s head and loose ring handles brought $11,500.
Elephant forms of jade were represented in a collection of 35 carved jade elephant figures that included a white jade example in the form of two children climbing on a bowing caparisoned elephant that went for $20,700. A yellow jade pendant in the form of a reclining elephant from the Sung/Ming dynasty fetched $19,550. A Ming dynasty celadon green and brown jade elephant carved with flowers and a wave patterned blanket garnered $11,800.
Other standouts included a hu-form gilt-bronze vase from the Han dynasty or earlier that was carved with elaborate relief masks, fretwork and figural elements and the cover was carved extensively with a bird-form finial, leaf-form petals and relief masks. It sold for $92,000. A 30-inch pair of hexagonal silver-gilt and enamel lanterns carved in relief with heavenly figures, birds, flowers and clouds made $24,150.
Cloisonné is always a popular part of the Asian arts offerings in these auctions and this sale was no exception. A cloisonné enamel box with a five-claw dragon design on blue ground with a four-character Ch’ien Lung mark on the base and housing a white jade dragon seal with a double dragon finial sold for $24,780 and a 19¾-inch pair of Nineteenth Century cloisonné enamel vases with a five-law dragon design on turquoise ground doubled estimates at $21,850.
A cloisonné enamel bowl with a dragon surrounded by floral designs on a blue ground went for $11,800, while a cloisonné round covered box with a five-claw dragon and a phoenix around a central shou character and with a crane and cloud border sold for $10,350. An Eighteenth or Nineteenth Century cloisonné censer with three animalistic legs, upswept handles and a domed cover was $9,200.
A handsome Nineteenth Century imperial yellow k’ossu robe was made with nine dragons in fold thread on a yellow field with peaches, bats, clouds and Buddhist symbols above a cloud and wave band. The successful bidder tried it on, it fit perfectly and he was delighted. It brought $39,100.
An Eighteenth Century rhinoceros horn writer’s coupe in the form of a phoenix with detached tail feathers drew $20,700, while a scroll painting on silk depicting mountains in snow with a pavilion and a bridge was attributed to Sung dynasty artist Hsu Dao Ning and sold for $18,400. The painting had come from the estate of Georgia Cash, a longtime Florida dealer.
Among the ivory carvings crossing the block was a set of eight carved figures of Immortals from about 1900 that was $16,100. A pair of painted pietra dura and ivory erotic scenes cloistered within boxes painted with figural scenes sold for $4,025.
Porcelain was well represented in the auction, including a blue and white dish decorated with figures at a memorial with pine trees and mountains and a band of a dragon and a phoenix that sold for $10,925. The dish bore a Wan Li/Ming mark and was of the period. A Yung Cheng period underglaze red porcelain seal paste box with a five-claw dragon design and wave design at the bottom and fret along the rim bore the four-character Yung Cheng mark and brought $5,605.
Scholar’s material was contested by buyers on the phone and a father and son team of collectors who shared the bidding chores onsite. A 9-inch black scholar’s stone in mountain form with peaks and grottoes provoked extended bidding and went ultimately to the phone for $3,738, but a hung mu wood scholar’s box in the form of a book with ivory inlay went to the father and son for $1,380. Father and son also got a T’ang dynasty Sancai pottery figure of a standing attendant on a rockery base for $1,725.
Furniture of interest ran to an Eighteenth Century huanghuali wood armchair with a back splat pierced with a jui design and a woven splint seat that brought $14,950.
A group of more than 250 snuff bottles, many from a South Carolina collection, crossed the block with gratifying results. The most gratifying of all was the $21,240 paid for an Eighteenth Century black and white jade example carved with a design of a sage and an attendant in a mountain landscape.
A lot of three snuff bottles cataloged as glass simulating agate fetched $12,650. One of the bottles turned out to be yellow jade.
Rounding out the sale was a 5-inch T’ang dynasty pottery jar with a blue over white glaze that had come from the collection of Herbert Ingraham and sold on the Internet for $5,900.
All prices reported include the 15 percent buyer’s premium. For information, 508-385-3116 or www.eldreds.com .
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