Indian and Persian Treasures Lead Skinner Asian Works of Art Auction, May 16

Four Leaves of Miniature Paintings, Iran, 18th century (Lot 28, Estimate $20,000-$30,000)

Four Leaves of Miniature Paintings, Iran, 18th century (Lot 28, Estimate $20,000-$30,000)

BOSTON, MA – May 8, 2015 – Strong examples of Indian, Persian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art covering miniature paintings, jade, ceramics, furniture and more will be on the block during Skinner, Inc.’s live Asian Works of Art auction on May 16th. From more than 500 lots, including several outstanding private collections, buyers will discover a wide range of fresh-to-market material with exceptional provenance.

Indian and Perisan Art

A world-class offering of Indian art arrives from the former collection of Arthur L. and Genevieve S. Funk. The late Mr. Funk, a well-known professor, spent a great deal of time in India where he and his wife assembled their extensive collection of paintings, wood carvings, iron works and more. Highlights at auction include several miniature paintings – among them, an 18th century miniature depicting Sisupala and his retinue, illustrated in Indian Mythology (1967) (Lot 11, estimated between $10,000 and $15,000). Significant modern Indian paintings are also represented, exemplified by Jamini Roy’s bold depiction of the Goddess Parvati (Lot 15, $10,000 to $15,000). The collection also features several carved wood pieces that were once exhibited at the University of Florida (including lots 46, 47 and 48, $1,800 to $2,200 and $700 to $900)

Additional examples from a treasure trove of miniature paintings include a beautiful series of four miniatures hailing from 18th or 19th century India or Persia, featuring elements from both Persian and Indian schools of painting, each leaf illustrating a different narrative scene (Lot 28, $20,000 to $30,000).

Two Arabic calligraphy manuscripts possibly dating to the 12th century leads a selection of important Arabic and Persian manuscripts on the block (Lot 21, $2,000 to $3,000).

Sancai-glazed Pottery Figure of a Horse, China, Tang dynasty (Lot 114, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

Sancai-glazed Pottery Figure of a Horse, China, Tang dynasty (Lot 114, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

Chinese Art

Magnificent Chinese works are well-represented in the May auction, with many pieces hailing from the early Tang and Song dynasties. Such archaic objects include a selection of Tang funerary pieces – from a sancai-glazed pottery figure of a horse (Lot 114, $10,000 to $15,000) to a large painted pottery figure of a groom (Lot 113, $5,000 to $7,000). A variety of Song dynasty tea bowls, treasured in their time as much as they are now, will also be available: among them, a beautiful Jizhou tea bowl decorated with a jumping deer and plants (Lot 127, $800 to $1,000).

Skinner will offer an exquisite illustrated novel: the famed Xixiangji, Romance of the Western Chamber, in the manner of Qiu Ying (1494-1551) and Wen Peng (1498-1573), holding twenty illustrations and narratives (Lot 246, $10,000 to $15,000). This work comes from the estate of Kai Suhr, supplier to Chiang-Kai-shek’s army in China from 1938 to1939. Further captivating  items from this collection include twelve leaves from an album of paintings, depicting various flowers and insects, in the manner of Yun Shouping (1633-1690) (Lot 253, $6,000 to $8,000), as well as an eight-leaf flower painting album, in the manner of Zhang Xianghe (1785-1862) (Lot 247, $5,000 to $7,000).

Among desirable Chinese textiles up for auction is a private collection of court robes, purchased in Beijing at the turn of the 20th century when the current owner’s grandmother was stationed at the Princeton University Alumni-organized YMCA outpost (Lot 445 to 448, various estimates).

Man's Formal Blue Silk Dragon Robe, China, 19th/20th century (Lot 445, Estimate $3,000-$5,000)

Man’s Formal Blue Silk Dragon Robe, China, 19th/20th century (Lot 445, Estimate $3,000-$5,000)

Furniture, Textiles, Jade, Bronzes and More

Additional textiles include a vibrant Vajrayogini thangka  from 19th century Tibet, (Lot 71, $4,000 to $6,000) featuring Vajrayogini dancing and drinking upon on a lotus throne. Tibetan art is also well-represented by a selection of remarkable Buddhist works, such as a gilt-bronze figure of Amitayus (Lot 94, $5,000-$7,000), as well as a  ritual bone apron, featuring carved Buddhist deities, masks, and symbols in deep relief on variously shaped bones (Lot 102, $3,000-5,000). A silver filigree jarao wine ewer, adorned with various precious and semi-precious stone insets and filled by the unusual method of pouring liquid into the base (Lot 101, $2,000 to $3,000) rounds out this robust offering of Tibetan works.

An intricately carved Chinese tiered hardwood display cabinet (Lot 484, $2,000 to $3,000) leads a selection of outstanding furniture at auction. Jade is plentiful, highlighted by a jade table screen depicting a Daoist scene (Lot 340, $18,000 to $20,000), in addition to four superb carved pieces that were formerly owned by renowned mineralogist Frederick H. Plough  (1907-2006) (Lots 349-352, various estimates). A superb Mughal-style jade brush washer  also shines with beautiful translucent stone and delicate chrysanthemum carvings (Lot 314, $25,000 to $30,000).

Previews, Catalog, and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held at Skinner’s Boston gallery on Thursday, May 14, from noon to 5 P.M., Friday, May 15th, from noon to 7 P.M., and Saturday, May 16 from 9 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. The illustrated Catalog for sale #2810B is available from the Subscription Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online, at, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare.

About Skinner

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, Asian art, 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, as well as in New York City and Coral Gables, Florida, with bidders participating in person, by phone, and online. Join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


Judith Dowling
Director of Asian Works of Art

2 thoughts on “Indian and Persian Treasures Lead Skinner Asian Works of Art Auction, May 16

  1. I have several small jade pieces that have been in the family for many many years from an estate in Calif.Howe do I find the value and be able to sell them.?

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