Asia Week Sales of Chinese Art

Sotheby’s is pleased to announce the full offerings of Asia Week sales of Chinese works of art, Chinese paintings and calligraphy. With exhibitions opening to the public on 8 September, visitors to New York headquarters will be able to experience all facets of Asian Art – pottery, bronzes, jades, ceramics, sculptures, paintings and calligraphy. Asia Week auctions begin on the 13th of September, with Important Chinese Art, followed by sales of Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy and Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art on the 14th and 16th of September respectively.

An Exceptional and Extremely Rare ‘Ding’ Carved ‘Peony’ Vase from the Northern Song Dynasty is the top offering of the season (estimate $500/700,000). Coveted for its beautiful white hue, Ding wares have been highly sought after since the beginning of their production in the Song Dynasty. This particular work, carved with a peony motif signifying royalty and virtue, as well as wealth and honour, is a beautiful example of the mastery achieved by the artisans of the Ding kilns.

This September’s auction of Important Chinese Art also features significant sancai-glazed and monochromatic works of art. Coming from a private Japanese collection, a Rare Sancai-Glazed Pottery Rhyton and an Exceptionally Rare Green-Glazed Phoenix-Head Pottery Ewer, both from the Tang Dynasty, beautifully balance molding, carving and glazing (estimate $50/70,000 and $80/120,000 respectively). A Fine ‘Clair-de-Lune’ Glazed Brush Washer is, on the other hand, a lesson in simplicity; the luminous glaze brings attention to the perfection achieved in the potting and firing of the ceramic.

Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy, taking place on 14 September, offers a diverse repertoire of classical and modern that visually illustrates the enduring appeal of Chinese painting. The 230-plus lot sale is led by Zhang Daqian’s Splash Landscape (estimate $450/650,000). The vibrant cobalt and verdant hues of this ink and color on paper are all-encompassing, pulling the viewers into its painterly world. While also a landscape, Wang Hui’s Landscape After Ni Zan offers an entirely different experience (estimate $300/500,000). Adhering to the techniques of classical Chinese paintings of the past, this hanging scroll wonderfully showcases the artist’s capability in calligraphy and painting.

Alongside Wang Hui stand classical masters including Dong Qichang, Shen Zongjing, He Shaoji and Shitao, also known as Yuanji. His Essay in Regular Script, an album of forty-four leaves, is a beautiful example of the strong yet lyrical hand of the artist (estimate $180/280,000). A Poem in Running Script by Xuanye, the pen name of Emperor Kangxi, also represents the power of calligraphy; sitting at the intersection of art and literature, it is unsurprising to learn that this art of writing was the prized visual art form in China over millennia (estimate $100/150,000).

Saturday at Sotheby’s rounds out Sotheby’s Asia Week this September, with a sale encompassing over 400 paintings and works of art. Featuring everything from jades to porcelain, textiles to furniture, bronzes to pottery, this sale represents the abundance of categories Chinese art and paintings have to offer. A ‘Huanghuali’ and Mixed-Wood Square Corner Cabinet from a Chicago private collection is a beautiful and functional work of art; from the Late Qing Dynasty, this cabinet comes to auction with a pre-sale estimate of $20/30,000. Two Famille-Rose ‘Magpie and Prunus’ Vases from the 20th Century are decorative examples of the ceramic arts. Measuring 20 7/8 inches in height, these tianqiuping vases are brightly painted with magpies and prunus trees, representing strength and fortune (estimate $30/50,000).

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