Bonhams Announces New York Asia Week Sale Highlights For March 2023
Headlined by a 12th Century Tibetan painting of Shakyamuni Buddha, and important private collections
New York – During Asia Week in New York this March, Bonhams will present important single owner collections and works of art that hail from across the continent and span centuries. The sales will include J. J. Lally & Co.: Fine Chinese Works of Art and The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection of Classical Chinese Furniture on March 20, Chinese Works of Art and Paintings on March 20 and 21, Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles from American Collections, and Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art on March 21, and Fine Japanese and Korean Works of Art on March 22.
“Building upon the tremendous success of dealer collections brought to market by Bonhams’ Asian Art department, mostly recently showcased with Cohen & Cohen, we are excited to present a strong slate of notable collections during Asia Week,” commented Dessa Goddard, VP and US Head of Asian Art and Chair of Asia Week New York. “Combined with the buoyancy of the market, it is shaping up to be an excellent week of sales.”
J. J. Lally & Co.: Fine Chinese Works of Art
From premiere Chinese art gallery J.J. Lally & Co., Bonhams will present 68-lots of ancient Chinese jades, silver, bronzes, and ceramics. An active participant in the Chinese art market for more than 50 years, James J. Lally is recognized for his expert connoisseurship and considerate presentation of the finest Chinese art during the 35-year run of the J.J. Lally & Co. gallery in New York. A discerning eye for quality pieces with both aesthetic value and historical importance, Mr. Lally found cherished works for every collector at every price-point.
With impeccable selection hand-picked by Lally, representing artworks spanning 5000 years from pre-historic China through the Qing dynasty, the sale includes works from the Song dynasty such as a rare chased silver ‘Literary Gathering’ pictorial tray, estimated at US$30,000 – 50,000, and a white jade openwork ‘boy’ pendant, estimated at US$18,000 – 25,000. Additional highlights include a Sui dynasty glazed white stoneware jar and cover, estimated at US$30,000 – 50,000, as well as a Song-Ming dynasty archaistic bronze-form jade vase and cover, Hu,estimated at US$20,000 – 30,000. Also of note is a jade figure of recumbent beast, Bixie, from the Six Dynasties, estimated at US$30,000 – 50,000.
The Mary and Cheney Cowles Collection of Classical Chinese Furniture
Twenty-one of the finest examples of classical Chinese furniture will be presented in a dedicated sale from the collection of Mary and Cheney Cowles. The Seattle-based couple is known for gifting a large portion of their Japanese painting collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, and the Portland Museum of Art. Mr. and Mrs. Cowles have been collecting Asian Art for over 40 years and founded the Crane Gallery in 1975. Top lots featured in this exceptional collection include three rare and important Ming dynasty huanghuali chairs. The rare and important ‘Wan Nian’ yokeback armchair (Ming dynasty, 16th/17th century), offered at US$250,000 – 400,000, is unique for its center panel, flanked by two intricate lattice work panels forming the symbol wan, a subtle homophone for ‘ten thousand’ and a Buddhist symbol for peace, prosperity, and harmony, above a lower panel lattice centered on the character nian. This combination, ‘may you live for ten thousand years,’ alludes to a probable imperial commission.
Other highlights include the rare zitan corner-leg table (Qing dynasty, 18th century), with comparables at the Summer Palace, Beijing, offered at US$100,000 – 150,000, an elegant huanghuali recessed-leg wine table (Ming dynasty, late 16th – early 17th century), offered at US$80,000 – 120,000, and a pair of fine huanghuali horseshoe back armchairs (16th-17th century), offered at US$60,000 – 90,000.
Chinese Works of Art and Paintings
The sale will present a strong offering of Chinese Works of Art and Paintings, highlighted by a set of four hanging scrolls by the Shanghai School master Ren Yi, titled Figures in a Landscape (1881), estimated at US$100,000 – 150,000. The work showcases the artist’s skillful ability to balance finely painted figures situated in expressive landscapes. This well-published set of paintings was exhibited at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in 2000 and the Honolulu Museum of Art in 2007. Another impressive work from an unnamed Chinese artist features a compelling panoramic depiction of the European architecture that lined the bank of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, known as the Bund. Using the imported media of oil on canvas, the artist creatively fuses Chinese and Western aesthetics to depict a thriving and diverse commercial scene. The oil on canvas painting titled Anonymous View of the Shanghai Bund (1865-1870) is estimated at US$70,000 – 100,000.
Other highlights in the sale include a painting by Qi Baishi (1862-1957), offered at US$40,000 – 60,000, which was gifted to the Polish artist Gerard Desput by his teacher, the painter Huang Yongyu (born 1924), when the two were at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing during the 1950’s. In addition to this painting, several works by Huang Yongyu dedicated to Gerard Desput will also be offered. Lastly, a work by Gu Caishan (late-Yuan/Ming dynasty), depicts a captivating and humorous rendition of two eccentrics composing poetry on a rustic outdoor table, offered at US$10,000 – 15,000. The scroll exemplifies the figure painting style of the late Yuan to early Ming dynasty, yet the joy expressed by the two figures still resonates centuries later.
Fine Chinese Snuff Bottles from American Collections
After a successful sale of the Joan and Ted Dorf Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottle and Archer’s Rings, as well as the Kim Green Collection of Chinese Snuff bottles featured in the Chinese Works of Art and Paintings sale last September in New York, Bonhams will present new offerings from these important American collections. Joan and Ted Dorf’s 69-lot collection covers a wide range of materials, including jade, porcelain, glass, hardstone, organic materials and inside-painted bottles, presenting a range of formats for discerning collectors and connoisseurs.
The second part of the Kim Green Collection of Chinese Snuff bottles presents 30 lots that were carefully collected over twenty-plus years. Kim Green was a trained geologist and geochemist, serving as director of the Office of Chief Scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her knowledge informed her collection which she kept deliberately small and exclusive, and which she knew by heart. The collection offers a selection of elegant bottles from imperial glass of the Kangxi period to refined porcelain examples from the Republic period, illustrating the range and diversity that snuff bottles offer to the collector of these miniature treasures.
Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art
The star lot of Bonhams Asia Week sales is an important thangka of Buddha from Tibet (circa 1200), estimate available on request. The rare and early scroll painting depicts the founder of Buddhism enthroned under a rainbow aureole surrounded by a host of celestial attendants. The sale also features the only known complete set of portrait bronzes depicting the Five ‘Founding Fathers’ of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism, estimated at US$500,000 – 700,000. Among several highlights of Nepalese sculpture in the sale is an impressively large and ornamented image of the Buddhist goddess Tara (Early Malla Period, 14th century), from the prestigious Zimmerman Family Collection, estimated at US$600,000 – 800,000.
Bonhams will also be presenting the online sale Arts of India, Southeast Asia and the Himalayas from March 14-24.
Fine Japanese and Korean Works of Art
Within the sale is a special offering from a private collector of contemporary Japanese ceramics featuring some of the medium’s most sought-after names. The collection titled, “Form, Color, and Texture of East Asia,” is exemplified by a 6-foot-tall sculpture by Kyoto artist Fukami Sueharu (b. 1947). One of the best works by the artist praised for its delicate, yet towering, form titled Haruka no Kei (Distant View) II, is offered at US$70,000 – 100,000. The 25-lot collection will also include two Chinese neolithic ceramic vessels, and a large painting by Arnold Chang (b. 1954), as well as a group of six rare Chinese export paintings, the last offered at US$50,000 – 75,000.
A significant lot in the Korean section is a 7th century gilt-bronze figure of Miruk bosal (Miroku bosatsu), the future Buddha. One of the most beloved and well-known deities in the Buddhist pantheon, this rare item is offered at US$200,000 – 300,000.
More in the auction industry
- Auction Result, Press Release
- Auction Industry
- Auction Result