Published: June 30, 2015
Doubling its high estimate to fetch $509,000 was Zhang Daqian (1899–1983), a splashed-ink autumn landscape, 1965, ink and color on gold cardboard, mounted, framed and glazed, 23¼ by 17½ inches.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. — Two important paintings by Zhang Daqian (1899–1983) led Bonhams’ June 23–24 auction of fine Chinese works of art and paintings that totaled $7,250,000.
A splashed in autumn landscape, dated 1965, and titled “Qiu Shan Xiao Si” (Buddhist Temple in Autumn Mountain) brought $509,000 and a monumental landscape “Mountain Retreat Among Clouds and Streams,” 1972, sold in the first day’s session for $485,000 in a hotly contested battle between floor and telephone bidders. Both works doubled their high estimates.
The paintings were purchased by Mr and Mrs Hal Louchheim in the mid-1970s from the Erickson Gallery of Palo Alto, Calif., while the artist lived in Carmel, Calif., and they have been with the owners since the date of purchase. The paintings, and a couplet of calligraphy painted by Daqian for the Chinese industrialist Song Feiqing (1899–1955) which brought $100,000 were among 83 lots of Chinese paintings sold to a full house of bidders during this 400-lot auction, which was part of a two-day sale featuring Chinese works of art and paintings and Asian decorative art from private collections, institutions and estates throughout the United States.
The top lot of the afternoon was garnered by a diminutive blue and white porcelain meiping by the Republic Period artist Wang Bu (1896–1983). Wang Bu, along with his older brother Wang Qi, was one of the Eight Friends of Zhushan, and accomplished in bird and flower paintings. This rare vase, painted with two chicks on a gnarled tree branch, soared past its $5/10,000 estimate and within two minutes set a record price of $533,000. It came from a Hawaiian collection by descent, and was acquired in Hong Kong in the 1960s. Late Qing and Republic Period pieces painting by this school and founding artists are currently highly sought after in the market.
Rounding out the auction was a carved white jade circular table screen of the Eighteenth–Nineteenth Century that led jade and hardstone carvings from a California institution and various owners. Selling for $269,000 against an estimate of $20/30,000, the panel was carved with a landscape scene featuring Shoulao and two boys on a mountain path near a waterfall.
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