SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER TWO SALES OF CHINESE WORKS OF ART SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER TWO SALES OF CHINESE WORKS OF ART ON SEPTEMBER 16 Fine Chinese Furniture, Works of Art and Carpets from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections.
and descended to the present owner – the auction this September will be the first time it has been available on the market since the 19th century. It is superbly carved and epitomizes the best in 18th century Chinese jade carving, skillfully using the stone’s translucency and even pale celadon-white color to depict an immortal and his attendants in a luminous landscape setting. Jade brushpots of this color and size are extremely rare due to the
limited availability of the material.
The sale will also include a Rare Large Bronze Figure of an Eleven-Headed and Multi-Armed Avalokitesvara, Ming Dynasty, 17th century, formerly in the Collection of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (est. $200/250,000). In 1883-1884, Isabella Stewart Gardner,
the renowned Boston patroness of the arts, and her husband Jack, spent more than a year visiting Japan, China, Cambodia, Java and India, where
Mrs. Gardner’s interest in Asian culture and art was ignited. Mrs. Gardner was an early and prolific collector of Asian art, and even rebuilt a wing of her personal museum to display her treasured works. Within this wing was a secluded underground area called the Chinese Room filled with largescale bronze Buddhist sculptures purchased in 1902, many from the Japanese dealer Sadajiro Yamanaka – including the present figure,
which was prominently displayed on the tiered wood base included in this lot. Mrs. Gardner did not make this room available to the public, but welcomed only friends, often at night. The contents of the room were sold at Sotheby's New York in 1971. Also among the highlights of the sale will be a single-owner sequence of Property from the Manheim Collection, including ceramics, archaic bronzes and pottery. Paul E. Manheim (1906-1999) was an American financier, art collector and philanthropist based in New York City and served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Museum from 1969-1982. All of the lots offered were on long-term loan to the Brooklyn Museum or The Metropolitan Museum of Art, most from the mid-1960s onwards. Leading this selection is an Impressive Blue and White ‘Dragon’ Jar, dating to the Ming dynasty with a Wanli mark, that was on loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for over forty years (est. $150/250,000). The jar is impressive both for its magnificent size, which would have been extremely difficult to fire without warping in the kiln, and its lively depiction of ferocious dragons. In December 2009, a further group of property from the Manheim Collection will be offered in the Antiquities sale at Sotheby’s
Ming period lacquer furniture is represented by a Rare Mother-of-Pearl Inlaid Black Lacquer Wine Table dating to the Wanli period, from the Property of Gordon Getty (est. $400/600,000). The table was formerly in the collection of Mrs. Nelson A. Rockefeller and can be compared to a very similar table in the Qing Court collection in the Palace Museum, Beijing. Also from the Property of Gordon Getty is a Famille-Rose ‘Ladies of the Han Palace’ Lantern-Shaped