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Qing Dynasty Porcelain and Snuff Bottles Highlight Bonhams August Asian Decorative Art Sale

August 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Artifacts & Decorative Arts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- With the Chinese economy still keeping its art market as red-hot as ever, all eyes are on Bonhams & Butterfields‘ Asian Decorative Art sale in San Francisco on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 10 a.m. With fresh material and conservative estimates, sharp-eyed collectors should be competing to find fantastic bargains among the many blockbusters in store.

Traditionally popular categories are well represented in this auction. Notable amongst the Chinese porcelain to be offered is a blue and white glazed rouleau vase with figural decoration, 19th century (est. $1,500-2,500). A plethora of high-quality jades and hardstone carvings are also on offer, from dazzling jadeites such as a monkey and peach group (est. $2,500-4,000) to more understated examples, such as an 18th century greenish-white jade belt buckle (est. $1,800-2,400).

A clear red glass snuff bottle. Qianlong yuzhi mark 580x388 Qing Dynasty Porcelain and Snuff Bottles Highlight Bonhams August Asian Decorative Art Sale
A clear red glass snuff bottle. Qianlong yuzhi mark. Of compressed globular shape with concave lip and a flat foot enclosed in a splayed oval foot rim, carved to one side with a twenty-eight character inscription in clerical script, reversed by two Qianlong-style seals, set off by paired handles of crouching frogs on a bed of cloud scrolls. 2 3/8in (6.1 cm) high. Est. $1,000 – 1,500. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams & Butterfields.

Cementing Bonhams’ worldwide reputation as the go-to destination for renowned snuff bottle collections and collectors, the company is continuing the success of Steven Stiller sales with a pale greenish white jade snuff bottle (est. $800-1,200), a molded porcelain snuff bottle, Qianlong mark, 1850-1920 (est. $1,000-1,500) and a silvered metal snuff bottle, 1820-1900 (est. $500-700). The sale will also highlight the Riddell Hoffman Collection with a clear red glass snuff bottle, Qianlong mark (est. $1,000-1,500) and a red overlay snuff bottle, 1820-1900 (est. $600-800).

There will be new offerings from the Gardner Hart Pierson estate, including a jade purse-form snuff bottle, 1820-1900 (est. $1,500-2,500) a white jade snuff bottle, 1850-1920 (est. $1,000-1,500), a large gray jade snuff bottle, late 19th/20th century (est. $1,500-2,500), a white jade snuff bottle with prunus (est. $2,000-3,000), a banded agate snuff bottle (est. $1,500-2,500); and a shadow agate snuff bottle (est. $2,000-3,000). Snuff bottle buyers can expect to find a panoply of affordable, yet exceptional lots in a dazzling variety of media and colors.

Chinese art collectors with literati taste can browse a diverse array of scholars’ objects. Of particular interest is a 19th century bamboo brush pot bearing the signature of the artisan Hou Tang, with a fascinating incised tableau of the mirthful ‘He He Twins,’ two Tang dynasty poets and lifelong companions later deified as the immortals of harmony and unity, 19th century (est. $1,500-2,500). Despite recent headlines about record prices in the Chinese painting market, many Chinese paintings remain accessible to the average collector. Notably, a beautiful work after Fei Danxu (1801-1850) ‘Beauties Gathering Water Chestnuts’ on hanging scroll, with ink and color on silk will be available at an estimate of $1,800-2,000.

Japanese, South and Southeast Asian, and Korean Art are also well represented in the sale. Inspiring the collector to embody the Vajrayana Buddhist ideal of wisdom tempered with ‘expedient means’ are several colorful Thangkas, including one portraying the Gelug school patriarch Tsongkapa (est. $1,000-1,5000), as well as the benevolent and awe-inspiring deity Ushnishivijaya (est. $1,200-1,500). Of similar thematic material, fine Japanese Buddhist art is also available. The sale culminates with a fine painting by the Filipino artist Fernando Amorsolo Y Cueto of a Filipina in native garb in adoration of a Crucifix (est. $4,000-6,000); perhaps providing a lucky buyer a spiritual moment of introspection after what should be an exciting day.

The company’s Asian Decorative Art sale illustrated auction catalog will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at bonhams.com.

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