BOSTON, Mass. – April 4, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Asian Works of Art on April 20th in itsBoston gallery. The spring auction features various art forms from China, Japan and Korea including Chinese textiles and Tibetan artifacts, as well as paintings, rhinoceros cups, furniture, porcelain, and scholar’s objects.
Vases & Okimono
The auction’s top lot is an ovoid form cloisonné enamel vase by Japanese artist Ando Jubei (lot 141, estimated between $20,000 and $30,000). This teal vase is decorated with pale plum blossoms in full bloom and has an Ando mark on its base. An identical vase is in The Khalili Collections.
A large selection of ivory okimono includes two important pieces from a private collection: an okimono of a man with roosters (lot 47, $12,000 to $15,000) and an okimono of a fisherman with two boys (lot 46, $9,000 to $12,000). These exceptional, finely-carved okimono are part of a private collection originally sold to Chester Will Chappell (1845-1909) of New York by art dealers including Yamanaka & Co., New York, Yohimimi & Co., Boston, and Kondo & Co., New York. The family of the current owner acquired these items from the China Gallery in Orange, Connecticut.
Rhinoceros Horn Cups
The sale presents a fine offering of rhinoceros horn cups, highlighted by a rhinoceros horn “Lily” cup and carved wood stand (lot 222, $8,000 to $12,000).
The cup itself portrays a deeply hollowed out lily, the exterior sides carved with an unfurling lily and buds. The custom stand depicts an open lotus blossom. The relationship of the lily and the lotus is auspicious as well as relating to a visual pun. The lily reads “baihe” meaning one hundred years of harmonious union. The lotus reading “he,” harmony, suggests a pun for “harmonious union” as well. The addition of the nandina leaves, which suggest good fortune and many children, make it likely that this cup was made for a wedding ceremony.
The cup descended in the family of John Alexander Ross, the manager of the Crombie Mill, Aberdeen, Scotland, makers of luxury clothing, long favored by royals and international statesmen. It was once part of the contents of Netherton Lodge, the Ross Arts & Crafts manor house decorated with William Morris furnishings and Asian objects acquired from Bluett & Sons, London.
Other outstanding examples include a rhinoceros horn libation cup and stand (lot 221, $5,000 to $7,000) that is the property of a New England gentleman, purchased by his grandfather at the turn of the century. A rhinoceros horn libation cup (lot 223, $5,000 to $7,000) from the estate of Alice Coolidge will also be offered.
Chinese & Japanese Textiles
Skinner is pleased to offer a choice selection of Chinese textiles from several private collections. Exquisite pieces from the Qing Dynasty on offer include a woman’s Kesi dragon robe (lot 296, $2,000 to $3,000), a Manchu wedding robe (lot 292, $2,000 to $3,000), a blue dragon robe (lot 298, $2,000 to $3,000), and two Kesi circular rank badges (lot 302, $800 to $1,200).
Japanese textile offerings include a wall tapestry with an embroidered peacock, peahen and peonies design (lot 109, $2,000 to $3,000) and another wall tapestry featuring egrets in a lotus pond (lot 110, $2,000 to $3,000).
An extensive collection of Tibetan artifacts offers some of the most exceptional pieces to come to auction in recent years. Highlights include a pair of dragon pillar carpets (lot 201, $5,000 to $7,000), an 18th century shrine depicting 10 Buddhas and deities (lot 200, $5,000 to $7,000), a leather pouch purse with silver and brass mounts embossed with stylized lotus decorations and a turquoise stone (lot 178, $200 to $300), and a 20th century storage chest depicting a prowling tiger (lot 195, $300 to $500).
Furniture, Paintings, & Scholar’s Objects
Many beautifully crafted furnishings include a carved Japanese export writing desk (lot 567, $2,000 to $3,000) and a set of four side chairs carved with pierced ruyi design (lot 551, $2,000 to $3,000).
Two extraordinary paintings by Vietnamese artist Vu Cao Dam include an oil painting of two women amidst blossoms titled Bavardages (lot 20, $4,000 to $6,000) and an oil painting titled Le Printemps (lot 21, $8,000 to $10,000) depicting a woman holding a child.
An elaborately carved celadon green jade brush washer with openwork nature and animal designs (lot 337, $15,000 to $20,000) and a Huanghuali brush pot (lot 210, $2,000 to $3,000) are examples of scholar’s objects on offer.
Previews, Catalog, and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2013, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., and Friday, April 19, 2013, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
A text catalog for sale #2647B is available by mail from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery.
The Skinner website allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive!. Visit and “like” Skinner on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/skinnerauctions.
Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at www.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skinnerauctions, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.