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Skinner, Inc. will host a major auction of Asian art at their Boston gallery, 63 Park Plaza, in three sessions Thursday, June 2 through Saturday, June 4. With 1586 lots, including paintings, jade, bronzes, and porcelain pieces, this sale is indicative of the strength of the Asian art market. Skinner, Inc.’s Director of Asian Works of Art, James Callahan calls the event a “must-attend,” noting that “the Asian art market shows no sign of cooling down. Skinner is outpacing the competition and continues to put together really expansive sales.”
The first session, June 2, includes lots 1 – 242. Of particular interest is lot 55, a bronze Buddhist Stele of very rare Burmese material collected in the 1960s or ‘70s. The piece is Pagan, dated to the 12th century, and features the seated figure of Bhaigrava Buddha with two attendant deities. The estimated value is $8,000-$12,000. Also to be auctioned is a large group of Buddhist images including lot 168A, a carved giltwood image of Buddha from Japan. This 19th century figure of Amida Nyorai stands about 16 inches tall and is valued between $300 and $500.
In the second session, on June 3rd, lots 243 – 975 will be auctioned. An impressive giltwood Buddha, lot 284, from the Ming Dynasty will be available. The estimated value is $800 -$1,200. For fine examples of scholar’s items, including a piece featured on the catalog cover, see lot 419 from a very old upstate New York collection. The gourd vase from China, dated to the early-mid 19th century, is dated a winter month in jiazi year. "Xing You Heng Tang” is marked on the base. The piece is valued at $800 - $1,200. Several brush pots will also be offered including lot 450A, a bamboo brush pot from 18th century China. The pot is inscribed, signed, and dated guichou year and is estimated at $800 - $1,200. Another unique bamboo piece is a Chinese carving, dated to the 18th or 19th century, of a seated old man. Lot 459 is valued at $2,500- $3,500.
Lot 1115, a Kesi dragon robe, comes to Skinner with an interesting history. It was made in China in the 18th century and was given to Dr. Harvey J. Howard by Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. Dr. Howard was in China as the head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Union Medical College in Peking from 1917-1927 and served as the ophthalmologist to Pu Yi, from 1921 to 1925. The estimated value is $8,000 - $12,000. Session III also features paintings from the Pah-Yuen/Boyuan Wang collection, pieces from which previously achieved prices totaling $1.9 million in the last Skinner Asian Art sale. Lot 1157 is a fan painting by Wu Changshuo and has an estimated value of $800 - $1,200. Another fan painting, from the same collection, is lot 1158 by Jin Cai and has an estimate of $600 - $800.