An eye-filling early 17th-century Ming Zhangzhou (Swatow) polychrome basin has steep flaring sides and is generously decorated in iron-red, green, turquoise and black enamels. Its central image is of a bird in full flight amongst peony blooms, and the medallions at each quarter turn bear Chinese marks. On verso, there are old collectors’ labels and a six-character Chinese mark. With no chips, cracks or repairs, the 15½in-diameter basin is entered in the sale with a $1,000-$5,000 estimate.
Yet another premier lot is a Chinese Guangxu blue and white dish with underglaze blue six-character mark, and of the period 1875-1908, featuring a central motif of a curled dragon and flaming pearl amongst thunderbolts. The 7¼-inch dish is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
A showcase for Chinese artistry at its most appealing, an antique huanghuali wood screen is embellished with jade and hardstone on its panels, each with a lively scene of activities within an imperial or noble court. The multicolored screen measures 72 inches by 72 inches and is estimated at $4,000-$5,000.
Of the Asian scrolls to be auctioned, the most significant is a signed Kanou Motonobu (Japanese, 1476-1559) metallic scroll painting that measures 49 inches long by 19½ inches wide. Centered with an ethereal depiction of three horses standing in water – one of them leaning down to drink – the painting is of particular importance because it was created by the eldest son of Kano Motonobu, founder of the famous Japanese school of painting.
“The Kano family is one of the most important lineages in Japanese history,” said Adrienne Falconer. “They dominated the painting world from the end of the Muromachi Period (1333-1568) to the end of the Edo Period (1600-1868).”
The Motonobu Kanou scroll painting exhibits a technique known as wa-kan, a hybrid of Japanese and Chinese painting that requires careful brushwork techniques. The scroll is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.
The Petri collection also includes an outstanding selection of English Staffordshire, silhouettes and miniature paintings; and even some mid-century modern design. The star of the European antiques section, however, is a 19th-century “blue john,” white marble and slate urn on pedestal that has been electrified to function as a lamp. Blue john, which was discovered by the Ancient Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, is a rare natural variety of calcium fluorite known as “radix amethysti” for its distinctively colored deep purple veins. The only known deposit of this unusual mineral – also known as Derbyshire spar – was found in the hills of Derbyshire’s Hope Valley in England. Highly prized blue john was a favorite mineral of Birmingham silversmith and ormolu manufacturer Matthew Boulton, who used it in the production of candelabra, urns, candlesticks and other decorative and functional pieces.
The blue john mines and seams are now largely exhausted, making the urn/lamp in the Petri collection all the more valuable. Its auction estimate is $3,000-$5,000.
Manatee Galleries’ auction of the Ambassador Ragnar Petri and Mrs. Ingrid Burdin Petri collection will take place on July 27, 2013, starting at 4 p.m.