INCREDIBLY WELL RESEARCHED COLLECTION OF ASIAN ARTS ACQUIRED IN THE 1960S AND 1970S TRAVELS TO FLOR Part of the collection of Lillian Watson, previously exhibited at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in New York, will be sold at Matheson’s AA Auction in Melbourne, FL.
News-Antique.com - Mar 05,2008 - MELBOURNE, FL - For the first time in its history Matheson’s AA Auction of Melbourne, FL will conduct an auction event live online through LiveAuctioneers.com. Auction owner Lloyd Matheson said, “We owe it to our consignors to open up this sale to the world.”
And what is so special about this sale? The 800 lot sale on March 29-30 will begin with thirty-five pieces of Asian art and antiques from the collection of Lillian Watson, noted collector and world traveler. Twenty of the thirty-five pieces were exhibited at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and were insured for over $5,000,000 in 1997. Matheson’s will offer the thirty-five pieces sequentially as the opening lots of the sale.
Mrs. Watson normally traveled with art and antiques specialists to advise her on her purchases. Among those advisors were Dr. Marty Young, curator of the Johnson Museum, Dr. Mary Linda, curator of the Rockefeller collection, Dr. Richard Howard of the Birmingham Museum and Dr. Richard Gramley. The descriptions of the individual lots in this sale from the Watson collection were provided by the committee of experts that vetted the display for the Museum. Mrs. Watson also purchased items from C. T. Loo in Paris and New York and the Aladdin Gallery.
Lot 01 of the sale will be a 14in high underglazed copper red and white pear shaped bottle, 14th century, from the early Ming Dynasty, Hongwu Reign. When this bottle was first exhibited in the Museum in 1997, on loan from Mrs. Watson, it was insured for $2,000,000. A bottle with the same design, underglaze and similar provenance, one inch shorter, sold at Christy’s Hong Kong in 1997 for $2,800,000. Matheson will open the auction with this lot at $100,000 with no reserve!
Among other items from the collection are a 10½in Imperial Chinese yellow enamel saucer dish, underglaze blue and overglaze yellow, with a floral decoration from the Ming Dynasty bearing the Emperor Chenghua mark (1465-1487), a 19½in tall Chinese Famille Noire glazed vase with court scenes from the Qing Dynasty with Kangxi mark (1661-1722) and a life size Khmer Baphuon sculpture of a male, Baphuon period, 10th century, 49in tall with base.
Following the initial group of Watson lots will be what Matheson is calling a “Discovery Asian Art” session featuring another thirty to forty Asian artifacts from other collections. This may be the opportunity, according to Matheson, for someone to find an undiscovered treasure. This section will include items like an 18th-19th century Qing Dynasty flambe’ glazed vase, 9½in tall, an eight panel Ming Dynasty blue and white table screen and six important early Japanese tiles framed together, each one signed.
In addition to Oriental art the sale will feature some significant American and European art as well as estate jewelry and select furniture items. One piece of artwork that is of special interest in this sale was previously sold by Matheson’s a little over two years ago. It is a work by