Tibetan Art, HH Dorje Chang III Painting & Qing Splendors at Gianguan Auctions

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As the rush of Spring Asia Week exhibitions and auctions wind down, Gianguan Auctions will ramp up the excitement again on Sunday, March 22nd, with an auction strong in Buddhist art, Qing Dynasty cloisonné, large carved jades, and archetypal scroll paintings.

"The Tibetan deity statures are rare and legendary." Mary Ann Lum, Gallery Director, Gianguan Auctions.

Remarkable statues of legendary Buddhist figures will be found among treasures of the Qing Dynasty and Chinese scroll paintings coming to auction at Gianguan Auctions New York on Sunday, March 22nd. They are all on preview now at the auction house gallery at 295 Madison Avenue.

Lot 298, for instance, is a gilt-bronze casting of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva with dragon.The Qing Dynasty figure holds a pearl in one hand, an axe in the other while a coiled dragon hovers over his head. The 16 1/2-inch tall statue retains original pigment. The pre-sale estimate is $8,000—$15,000.

Tara, the Bodhisattva’s feminine counterpart, is also modeled in large format. The voluptuous figure holds a lotus stem and is garbed in delicately detailed robes that swirl and coil decoratively. Meanwhile, the face, with a third eye, is framed by a foliate tiara and disk earrings. Eyes are incised on the palms. On a lotus base with confronting deer, the gilt-bronze statue is Lot 299. The Qing figure will see $6,000—$10,000.

A Tibetan gilt-bronze of Yama With Buffalo is also of the Qing period. The animal stands foursquare next to Yama, depicted in a modified eagle pose, hands raised to play flute. A leaf mandorla encircles his black hair. Lot 296, it is estimated at $6,000—$10,000.

Maitreye with a massive mandorla is set upon a throne. Crafted during the Qing Dynasty, the gilt bronze casting is detailed with a mandorla composed of religious symbols. At 12 5/8-inches tall, Lot 302 is $6,000-$10,000.

A large silver figure of Vajrasattva adorned with turquoise, coral and bands of polished gilt-bronze is simply beautiful. Garbed in traditional dhoti, with tiered foliate tiara, the figure stands atop an articulated lotus blossom. Weighing nearly 2-pounds, Lot 303 is valued at $6,000-$10,000.

A painting by the “Living Buddha”, H. H. Dorje Chang III, reflects the inner journey. "Ink Lotus", an explosion of line and emotion is tempered by an inscription that translates, ”An utter chaos strewn with broken strokes: a peculiar sight, yet wondrously endowed with a soul-soothing charm”. It carries a pre-sale value upwards of $10.5M.

Splendors of the Qing Dynasty continue with superb collections of cloisonné. A 5-piece set of sapphire-blue scholar garniture enhanced with multi-colored enamels is identical to examples in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and the National Palace Museum, Taipei. The set includes an ink stone warmer with cover, brush holder in the form of mountain peaks, brush washer with ladle, weasel bristle pen and box. Lot 297 is valued at $40,000-$60,000.

Rarely are Qing Dynasty cloisonné vases found in pairs, but this sale holds two significant lots. Lot 300, octagonal vases, on a sapphire-blue ground with multi-hued enamels separated by interlocking cloisonné, are about 15” tall. With the Qianlong four-character mark, the estimate for Lot 300 is $40,000-$60,000. Lot 301 is a pari of hexagonal Hu form vases with a ground of sky-blue. Foreshadowing the art-deco taste, they are masterful examples of geometric shapes —hexagonal necks and bulbous bodies atop gold-rimmed hexagonal bases. With the Qianlong four-character gilt mark, standing 15-inches tall, the pair is $40,000-$60,000.

Fit for a prince, Lot 75 is a 16-lobe box of Chinese lacquer. Finely incised and colored with two confronting dragons painted in shades of red, turquoise blue, burnt amber and black against a red lacquer ground, it has bands of scrolling lotus blossoms at the seam. Displaying the Qianlong six-character mark. It is expected to bring $20,000-$40,000. Lot 21, a Ming Dynasty Tanqui lacquer collar box in the shape of a half-moon will bring $600-$100. Meanwhile, contemporary lacquer bracelets by Zhang Wengzhi, Lots 24 and 36 hold their value at $600-$1,000.

“Dramatic” is the word that best describes the marquee carved jades. Lot 185 is a pair of spinach green bowls with micro-thin sides that rise to everted rims. With the Yongzheng Six Character Mark, they will bring $60,000—$80,000. Lot 186, anan archaistic ritual axe of russet jade carved in high-relief with coiling Qilin, is 15-inches long, It is $10,000—$15,000.

Subtle examples of carved jade include Lot 73, two Tang Dynasty archaistic open-work bi, $4,000-$6,000, and Lot 64, a Zhou Dynasty quail,with wings folded and tail feathers outstretched. At 7-inches tall, weighing nearly 3-pounds, it is $4,000-$6,000.

In the paintings category, calligraphy-currently the darling of Chinese contemporary artists working in the traditional manner- includes "Script Poem" on gold-flecked paper. It was painted by the Qianlong Emperor. Dated 1793, Lot 100, is valued at $60,000-$90,000. A modernist work "Calligraphy in Couplet" by Hu Shi (1891-1962) takes a more lyrical different approach to script. Lot 82, it is $5,000-$8,000.

Several of the historic paintings carry “Estimate by Request” tags. They include Song Dynasty painter Sun Zhiwei’s vibrant visualization of a Taiji (Taichi) Lecture, Lot 144, and Lot 139, a dark, evocative work titled "Illusive Dragon" by Southern Song Dynasty artist Chen Rong (aka Us Weng).

The re-telling history in figurative paintings soars at Lot 111, He Cheng’s portrayal of the battle-ready folkloric hero "General Zhao Yuan" atop a galloping steed. With 10 emperors seals and six collectors seals, this Yuan Dynasty treasure is $300,000-$400,00

Modernist buyers of mid-to-upper tier paintings will find Xu Beihong’s 1935 work "Noble Steed" (Lot 120) a value at $150,000—$200,000. Lot 138, Wu Guanzongh’s sinuous, hard-edged abstraction "Pine in the Wind," daubed with bold color, is estimated at $80,000—$150,000. Qi Baishi’s "Longevity Peaches," a study in brilliant orange with deep green, is well-priced at $80,000—$100,000.

Within the reach of mid-level collectors are Xu Beihong’s 1944 work, "Two Cats." Positioned at Lot 108, its catalog estimate $60,000—$80,000. Huang Yongyu’s 1983 work "Owl" is a triumph of caricature and humor. Lot 102 has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 — $30,000.

For details on all lots highlighted here, the exceptional range of Chinese scroll paintings, Chinese porcelains, teapots and snuff bottles, please visit the Gianguan Auction online catalog, http://www.gianguanauctions.com.

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Mary Ann Lum
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