List of Participants in Asian Art in London 2014

  • This is a list of participants in Asian Art in London 2014
    For more complete details, addresses and opening times you are referred to www.asianartinlondon.com
    (App suitable only for Apple products is downloadable)
    logo

    Dealer

    Aktis Gallery

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese Lyrical Abstraction in Paris: Works by Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun

  • Dealer

    Albemarle Gallery

    EXHIBITION

    Lee Jaehyo Mari Kim

  • Dealer

    AR PAB Álvaro Roquette / Pedro Aguiar-Branco

     EXHIBITION

    Mercator – Theatrum Mundi

  • Dealer

    Raquelle Azran Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art

    EXHIBITION

    Vietnam Vibes: Harmonies of Space and Time

  • Dealer

    David Baker Oriental Art Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    New Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Gregg Baker Asian Art

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Rosemary Bandini Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Japanese Netsuke from the Collection of Teddy Hahn

  • Dealer

    Jan van Beers Oriental Art

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Joost van den Bergh

    EXHIBITION

    Indian Art from Mehrgahr to the 19th Century

    EXHIBITION

    Tantric Drawings by Acharya Vyakul & Badrinath Pandit

  • Dealer

    Berwald Oriental Art

    EXHIBITION

    Tang Ceramics and Works of Art

  • Auction House

    Bonhams

  • Auction House

    Bonhams Knightsbridge

  • Dealer

    Brandt Asian Art

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Brun Fine Art

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese and Japanese Works of Art

  • Dealer

    Prahlad Bubbar

    EXHIBITION

    Indian Paintings: Masters of the Mughal and Rajput Courts

     

  • Auction House

    Christie’s

  • Auction House

    Christie’s South Kensington

  • Dealer

    Cohen & Cohen

    EXHIBITION

    Hit and Myth

  • Dealer

    Dalton Somaré

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Rob Dean Art

    EXHIBITION

    Divine Inspiration: Indian Art, Classical and Modern

  • Auction House

    Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

  • Dealer

    Duchange and Riché

    EXHIBITION

    Duchange & Riché

  • Dealer

    Eskenazi Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese sculpture c.500-1500

    EXHIBITION

    Waterfalls, rocks and bamboo by Li Huayi

  • Dealer

    John Eskenazi Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Malcolm Fairley Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Japanese Works of Art    Recent Acquisitions

     

  • Dealer

    Fitzgerald Fine Arts

    EXHIBITION

    The Scholar and the Sentinel

  • Dealer

    Fleurdelys Antiquités

    EXHIBITION

    The Scholar’s Studio

  • Dealer

    Sam Fogg

    EXHIBITION

    Indian Paintings and Drawings from the 16th-19th centuries

  • Dealer

    Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Indian and Islamic Art

  • Dealer

    Francesca Galloway Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    New Acquisitions including Indian Paintings on Cloth

  • Dealer

    Gibson Antiques Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art

  • Dealer

    Michael Goedhuis

    EXHIBITION

    Yang Yanping: Lotus Heaven

  • Dealer

    Grosvenor Gallery

    EXHIBITION

    Abdur Rahman Chughtai

     

  • Dealer

    Hanga Ten

    EXHIBITION

    Daniel Kelly: Fish Out of Water Meet the Artist

  • Dealer

    Christophe Hioco

    EXHIBITION

    Arts of India, Himalayas and Vietnam

  • Dealer

    Ben Janssens Oriental Art Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Arts of the Chinese Craftsman

     

  • Dealer

    Kaikodo

    EXHIBITION

    Celebrating the Ming on Bond Street

  • Dealer

    Antoine Lebel

    EXHIBITION

    Latest Acquisitions

     

     

  • Dealer

    Littleton & Hennessy Asian Art

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese Ceramics

  • Auction House

    Lyon and Turnbull

  • Dealer

    Marchant

    EXHIBITION

    Blanc de Chine

  • Dealer

    Meijering Art Books

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese Art Books

  • Dealer

    Amir Mohtashemi Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

     

  • Dealer

    Sydney L. Moss Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Obaku Zen Calligraphy and Painting from the 17th Century and Buddhist Related Netsuke, Lacquer and Applied Arts

  • Dealer

    One East Asia

    EXHIBITION

    Contemporary Art for Southeast Asia: Breaking and Reconstructing the Circle

  • Dealer

    Simon Pilling: East Asian Art & Interiors

    EXHIBITION

    Form & Allusion

  • Dealer

    Nicholas Pitcher Oriental Art Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese Works of Art

  • Dealer

    Priestley & Ferraro

    EXHIBITION

    Song Ceramics and Works of Art

  • Dealer

    Simon Ray Indian & Islamic Works of Art

    EXHIBITION

    Indian and Islamic Works of Art

  • Dealer

    Röell Fine Art

    EXHIBITION

    From Distant Shores

  • Dealer

    Rossi & Rossi

    EXHIBITION

    Gallery under refurbishment, returning to Asian Art in London in 2015

     

  • Dealer

    Max Rutherston

    EXHIBITION

    Netsuke

  • Dealer

    Sagemonoya

    EXHIBITION

    Antique Netsuke and Sagemono

  • Dealer

    Shapero Rare Books

    EXHIBITION

    India on Paper

  • Dealer

    Jacqueline Simcox Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Chinese Textiles

     

  • Dealer

    Sladmore Contemporary

    EXHIBITION

    Roger Law  Ceramics from Jingdezhen

     

  • Auction House

    Sotheby’s

  • Dealer

    A&J Speelman

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    The Tolman Collection, London

    EXHIBITION

    Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints

  • Dealer

    Grace Tsumugi Fine Art Ltd

    EXHIBITION

    Recent Acquisitions

  • Dealer

    Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

    EXHIBITION

    An Important Group of Sculptures from India, Southeast Asia and China

  • Dealer

    Vanderven Oriental Art

    EXHIBITION

    Vanderven Oriental @ Shapero Rare Books

  • Dealer

    Jorge Welsh Oriental Porcelain & Works of Art

    EXHIBITION

    Out of the Ordinary: Living with Chinese Export Porcelain

  • Auction House

    Woolley & Wallis

Brightwells to sell 57 lots from Chinese collection of Julia Gibbons

Next week, Herefordshire auctioneers Brightwells are to sell 57 lots from the Chinese collection of the late Julia K Gibbons, a grand-daughter of the significant Anglo-American painter, Sir James Jebussa Shannon (1862-1923). Some of the items for sale are featured in the art of the well known society painter and it is thought that many of the lots to be exposed next week (The Autumn Two Day Fine Art Sale) actually originate from the collection of Shannon, who  was an avid collector of Chinese porcelain around the end of the 19th century.

Sir_James_Jebusa_Shannon_by_Sir_James_Jebusa_Shannon

Sir James Jebussa Shannon Self Portrait (1919) National Gallery

 

As Toby Service of Brightwells said today, ‘We cannot say that this is the sale of the important collection of Shannon, as we know Julia Gibbons collected some of them herself, but we do know that she inherited many Chinese pieces from her grandfather and which are in this sale.’

James Jebusa Shannon was born in New York but studied art at South Kensington where he won the gold medal for figure painting. He became well known in London for his society portraits; many of his portraits incorporate, in the background, items from his collection of Chinese ceramics.

James Jebusa Shannon The Purple Stocking The Purple Stocking by James Jebussa Shannon, with items from his porcelain collection in the background                   Courtesy 1st Art Gallery.com

His grand-daughter probably developed her own enthusiasm for Chinese items as a result of inheriting from him and it is known she collected Chinese as well as other antiques from her London base. More information available from Toby Service, toby.service@brightwells.com.

brightwells pair of large bowls brightwells 480 Lots 480 and 481 in Brightwells November 5 Sale

Next week sees several collections dispersed in the auction rooms. See our previous features on the sale of The Roy Davids Collection (Bonhams) and The Helen Espir Collection (Woolley & Wallis) .

 

 

 

Bonhams Roy Davids Collection Sale vase highlights role of women in China

Next week, during Asian Art in London, auctioneers Bonhams mount no less than half a dozen sales in their New Bond Street and Knightsbridge premises, which puts them well ahead of the pack in the energy stakes.

Particularly interesting, in our view, is the 153-lot auction of the collection of Mr Roy Davids. Although the period over which he collected Chinese porcelain was not particularly long (the first items were acquired around the late 1990s and the final accessions in 2012).  The selective quality of the items in his collection cannot be doubted and they are particularly strong in the areas of famille verte, blue and white and Imperial yellow.

A fine porcelain vase showing the ‘Four Elegant Accomplishments’, important cultural activities suitable for Chinese scholar gentlemen, but most unusually seen here with women taking part in these activities, heads the sale of the Roy Davids Collection on November 7th.

This striking vase, lot 54, estimated to sell for £80,000-110,000, is a fine and rare famille verte baluster vase from the Kangxi period 1662 to 1722 with the body finely enamelled with a continuous scene of elegant court ladies engaged in the four activities – painting, calligraphy, playing the qin, a stringed musical instrument, and engrossed in weiqi, a board-game in which strategy is key.

Lot 54 - Roy Davids Collection

In later Imperial Chinese society, women were confined to the home and were not encouraged to be educated. During the late Ming dynasty, however, against a background of social change and economic prosperity, some women managed to challenge these conventions. The famous late Ming philosopher Li Zhi (1527-1602) even declared in his ironically titled Book to be Burned that women were equally intelligent as men and took female students, much to general surprise. Celebrity courtesans accomplished in the genteel arts of music and literature entered male society, heralding a new model of feminine identity almost equal to the male literatus. The present vase reflects this unusual emergence of accomplished females, and celebrates them as being knowledgeable and intellectually engaged, whilst still being refined, delicate and attractively feminine.

The women are exquisitely detailed, their delicate features offset by richly patterned robes and extravagant gilt jewellery, revealing their high cultural status and wealth. The scenes are also extraordinarily dynamic, with the tall figures filling the surface, and very actively involved in their chosen pursuits, whether dipping the brush in the ink for the next stroke of a half-finished painting, or reaching into a pot for another weiqi counter.

Roy Davids, a former Marketing Director for Sotheby’s, has an eye for a beautiful object, be it a superbly illustrated book or a striking Chinese vase. He bought both at auction and from dealers like Marchant.

The vase has been widely exhibited, including a show in a show at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and was on loan to the Denver Museum of Art from 1995 to 2005.

Colin Sheaf, International Head of Asian Art at Bonhams, says: “Roy is a shrewd judge of excellence and this Chinese porcelain Collection is another endorsement of his taste. The works mostly cover a period of 300 years during which Chinese ceramics led the world in sophistication of design and decoration. Doubtless the vast majority will be snapped up by Chinese buyers keen to repatriate their national cultural heritage.”

 

Financial Times reports Chinese ceramics down over last year!

The London-based Financial Times reported last Saturday (October 25 2014) that prices of Chinese ceramics were down by 2% over the last year – a figure which may surprise those of us actually in the business.

A two page article headed up ‘Profit from your passion – alternative assets rise again’ bears the sub-heading ‘Demand from China and the uncertainty of stock markets has led to a boom in alternative assets such as art, fine wine, stamps, coins and classic cars’. From the figures printed it would, however, seem that Chinese buyers are more interested in cars and coins than Chinese ceramics. Cars are up 25% over the year and coins by 20%. Chinese ceramics are down 2%. The figures for Chinese ceramics were apparently supplied by a company called Art Market Research and Developments.

The figures supplied to the FT do indicate a 67% increase in prices in Chinese ceramics over 10 years; 43% over five years. Wine, over ten years has gone up 226% and the FT says ‘China was a real game-changer for fine wine.’ Cars, over 10 years, are up 469%.

These figures seem highly suspect to us. Those of us who have been buying Chinese ceramics over the last ten years would posit rather different figures based on the prices in both auction rooms and dealers’ premises. Chargers, vases and flasks fashioned in porcelain are indubitably up several hundred per cent over the last ten years and have not, even, fallen off over the last year. We suppose that our experience on the ground, so to speak, might be regarded by the ‘experts’ as ‘anecdotal’ but we do wonder how these figures have been calculated.

Gorringes’ £110,000 result demonstrates benefit of full cataloging!

Sussex auctioneers Gorringes sold a ‘very large’ 18th century Chinese scroll last week for a very respectable £110,000, against a pre-sale estimate of £60,000-80,000. In the context of this week’s Asian Art in London hoopla, they issued a separate Asian catalogue for those lots of Far Eastern origin in their antiques and collectibles sale.

The thoroughness with which the catalogue entry for the scroll was prepared must have contributed to the substantial price achieved. It is something of a model for the way such an entry might be prepared in a bid to extract the best price for an object. Although a large international auction house might catalogue a very significant item in such detail, it is unusual for an auctioneer outside the capital. The full entry can be found below. Other auctioneers might like to take note! Congratulations to Gorringes.

Lot   648  A fine and early Chinese scroll painting of the Hongs of Guangzhou (Canton), gouache on silk, c.1770, of unusually large size, painted with an early view of the European factories on Hog Lane, with the Danish, French, Swedish, English, and Dutch flags aloft with European and Chinese traders and officials outside, the Creek to the East of the Dutch factory, the foreground depicting numerous moored Chinese junks and trading vessels including a pleasure craft inscribed ‘Mingyang’ to the rear,  gouache on silk laid on a paper scroll,
image 91.5cm x 276.5 cm. Estimate £60,000-80,000
Provenance: Acquired by Alexander Hume, Supercargo with the Honourable East India Company in Canton (1758-64) and then Chief of the factory (1770-73), and thence by family descent.
Alexander Hume served in the Honourable East India Company for many years, with documents held in the East India Library stating that he was “third in council at Calcutta.” and then  “was for many years the Chief of an English Factory at Canton”. The painting, which dates from around 1770 was probably commissioned by Hume around the time of his promotion to Chief of the factory.  The date is confirmed by the as yet un-widened path separating the factories from the waterfront and the white Bourbon family flag, representing the French Hong, which was changed to the familiar tricolour in 1790.
The Career of Alexander Hume.
Alexander Hume served in the Honourable East India Company. The pedigree states that he “was for many years the Chief of an English Factory at Canton and third in Council at Calcutta”, but gives no dates. On October 8, 1993, the vendor visited the India Office Library to search for evidence of Alexander’s service in Canton, and if possible to find out when he was there. The records of the English Factory was are under the serial no. R/10. In document R/10/4. Diary and Consultations 1755-60. He found the following first mention of Alexander Hume:-
Consultations of Henry Palme John Burrow, George Mandevile. Thos. Lockwood. Robt Macket, Alexander Hume. Willm. Mackenzie, Joseph Harrington, Francis Wood & James Flint appointed supracargoes to transact the affairs of the Honble. United East India Company for the year 1758. “Consultations” were the detailed transactions between ships and the Company, which was represented by a “supracargo” who evidently went on board to supervise and document the loading and unloading of goods at the anchorage off Whampoa Island. In R/10/5 we find that on June 17, 1759:-   Mr Hume, on board the Wichelsea’, informed us of the death of Mr Macket
Consultations and letters were generally signed by many or all of the supracargoes, so presumably one can get an idea of rank from the order of the signatures. A consultation dated July 4, 1759, is signed “Thos. Lockwood, Alex Hume, Francis Wood”, but it seems that by 1764, after five or six years in the job, Alex Hume was fourth or fifth in rank. In January 1765 he “took his passage to England in the Latham”, but whether this was on leave or termination in of his appointment we do not yet know. However, he returned to Canton in 1770, for in the Letter Book 1770-74(?) R/10/7 Alex Hume heads the list of signatories to a letter dated November 20, addressed to the “Hon Council of Directors per ship Earl of Middlesex”. He must have taken over as Chief of the factory shortly before this, as the first signature on the previous letter, dated October 19 is “Steph. De Nisme.   Alex Hume was evidently Chief for at least the next three years, but on January 10, 1774 we find:-   Mr Hume takes his passage for Europe on board the Prime.
Whether this was final retirement, or a spell of leave I have yet to discover. In the following Letter Book for 1775-79 (R/108), there are no letters with his signature.
Official Correspondence.
The vendor visited the India office Library again on November 12.1993. He found on the open shelves. printed volumes of transcripts of correspondence between Fort William (Calcutta) and India House in London. From the indexes to the various volumes I found the following references to Hume:-   Vol.I
Alexander Hume, Director of the EIC 1737-48.  January 23, 1754. Supracargoos appointed for China, for the ships ‘Lord Anson’ and ‘Triton’: Messrs John Misenor, John Burrow. Alexander Hume, John Maplecroft.  November 29, 1754. Supracargoes appointed this season for the ‘Bombay Castle’ and ‘Prince of Wales’: John Misenor, Samuel Harrison and Alexander Hume, who were directed to continue in China for the year 1755.  December 29, 1756. Alexander Hume appointed Commander of the ‘Fox’ for consignments in the Coast and Bay. vol. II March 25, 1757. Alexunder Hume appointed Commander of the Fox’ in the Coast and Bay. November 11, 1757. The Company had decided to set up a permanent station in China to replace the numbers of separate commissions from Calcutta which had been found inconvenient. The following twelve supracargoes were appointed:-
CHIEFS  Henry Palmer        1st  in council  John Burrow        2nd  ”      ” George Mandeville 3rd   ”      ” Thomas Lockwood  4th  ”      ”
SECONDS  Robert Macket 5th  ”       ” Alexander Hume 6th  ”       ” Richard Paisley 7th  ”       ” William Mackenzie 8th  ”       ”
THIRDS  Joseph Harrington 9th    ”       ” Francis Wood        10th  ”       ” John Hull        11th  ”       ” James Flint 12th  ”       ”
Vol III
December 31, 1760. Alexander Hume appointed Captain of the ‘Fox’. He left Ingellee to proceed on a voyage to Fort St George on January 31. 1762. September 30, 1761. All supracargoes reappointed to the China Council for 1763.  December 17, 1762. All supracargoes reappointed for 1764.  December 30, 1763. All supracargoes reappointed for “the ensuing season”.
Vol. V
November 11, 1768. Capt Hume and the ‘Fox’ sailed for Bombay  November 10, 1769. Alexander Hume appointed this “season”, head supracargo in Canton and Resident in China for 1771
Vol. VI
January 4, 1771. Alexander Hume appointed Resident for 1772. # December 18, 1771. Alexander Hume appointed Resident for 1773  December 11, 1772, Alexander Hume appointed Resident for 1774.
Vols. VII-IX:
No references to Hume.
Vol. X
April 28, 1786. Alexander Hume obtained a licence to proceed to India as a Free Mariner. April 27, 1792. (Letter to the Council from Fort William.) Proscription order against Capt Mackintosh and three officers, including Alexander Hume, for flagrant delinquency on the ship ‘Fitzwilliam’
These records broadly confirm the previous findings about Alexander Hume’s years of service in Canton. His period as “third in council in Calcutta” almost certainly refers to the time before the establishment of the permanent station Canton in 1757. He was presumably absent from Calcutta during the revolt in 1756.
Clearly the first extract from Vol I refers to the uncle of our Alexander, who was MP for Southwark and elder brother of the first baronet Sir Abraham Hume. It was probably through him that his nephew received an appointment in the Company. A possible confusion arises over the Alexander Hume who was Captain of the ‘Fox’. We see from the family that Alexander had two first cousins with the same name. One of these was a son of the first baronet, Sir Abraham, and the other was son of Robert Hume, brother of Sir Abraham. and of our Alexander’s father, Peter, and also of the Alexander who was a Director of the HEIC.
In the card-index in the India office Library there is the entry:-
Alexander Hume, died November 11,1800 buried St. Laurence. Wormley, Herts.   Cmdr. EIC Maritime Service. Cousin-german of Sir Abraham Hume. Bart
After the vendor’s first visit to the Library he assumed that this referred to our Alexander, but following further investigations into parish records in England, was sure that this Alexander was Captain of the ‘Fox’ and the son of Robert. It was probably also he who obtained the ‘free mariner” licence for a trip to India in 1786.
It is inconceivable that either of these Alexanders was the delinquent on the ‘Fitzwilliam in 1792: However, our Alexander did have a son named Alexander by his frst wife,Ann (Anna?) Boughton, who might have been the culprit.
Literature: for a similar view almost certainly by the same artist see Conner, Patrick., ‘The Hongs of Canton’ (English Art Books, London, 2009), pp.42-43, pl. 2.17 and pl. 2.18.
According to Carl L. Crossman in his book Decorative Arts of the China Trade, 1991, there are similar paintings in the Peabody collection, Museum of Salem and the British Museum. He notes that the porch supports of the British Factory are still slender columns and not the enclosed arches with columns of the 1780s. In common with these two scrolls the Alexander Hume scroll is impressive in size and extremely accurate in detail and delicate in palette.
The image itself is in reasonable condition, with a number of creases running horizontally left to right particularly around the centre of the picture, there are some very occasional tiny flake losses to the paint to each of the flags, to areas of the Danish Hong on the left and to the figures on the walkway to the right of this, there is some slight paint loss to the boats next to the walkway a quarter of the way from the left edge of the scroll, there is some slight paint loss along a crease running along the arched colonnade of the upper tier of the Swedish Hong heading down diagonally across a Chinese Hong in the centre, there is smaller paint loss to the crease running across the British Hong at the top of the doorway across toward the Dutch Hong, there is a 11.5cm tear to the crease at the very right hand edge of the image level with the roof line above the creek to the east of the Dutch factory and some paint loss to the building in the creek, there is a later black speckled drip mark running in the sky above the Dutch Hong, approximately 26.5cm and a little bit more of a black speckle high in the sky two thirds of the way from the left of the image, there are a few black speckles in the water in front of the British Hong and some other occasional light staining and marking all over. The sea green painted silk laid on paper border has some occasional small holes and tears running from left to right three quarters of the length of the scroll, the last quarter there are considerable losses and detached pieces to the border particularly on the very right hand side, we do have the pieces but they are very brittle.  Ideally the purchaser would have the picture framed and mounted to conceal the damage to the border. Please see numerous extra photographs on our website which give a clearer idea of condition.
Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Gorringes Conditions of Sale.

Sold for £110,000

Goedhuis opens Yang Yanping show in London

B0014P 0138

Lotus Heaven

One of China’s leading artists, and a pioneer in the field of contemporary ink paintings, has her one woman show opening October 30 in London with China specialist Michael Goedhuis. Yang Yanping’s exhibition, entitled Lotus Heaven, comes in the wake of her 2013 major retrospective exhibition at The Art Museum of Beijing Fine Art Academy. There are 20 paintings in the exhibition opening October 30 and closing November 8 at 66 St. James’ Place.

Michael Sullivan, the late authority on modern Chinese art, recounted how Yang Yanping one beautiful day in the fall of 1978, free at last from the humiliating excesses of the Cultural Revolution, came upon a farm with a long neglected lotus pond in which the plants were fast fading but still alive. With her primitive pen she drew them on a sheet of a coarse yellow paper. This chance encounter ignited a life-long immersion in the subject matter, symbolism and pictorial language of the lotus flower. Into the theme she has poured her thoughts, feelings and memories. ‘The twists and turns of every stem’, she later wrote, ‘were a testimony of a stubborn fight against the passage of nature’.

The theme of the lotus flower is the dominant subject of this exhibition and has been an enduring, as well as sustaining source of inspiration for Yang over many years. But it serves not as a subject in itself, but a convenient catalyst for her to express her weltanschaung – her reading, her experience in life, her knowledge, and her complete intellectual hinterland.

In the early years after Mao’s death, Yang painted a series of lotus as its glory ebbs away in autumn and winter. This was a way to express the deep melancholy and frustration of the intellectual class witnessing the precariousness of man’s freedom of spirit during the trauma of the past quarter century. In her words, the sight of the flower ‘set in the glowing light of an autumn sun seemed to reveal the lotus as a representation of all living things, with all its different destinies, some weaker, some stronger’.

Since then Yang has become a pivotal international figure in the dialectic emanating from cultural life in China for a century or more. In essence, the story is one in which artists or intellectuals grapple with how to revitalize Chinese culture. Are they to jettison the rich but burdensome legacy of China’s glorious past and adopt Western ideas? Or should they dig into the fertile sub-soil of their own culture for guidance and meaning? Or even better, incorporate some of the invigorating currents from the assertive West and link them into their own vision, conditioned as it was by a rigid but sophisticated orthodoxy on the one hand and an intelligent awareness of their world absorbing momentous changes on the other?

As Godehuis point out, ‘these are implacable issues and are still in doubt although the battle lines have been more clearly delineated. Broadly speaking there are four main tendencies in Chinese art today. First is the strenuously conservative backlash adhering ever more tenaciously to the great classical traditions, with just the occasional meaningless nod in the direction of modernism. Then there is the vast factory of artists trained in Western social-realist oil-painting in the Maoist era who left a legacy of technically accomplished painting that can be seen all over China. Thirdly there is an avant-garde movement, which has annexed much of the more provocative work of the Western cutting-edge, without often having truly assimilated the conditions in which it is being produced. And finally there is a minority of artists, of whom Yang is one of the most successful, who see themselves as re-animating those elements of Chinese painting that, together with a multiplicity of other influences can now best convey contemporary reality in all its accelerating and confusing complexity.’

Michael Goedhuis has dealt in Asian art for around 30 years and is currently focusing on contemporary Chinese ink works. This present exhibition coincides with and is part of the wider event, Asian Art in London.

13.2030

 

 

Exhibition: 30th October – 8th November 2014

Michael Goedhuis, 66 St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NE

Confessions of an Asian Art Auctioneer

imperial robeLast month, Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull held a successful Sunday seminar on various aspects of collecting Chinese art. They rather bravely allowed their Asian art man, Lee Young, to give a vastly entertaining and very frank talk about the most successful Asian items they had sold over the last eight years.

record breaking charger

Scotland’s most expensive piece of Chinese porcelain was sold by L&T last June for a staggering £455,000, inclusive of premium. This was, of course, the highest price ever achieved by L&T in the Chinese market, and it was rendered all the more surprising because of its £2-3,000 estimate. According to Young, once the piece went on show in London “people got excited” and he went back to the family in the West of Scotland who were offering the piece for sale. They then came out with anecdotal evidence relative to the provenance which served to bolster the interest in the market place and produced determined competition for the charger. Young, rather surprisingly, opined that it would be worth more in the marketplace today – maybe £5-800,000.

flambe glaze vase

In the same sale, L& T offered an attractive 18th century flambé vase which had been a failure when it was offered Stateside by Freeman’s, L& T’s associated auction house in the US: it was unpaid for after auction. Accordingly, the Quianlong piece was brought to Edinburgh where it staged a dramatic recovery, fetching £145,000.

Again, in the same sale, was a robe with an Imperial provenance (shown above). Young was asked to visit a house ‘to look at some things’ following some publicity in the press. The robe, formerly used by the Dowager Empress, was in use as a fancy dress item having been acquired 40 years previously from the Leonard Gow Collection. The intention was ‘to send it to the charity shop’. L&T asked to be given the opportunity to sell it and valued the robe at £10-15,000. It fetched £70,000.

Despite problems of attribution amongst a plethora of fakes, a Qiu Baishi watercolour scroll was judged by the market to be the real thing and got £55,000 last year. A  lobed enamel hors d’oeuvre set from a house in Dundeed, where it was not rated as being anything special, was estimated at £8-12,000 and achieved £75,000. Young thought it would get £100-200,000 in the present market.

The only area he saw as now getting more difficult and not showing the same appreciation in the market is objects covered by the CITES regulations. A full tipped entire carved rhino horn which got £73,000 a couple of years ago, might now only get around £50,000. However, ‘most things are gaining all the time’, according to Young. In some instances, prices are substantially better in the US.

However, he asserts, the market is ‘changing all the time’ and trends come and go. Young’s tip for the future is Song Dynasty ware which he feels is seriously undervalued at present.

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Espir Collection for sale at Woolley & Wallis

 

An outstanding collection of European decorated Export porcelain comes up for sale at Woolley & Wallis, with preview days at Asian Art in London next month. We are pleased to be able to publish Helen Espir’s memoir.

The collection will offer 140 lots in a dedicated catalogue from Helen Espir’s own collection.  The items offered span many styles, palettes and subjects including famille verte and famille rose porcelains, others with Imari and Kakiemon decoration.

The Fascination of European decorated Oriental Porcelain.   By Helen Espir

In 1993 at an Antiques Fair at Mentmore in Buckinghamshire I bought a Chinese bowl with red and gold decoration because on the base was engraved N:113 ↑ – the Inventory number of the collection of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony. I was soon dismayed to discover that it had been decorated in Holland because as a collector of Chinese ceramics for over twenty years I had learned to shun such clobbered hybrid objects as being unworthy of a serious collector. However its provenance and attractive appearance persuaded me to defy convention and take a serious interest in European decoration on Oriental porcelain.

What did it look like?  Why was it done? Who did it? Who bought it? How would I recognise it? These were all questions that led me to research a far wider range of subjects than when collecting straight forward Chinese ceramics. These included delftware, European and English ceramics, glassware and European history as well as changes in taste and fashion. I particularly enjoyed the wide range of religious, historic and political subjects depicted on the porcelain, such as the South Sea Bubble and the House of Orange on Dutch decorated pieces, some of which had to be decoded as their message was no longer obvious and had been forgotten. Researching these led to the discovery of delights such as Lord Hervey’s Memoirs of the court of George II, and the amusing letters of Liselotte, Princess Palatine and Duchess of Orleans, at the court of Louis XIV.

The challenge of deciphering the puzzles and the detective work involved is a major fascination of the subject. Nothing is what it seems, everything has been transformed in some way, frequently for commercial reasons. For example, converting plain Chinese blue and white to expensive Japanese Imari by the addition of red and gold or red and green was widespread in Amsterdam & London from 1700 to around 1740.The so-called Amsterdam’s Bont or Dutch Imari being the most common style of decoration in Holland and ranges in quality from exquisite to slapdash.  Another interesting example of commercial enterprise shows how the demand for rare Kakiemon porcelain by the upper classes in the early 18th century was supplied by the Dutch who decorated white Japanese and Chinese porcelain in that style. I found the evidence in the Dutch decorated pieces still at Dresden that were bought by Augustus the Strong before 1727 and listed in the 1721 Dresden Japanese Palace Inventory as genuine.

Also in Dresden, I found Chinese cups and saucers decorated in Bohemia with intricate black or red scrollwork and European figures by Ignaz Preissler, as well as Chinese porcelain with the black or brown glaze engraved with a wheel to show the pattern on the white porcelain, all in the collection by 1721. Daniel & Ignaz Preissler are well known for their chinoiserie decoration, many of their strange images being inspired by 17th century travel books by European visitors to China and Japan

My admiration for Preissler led to the purchase of the blanc de Chine lion joss stick holder illustrated on the cover of the catalogue, lot 390. It is painted on the plinth in schwarzlot with scenes of bear and lion hunts and a mysterious scene of capturing leopards apparently by luring them with drugged bait hanging from the trees. To discover that leopards, or more likely cheetah, were used traditionally in the Middle East, China and India and also in Europe up to the late 17th century in hunting was an extraordinary revelation which continues to intrigue me.

The rarest style of Dutch decoration is known as ‘Fine Line’. It is distinguished by exquisite flower painting typified by the blanc de Chine teapot in lot 384. The decorator, who is unknown, was active in Holland from around 1715-30. The style is very European and in complete contrast to the copies of Japanese kakiemon and Imari and Chinese famille verte and famille rose.

English decoration on Chinese porcelain had long been well known in the Giles workshop flowers and insects style of the 1750s and ‘60s. The discovery of the Limehouse kilnsite and the identification of Limehouse pieces decorated outside the factory led to the identification of English decoration of the 1740s in Kakiemon and famille rose styles. This enabled further attributions of London decoration rather than Dutch on Chinese porcelain earlier in the 18th century. In 2005 Errol Manners published his ground-breaking study of English decoration of Oriental Porcelain from 1700-1750, which transformed our understanding of the subject (ECC Transactions Vol.19, part 1).

My challenge was to try to distinguish between Dutch and English over-decoration. To do this I gathered together groups of Oriental porcelain over-decorated in varying styles to see if there were characteristics that distinguished them from each other. I had identified the use of opaque white enamel as typically English and this led to the separation of Dutch and English famille rose style decorations, lots 382 – 388 and lots 412 – 417. In 2008, Stephen Hanscombe opened up the subject to collectors of English porcelain by including Chinese porcelain with London decoration dating from the early 1700s in his exhibition ‘Early James Giles and his contemporary London decorators’.

So why am I selling my collection, gradually accumulated since 1993? Every piece has been bought for a reason, the majority because I found each one fascinating and attractive, and because they each had a place in the story I was trying to understand, and a few just because of their important place in the history even though I thought they were very unattractive at the time.  Having had the good fortune to have the results of my research and collecting published by Jorge Welsh in 2005 in my book, ‘European Decoration on Oriental Porcelain. 1700-1830’,  I now feel able to pass them on and hope that other collectors will make new discoveries and derive as much pleasure as I have done.

Wednesday 12th November 2014 – a separate catalogue will be available

Viewing: London.  Selected highlights will be on view in London at Brian Haughton Gallery, 15 Duke Street, St James SW1Y 6BD

Monday 3rd November 10am – 4.30pm Tuesday 4th November 10am – 4.30pm

Salisbury viewing for the entire Asian Art Sale

Saturday 8th November 10am – 1.00pm Monday 10th November 10am – 5pm Tuesday 11th November 10am – 7pm Wednesday 9am – 10.30am

Contact: John Axford +44 (0)1722 424506   johnaxford@woolleyandwallis.co.uk Clare Durham +44 (0) 1722 424507   claredurham@woolleyandwallis.co.uk

 

Bath East Asia Museum to present lectures on Chinese art

Bath’s Museum of East Asian Art is presenting a couple of lectures which will be of great interest to enthusiasts of Chinese art who want to catch up on some current happenings and developments.

museum-of-east-asian-art-1536

The Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

The first lecture Discovering the Ming is presented in association with the British Museum, whose major exhibition is, of course, showing at the moment. Ming is, of course, very much the thing at the moment as the National Museum of Scotland’s Ming exhibition draws to a close (October 19). Do get along if you have not already made it!

The second lecture Recent Trends in the Chinese Art Market: New Challenges for the Collector will be, of course, of enormous interest to visitors to this site.

We are pleased to furnish you with details of both of these lectures.

Discovering the Ming

by Jessica Harrison-Hall (Curator, British Museum)

Date: Friday 17 October, 18:30-19:30

Venue: Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

Admission: Friends and students £2.50; Public £5; Book by Wednesday 15 October

Most people have heard of the Chinese Ming dynasty (1368-1644) because of the beautiful blue-and-white porcelain which travelled across the world. Portuguese merchants established direct contact between China and Europe in the early sixteenth century.  Merchants and Jesuits travelled to China and wrote first-hand accounts in European languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This lecture and the exhibition at the British Museum Ming: 50 years that changed China (18 September 2014 to 5 January 2015) goes further back in time to the early 1400s. This was the time when the Forbidden City was built.  Beijing became a capital city and the early Ming emperors sent treasure ships to Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Jessica Harrison-Hall is Curator of the Sir Percival David Collection and Chinese Ceramics and Vietnamese Art at the British Museum.

 

Recent Trends in the Chinese Art Market: New Challenges for the Collector

by James Godfrey

Date: Friday 7 November, 18:30-19:30

Venue: Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

Admission: Friends and students £2.5; Public £5; Book by Wednesday 5 November 2014

The dynamic changes in the Chinese art market over the past 20 years have made it increasingly more challenging for museums and individuals to collect Chinese antiquities and works of art. Globalization, the rise of China as an international commercial power, and the increasing awareness of the importance of protecting national patrimony have all added to the difficulties of acquiring fine art in the 21st century. This lecture will investigate exciting opportunities still available to collectors who are willing to do their homework by availing themselves of accessible resources in the market place; as well as thoughts on what to be aware of in this highly competitive and volatile market.

James Godfrey served as founding Curator of Asian Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas.  His positions in the Asian art market include decades of experience at Christie’s and then Director of Chinese Art at Sotheby’s before becoming a private dealer and consultant.

In case of any queries you may telephone the Museum on 01225 464640. Alas, transcripts will not be available so you have to pitch up in Bath to follow these lectures!

mus east asian art int

An interior view of the Museum of East Asian Art

 

 

Pieces from Saeed Motamed Collection to be sold by Kidson Trigg

Saeed Mohamed Collection Chinese vases

Lot 3 A pair of Chinese ‘realgar’ glass baluster vases, 25cm. high

Next Tuesday, Swindon auctioneers Kidson Trigg will sell several items from the collection of the late Saeed Motamed.

Saeed Motamed (1925 – 2013) started collecting art in 1953 and continued to do so until the late 1980s and early 1990s. Christies sold most of his collection in April last year and Bellman’s, the Sussex auctioneers, followed up in August this year with items which Christie’s did not sell.

Saeed Motamed was born in Iran in 1925, towards the end of the Qajar dynasty. He trained as an engineer at Tehran University, before moving to Stuttgart, Germany aged 27 to further his studies. He had a particular enthusiasm for Islamic glass and Persian lacquerwork. After the Iranian revolution of 1979, Saeed Motamed never again visited his native country, although Persian remained his language of choice for his written papers and Islamic art remained his first love.

By this time, Mr Motamed’s connoisseur’s eye was making him famous throughout Europe and Asia. He has had personal influence over the preservation of Islamic glass pieces: many items which he once owned are now prized museum exhibits, and can be found in establishments such as the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In an introduction to the catalogue of an exhibition of pieces from the collection at Bernheimer Fine Arts LTD in 1986, Basil W. Robinson paid tribute to Mr Motamed’s extraordinary vision, writing: “the present exhibition comprises a selection from the property of a private collector whose long and extensive experience and expertise in all branches of Islamic art are well known to everybody in this field. Its quality is thus guaranteed, and is indeed self-evident”.

As a member of the Baha’i community, Mr Motamed encouraged curiosity and appreciation of other cultures, and his collection reflects this perfectly. It transcends decades, continents and themes, and is exciting specialists, amateurs and novices alike.

The items he collected bear witness to the depth and breadth of his knowledge of the artistic traditions of Iran, and the rest of the Islamic World. It was an expansive collection of Islamic Art which also spans centuries of the history of pre-Islamic Iran. Saeed Motamed’s pioneering interest for Islamic art, and particularly his love for early Islamic glass and Persian lacquer works, made him famous throughout Europe and America. Naturally, such a collection contained many examples of Chinese-made vases and jars, some of them extremely rare. Items from his collection can be regarded as coming with exceptional provenance.

Saeed Mohamet