art · international

My Top Picks from Sotheby’s Asian Art Auction

Happy Friday, loves! I’m so glad that the weekend is HERE. For a minute, I thought it wasn’t gonna make it! I’ll be catching up with friends and knocking things off of my to-do list this weekend, so I should have a fun and productive time!

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Sotheby’s and I’m excited that they will be having multiple Asian-themed auctions during Asian Art Auction week. This auction house is having five different Asian art auction during the week of September 12 – 15. The first four auctions feature Chinese art exclusively, ranging from the decorative to the religious, and the fifth auction has art from China, Japan, Korea, India, and other Southeast Asian countries.

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The biggest sale will be the Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction

Instead of choosing multiple pieces from each auction, I’m going to force myself to choose one piece from each auction to highlight in this post. This isn’t easy, but if I don’t stay focused, this post will have a million photos!

Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture is the first auction of Sotheby’s Asian Art event. This auction, occurring on September 12 at 10 AM, features 18 Chinese Buddhist sculptures from the collection of Stephen Junkunc III. My favorite piece is, coincidentally, the priciest. It could easily sell for over $2mil at auction, and I’m sure Sotheby’s will have no problem getting the higher estimated price. The piece is the “Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva“. The statue is over 3 feet tall, and the exquisite detailing is impressive, to put it lightly. This is the kind of piece that easily becomes the crown jewel of your Asian art collection.

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Exceptional Large Limestone Figure of the Bodhisattva, Tang Dynasty

The Junkunc: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture auction will happen quickly, since there are only 18 pieces to be auctioned. The remainder of the hour, as well as the following hour (or two), will be the Important Chinese Art auction, featuring over 280 pieces from different Chinese periods. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this vibrantly painted lotus bowl. It looks so delicate and elegant: it’s so pretty! It could fetch upwards of $7,000, so it isn’t the priciest piece in the collection but it’s the one that I like the most.

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A Famille-Rose “Lotus” Bowl and Cover Daoguang Seal Mark and Period

At 10 AM on September 13, the Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che Collection of Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy auction will occur. I love calligraphy, so choosing a favorite piece from this auction was a challenge. However, I really liked Dragon in Clouds, a grayscale drawing depicting a fearsome dragon descending from heaven. I was unfamiliar with the artist, Lin Fengmian, but I’ll be making it a point to do my research in the upcoming weeks/months. The drawing could command more than $180,000 at auction, so it’ll be interesting to see what it actually sells for when the auctioneer drops the gavel.

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Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), Dragon in Clouds

More calligraphy and paintings follow the 10 AM auction. At 11:30 AM, the Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy auction will commence. This sale features 155 pieces, all exquisite examples of the very best Chinese artwork. My favorite piece from this collection is, hands down, the Crouching Tiger painting. It’s no coincidence that this painting shares a name with a movie that I love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In thie painting, this majestic cat is looking downward, body lowered but still powerful. This one also came from the Junkunc Collection, but, since it isn’t a Buddhist sculpture, it was appropriately grouped with Thursday’s auctions. This lovely kitty could sell for upwards of $6,000, which, while possible, doesn’t seem likely to me. That is, unless there’s another tiger fan bidding. In that case, who knows how high it will go?

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Anonymous, Crouching Tiger

Finally, all of these sales lead up to the biggest one of them all, happening at 10 AM on Saturday, September 15. The Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art auction features a whopping 551 items for sale. The expected sales prices range from $300 on the low end to $50,000, on the high end. With this price range, it is sure to attract a varied group of potential bidders. The piece that I found most captivating was a collection of 30 Chinese art reference books. Of course I love books, and art, so this was a no-brainer! The collection will probably sell between $1,500 and $2,000. Someone is going to be the lucky owner of this collection, and I know they’ll treasure each book.

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A Group of Thirty Chinese Art Reference Books

Those are my top picks for the Sotheby’s auctions. I still have to comb through the offerings at two more auctions, so look out for those posts soon. Have a fabulous Friday!

 

 

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