"Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Paintings, Sotheby's New York, Wang Hui, Kangxi Emperor, Wang Yuanqi, Fang Shishu, Qian Di, Cai Han, Lin Ying">

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The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Chinese Paintings

Sotheby's New York

6:30 P.M., September 14, 2016

Sale 9544

Papp big

Lot 576, "The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour, Section of Scroll VI: View from the Town of Benniu to the City of
Changzhou on the Grand Canal," handscroll, by Wang Hui, 26 7/8 by 187 1/8 inches


By Carter B. Horsley


The September 14, 2016 auction of The Roy and Marilyn Papp Collection of Classical Chinese Paintings was very successful with 115 of 122 lots selling for $32,245,375, more than double the pre-sale high estimate. Of the 122 offered lots, 92 sold for more than their high estimate.  The evening auction last more than four hours.

The highlight of the auction is Lot 576, "The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour, Section of Scroll VI: View from the Town of Benniu to the City of Changzhou on the Grand Canal," a handscroll, by Wang Hui (1632-1717).  It measures 26 7/8 by 187 1/8 inchesIt has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It sold for $9,546,000.

According to Sotheby's, "of the twelve scrolls commemorataing the Kangxi Emperor's visits to economic and strategic sites in the southern regions of China, ten are housed in institutions around the world and one remains unseen for decades."

The emperor made six such inspection tours during his reign and this scroll is based on his second tour, which occurred in 1689.

It had been acquired by the Papps from Christie's New York November 30, 1988 and had been included in the doctoral dissertation of Maxwell Hearn at Princeton University in 2000 on the inspection tours and was cited in "Landscapes Clear and Radiant: the Art of Wang Hui" by Mr. Hearn, Wen Fong and Chin-Sung Chang in 2008.

Papp big detail
Detail of Lot 576

According to a catalogue essay on the lot by Nie Chongzheng, the emperor appeared in each of the scrolls "at a slightly larger scale than other figures to indicate his superior status."  The scrolls were dispersed after 1900 when Beijing was invaded by eight Western nations."

"Among the scrolls that had left the Forbidden City and are known to be extant, the second and the fourth scrolls are at the Guimet Museum in Paris, the third at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the seventh part of the Mactaggant Art Collection of the University of Alberta, Canada.  The locations of the fifth and eighth scrolls are unknown.   Three different sections of the sixth scroll...surfaced in 2009, 2012 and 2016 respectively."


The scrolls' importance is related to their huge scale and is much more historical than aesthetic.


The Papps collected Chinese paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties from 1983 to 2000.  They gave 40 works to the Phoenix Art Museum in gifts from 2005 to 2009 and about 20 more at the museum on loan.  Their works were exhibited in 24 museum exhibitions

Fang Shishu

Lot 569, "The Autumn Colors on the Quia and Hua Mountains following Chao Mengfu and Dong Qichang," by Fang Shishu,  60 7/8 by 26 1/8 inches

Lot 569 is a much more attrractive scroll by Fang Shishu (1692-1751) entitled "The Autumn Colors on the Quia and Hua Mountains following Chao Mengfu and Dong Qichang." It measures 60 7/8 by 26 1/8 inches.

It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $1,330,000.

Wang Yuanqi

Lot 568, "Landscape of Yushan," by Wang Yuanqi, ink on paper, 51 by 22 1/2 inches

Lot 568 is a nice "Landscape of Yushan," by Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715) that is an ink on paper that measures 51 by 22 1/2 inchesIt was included in the 1956 edition of "Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles" by Oswald Siren.  It has an estimate of $350,000 to $550,000.  It sold for $2,110,000.

Suren Shan

Lot 550, "Conversing on Ancient Matters in Snowy Mountains," by Lan Ying, ink and color on silk, 73 1/2 by 31 1/2 inches

Lot 550, "Conversing on Ancient Matters in Snowy Mountains," by Lan Ying (1585-1666), is a handscroll that measures 73 1/2 by 31 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.  It sold for $430,000.


Zhang Yin

Lot 549, "Returning by Oar to Pines and Streams," by Zhang Yin, hanging scroll, 64 1/8 by 17 inches

Lot 549, "Returning to Oar to Pines and Streams," by Zhang Yin (1761-1829), is a hanging scroll that measures 64 1/8 by 17 inches. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.  It sold for $16.250.

Li Ying

Lot 523, "Landscape," by Li Ying, hanging scroll, 87 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches

Lot 523 is a hanging scroll by Li Ying (active 17th Century) entitled "Landscape" that measures 87 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $20,000.  It sold for 43,750.

Liu Anchong

Lot 621, "Landscape after Wen Zhengming," by Liu Yanchong, hanging scroll, 41 3/4 by 15 inches


Lot 621 is a hanging scroll by Liu Yanchong (1808-1847) that is entitled "Landscape after Wen Zhengming.  It measures 41 3/4 by 15 inches.  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.  It sold for $150,000.

Zhao Chang Guo  510

Lot 510, "Immortals Playing Weiqi in the Mountains," by Zhao Changguo, hanging scroll, 56 1/2 by 22 1/8 inches

Lot 510 is an impressive hanging scroll by Zhao Changguo (active 16th Century) entitled "Immortals Playing Weiqi in the Mountains."  It measures 56 1/2 by 22 1/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.  It sold for $102,500.

Gujian Long

Lot 548, Peach Blossom Spring," by Gu Jianlong, hanging scroll, 62 5/8 by 16 3/8 inches

Lot 548, "Peach Blossom Spring," is a nice hanging scroll by Gu Jianlong (1601-circa 1694) that measures 62 5/8 by 16 3/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.  It sold for $52,500.

Lan Ying 536

Lot 536, "Butterfly, Red Bamboo and Gardenias by a Rock," by Lan Ying, gold paper, 6 1/4 by 20 1/2 inches

Lot 536 is a lovely fan on gold paper by Lan Ying (1585-1666) of a "Butterfly, Red Bamboo and Gardenias by a Rock."  It measures 6 1/4 by20 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $40,000.  It sold for $68,750.


Liu Du

Lot 541, "Conversation in a Pavilion by the Stream," by Liu Du, fan, 6 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches

Lot 541 is a very handsome fan by Lieu Du (active 1630-1672) that is entitled "Conversation in a Pavilion by the Stream."  Ie measures 6 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $75,000.

Cai Han

Lot 562, "Old Pine Tree," by Cai Han, fan, 7 1/2 by 22 7/8 inches

Lo 562 is a strong fan leaf by Cai Han (1647-1686) that is entitled "Old Pine Tree."  It measures 7 1/2 by 22 7/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  It sold for $81,250.


Quian Du 603

Lot 603, "Appreciating Plum Blossoms from a Boat," by Qian Di, fan leaf, 6 7/8 by 20 7/8 inches


Lot 603 is a lovely fan leaf by Qian Di (1753-1844) entitled "Appreciating Plum Blossoms from a Boat."  It meaures 6 7/8 by 20 7/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.  It sold for $30,000.



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