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BOSTON, Mass. – April 4, 2013 – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Asian Works of Art on April 20th in its Boston gallery. The spring auction features various art forms from China, Japan and Korea including Chinese textiles and Tibetan artifacts, as well as paintings, rhinoceros cups, furniture, porcelain, and scholar’s objects.
Vases & Okimono
The auction’s top lot is an ovoid form cloisonné enamel vase by Japanese artist Ando Jubei (lot 141, estimated between $20,000 and $30,000). This teal vase is decorated with pale plum blossoms in full bloom and has an Ando mark on its base. An identical vase is in The Khalili Collections.
A large selection of ivory okimono includes two important pieces from a private collection: an okimono of a man with roosters (lot 47, $12,000 to $15,000) and an okimono of a fisherman with two boys (lot 46, $9,000 to $12,000). These exceptional, finely-carved okimono are part of a private collection originally sold to Chester Will Chappell (1845-1909) of New York by art dealers including Yamanaka & Co., New York, Yohimimi & Co., Boston, and Kondo & Co., New York. The family of the current owner acquired these items from the China Gallery in Orange, Connecticut.
Rhinoceros Horn Cups
The sale presents a fine offering of rhinoceros horn cups, highlighted by a rhinoceros horn “Lily” cup and carved wood stand (lot 222, $8,000 to $12,000). The cup itself portrays a deeply hollowed out lily, the exterior sides carved with an unfurling lily and buds. The custom stand depicts an open lotus blossom. The relationship of the lily and the lotus is auspicious as well as relating to a visual pun. The lily reads “baihe” meaning one hundred years of harmonious union. The lotus reading “he,” harmony, suggests a pun for “harmonious union” as well. The addition of the nandina leaves, which suggest good fortune and many children, make it likely that this cup was made for a wedding ceremony.
The cup descended in the family of John Alexander Ross, the manager of the Crombie Mill, Aberdeen, Scotland, makers of luxury clothing, long favored by royals and international statesmen. It was once part of the contents of Netherton Lodge, the Ross Arts & Crafts manor house decorated with William Morris furnishings and Asian objects acquired from Bluett & Sons, London.
Other outstanding examples include a rhinoceros horn libation cup and stand (lot 221, $5,000 to $7,000) that is the property of a New England gentleman, purchased by his grandfather at the turn of the century. A rhinoceros horn libation cup (lot 223, $5,000 to $7,000) from the estate of Alice Coolidge will also be offered.
Chinese & Japanese Textiles
Skinner is pleased to offer a choice selection of Chinese textiles from several private collections. Exquisite pieces from the Qing Dynasty on offer include a woman's Kesi dragon robe (lot 296, $2,000 to $3,000), a Manchu wedding robe (lot 292, $2,000 to $3,000), a blue dragon robe (lot 298, $2,000 to $3,000), and two Kesi circular rank badges (lot 302, $800 to $1,200).
Japanese textile offerings include a wall tapestry with an embroidered peacock, peahen and peonies design (lot 109, $2,000 to $3,000) and another wall tapestry featuring egrets in a lotus pond (lot 110, $2,000 to $3,000).