Skinner Offers Asian Works of Art During Two-Day Auction in April

Auction Features The Estate of Esteemed Collector and Dealer, Peter L. Rosenberg

Pair of Large Buddhist Lions, China, 17th century, from the Estate of Peter Rosenberg (Lot 520, Estimate $10,000-$20,000)

Pair of Large Buddhist Lions, China, 17th century, from the Estate of Peter Rosenberg (Lot 520, Estimate $10,000-$20,000)

BOSTON, MA – March 31, 2014 Skinner, Inc. is pleased to announce an exceptional auction of Asian Works of Art, showcasing over 900 lots of quality items, to be held in a two-day sale on April 26 and April 27. The majority of the auction features items from The Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg, the renowned dealer and owner of Vallin Galleries in Wilton, CT.

Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg

The auction will feature more than 700 lots from the Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg, who owned and operated Vallin Galleries. The Galleries began as a lampshade and lamp store on Tenth Street in Greenwich Village, opened by Peter’s mother, Josephine Vallin Rosenberg.  She created lamps from fine Chinese porcelain vases, twenty of which are in the sale (Lots 262-282). As her business grew so did her passion for Asian art, and in 1951 she established Vallin Galleries in Wilton, CT, which became a purveyor of fine Asian art for over sixty years.

Under the direction of Peter and his wife and business partner, Louise, Vallin Galleries acquired and sold works of art to museums, dealers, and private collectors.  In fact, many objects offered at auction today proclaim a Vallin Galleries provenance.

According to Judith Dowling, Director of Asian Works of Art at Skinner, “We are thrilled to offer works of art from the Estate of Peter L. Rosenberg which span several centuries and represent the expertise, taste, and illustrious background of one of the finest Asian art dealers of the 20th century.”

Lacquered Table Cabinet, China, 18th/19th century (Lot 554, Estimate $8,000-$10,000)

Lacquered Table Cabinet, China, 18th/19th century (Lot 554, Estimate $8,000-$10,000)

The auction includes many fine stone objects, including a Pair of Buddhist Lions from the 19th or 20th century (Lot 543, estimated between $800 and $1,000). The figures depicted are a male and female lion, created from beautifully carved white marble. Also offered is a 17th century Pair of Large Buddhist Lions (Lot 520, $10,000 to $20,000), featuring wonderfully expressive faces, with superb modeling and ceramic glazing. Standing at approximately two and a half feet tall, these lions represent guardians, and were typically placed at the entrance of a shrine.

Exquisite furnishings also include a Pair of Monumental Cloisonne Vases and Wood Stands, 20th century (Lot 396, $5,000 to $7,000). A fine example of enamel, at nearly seven feet tall the vases are decorated with a pictorial design of birds and flowers with bands of lotus scrolls. A beautifully made 18th or 19th century Lacquered Table Cabinet is another excellent item (Lot 554, $8,000 to $10,000).  Made to hold documents or other small objects, this cabinet is inlaid with lustrous abalone shell. Also sure to attract attention is a Pair of Jichimu Cabinets from the 19th century, featuring openwork sides and door panels with latticework bottom shelving (Lot 559, $3,000 to $4,000).

Another highlight from the collection is a Cabochen Jadeite and Gold Ring (Lot 471, $2,000 to $3,000) which had been worn by Mr. Rosenberg.

“With so many fine objects available,” said Dowling, “we expect that beginners and serious collectors alike will join us in celebrating an exceptional legacy.”

Additional items include over 50 important rare books from the Rosenberg’s extensive library; a large collection of Blanc-de-Chine, including a Qing Dynasty Figure of Guanyin (Lot 63, $3,000 to $5,000); porcelain from the 17th through 19th centuries; and a fine selection of celadon, including a Large Celadon Dish (Lot 4, $500 to $700).

Additional Highlights

Pottery Model of a Tree in a Basin, China, Han Dynasty (Lot 699, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

Pottery Model of a Tree in a Basin, China, Han Dynasty (Lot 699, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

The auction will also present nearly 200 additional lots, ranging from the time of the Han Dynasty to the present.

Skinner will spotlight a rare example of Han Dynasty pottery: a Pottery Model of a Tree in a Basin (Lot 699, $5,000 to $7,000). This item, which depicts a tree in a basin with waterfowl, fish, and birds in flight, previously sold at Christie’s in 1982.

A number of items from the Qing Dynasty will be offered, including a Portrait of a High-Ranking Courtier (Lot 829, $15,000 to $20,000). This beautifully painted portrait showcases an official seated on a tiger-skin covered throne, wearing a formal court robe embellished with dragons – all indications of someone of high rank. This was purchased by the owner in 1975 at Charlotte Horstmann’s Hong Kong antiques establishment. Also from this time period is an exceptional example of a Manchu Woman’s Formal Court Robe (Lot 760, $8,000 to $10,000). It was purchased from G. T. Marsh and Co., San Francisco: the first Asian art gallery in the United States. The company’s label is affixed to the interior of the collar.

 Hanging Scroll, China, 20th century, in the manner of Huang Junbi (1898-1991) (Lot 823A, Estimate $8,000-$10,000)

Hanging Scroll, China, 20th century, in the manner of Huang Junbi (1898-1991) (Lot 823A, Estimate $8,000-$10,000)

An important 20th century item from this section is a Hanging Scroll in the manner of Huang Junbi (Lot 823A, $8,000 to $10,000), which depicts a scholar in a mountain landscape, inscribed and with three seals. A note on the back of the scroll states that this painting was a gift from Gao Zhiging, the mayor of Kunming in the early 20th century.

In addition to items from the library of Peter L. Rosenberg, Skinner will offer twenty-four books on Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Library of Anne de Coursey Clapp (Lot 881, $500 to $800). Anne Clapp was a professor emerita of Wellesley College, where she taught East and Southeast Asian art history for more than three decades. Included in this selection is Group for Authentication of Ancient Works of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Illustrated Catalogue of Works of Ancient Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, 13 vols., 1986, Shi gu tang and Shu hua hui kao.

Previews, Catalog and Bidding

Previews for the auction will be held on Thursday, April 24, from 10 AM to 7 PM, Friday, April 25, from 10 AM  to 7 PM, Saturday, April 26, from 9 AM to 10:30 AM, and Sunday, April 27, from 9 AM to 10:30 AM.   Illustrated catalog #2719B is available from the Subscription Department at 508-970-3240. The catalogue is also available at the gallery. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. The Skinner website also enables users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time through SkinnerLive!

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, 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, find us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.



Judith Dowling
Director of Asian Works of Art

Kate de Bethune
Director of Marketing

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