Sotheby’s Asia Week Sales Commence with Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art On March 17, 2009 New York, NY – Sotheby’s March 17th sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in New York will
feature a tightly-curated selection of ceramics, paintings, and sculpture of the highest quality, f
News-Antique.com - Feb 13,2009 - Highlighting the Spring sale are four lots consigned by Gordon Getty, including a rare ‘Famille-Rose’ ‘Boys
at Play’ lantern-shaped vase, Qianlong iron-red seal mark and period, pictured on page one (est.
$300/500,000). The charming depiction of multiple boys at play in a garden (representing the wish for
many sons) was a popular theme in the decorative arts of the Ming and Qing dynasties. In this vase, each
boy is engaged in an activity potent with symbolism: the boy flying a kite is meant to wish one a ‘rise in rank’
and a successful career; the one holding a lotus refers to ‘may my descendents live in harmony’; and the boy
with the vase (ping) is a pun for peace. Although Qianlong period vases featuring this motif can be found in
several important collections, this vase appears to be distinctive in its combination of the oviform and waistedneck
silhouette, ruby-ground palette and use of sgraffiato (incised design).
Another featured Getty property is a rare pair of ‘Famille-
Rose’ ‘Eight Daoist Immortals’ jars and covers, Qianlong
iron-red seal marks and period (est. $300/400,000)
seen at left. The jars are exquisitely painted around the
cylindrical body with the ‘Eight Daoist Immortals Crossing
the Sea’ after attending the peach festival of the Queen
Mother of the West. They ride the rough waves on their
respective vehicles, each holding an attribute, with some
standing in a windswept stance. Rather than traveling by
their clouds, they combined their powers to sail past the
tempest – a lesson on how individual strengths and gifts can
be used to tackle a common obstacle.
The rare and large ‘Figures and Landscape’ automaton, Qing
Dynasty, 19th century is another Getty property (est. $250/350,000).
This spectacular work (detail at right), which has its roots in the clockmaking
tradition, is extremely rare. When the Jesuit Matteo Ricci
introduced two striking clocks to the Wanli emperor in 1601, it sparked a
fascination with mechanical marvels that continued into the reigns of the