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Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Christie's New York

Part 1

3:30 P.M., March 21, 2013 Lots 1121-1210

10 A.M., March 22, 2013 Lots 1211-1349

Part 2

2 P.M., March 22, 2013 Lots 1351-1576

Sale 2689A

Yellow jar

Lot 1103, underglaze-blue-decorated, yellow-ground incised pear-shaped vase, Qianlong seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795), 7 3/4 inches high

By Carter B. Horsley

The March 21-22, 2013 auction of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Christie's New York includes many excellent Archaic bronzes and lovely ceramics from later periods and substantial consignments from the Raymond A. Bidwell Collection to the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Mass., and the estate of Fong Chow, who was for many years a curator in the Department of Far East Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

The cover illustration is Lot 1103, a lovely underglaze-blue-decorated, yellow-ground incised pear-shaped vase, Qianlong seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period, 1736-1795.  It is 7 3/4 inches high.  It was acquired by the Springfield (Mass.) Museum in 1985.  The catalogue entry states that it appears there is only other similar published example, which is in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.  The lot has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $3,819,750 including the buyer's premium.  

The Springfield Museums is the largest cultural attrraction of western Massachusetts, according tot he catalogue and comprises four museums - the Sprinfield Science Museum, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum and the Michele and Donald D'Armour Museum of Fine Arts.

Of the 453 offered lots, 89 percent, or 404 sold for a total of $38,152,950.


 Lots 1121 to 1188 are from the Springfield Museums and all but one sold, most considerably above their high estimates.  Lots 1121 to 1179 were works from the Bidwell Collection.


The Bidwells

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond A. Bidwell at their home in Springfield

Mr. Bidwell purchased his first Japanese print and a Chinese pot as an undergraduate at Harvard College.  He died in 1954.

Geometric box

Lot 1126, Bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, fangyi, Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century B.C., 9 inches high

Lot 1126 is a rare and finely cast bronze ritual wine vessel and cover, fangyi, from the Shang Dynasty, 13th-11th Century, B.C.  It is 9 inches high and has excellent carving and patina.  It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $1,143,750.


Jade knife

Lot 1125, Turquoise inlaid branze andjaze Ge halberd place, Late Shang Dynasty (12th-13th Century. B/C.), 8 1/2 inches long

One of the loveliest lots in the auction is a turquoise inlaid bronze and jade Ge halberd blase from the Late Shang Dynasty (*12th-13th Century B.C.), Lot 1125.  The knife is 8 1/2 inches long.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $99,750.


Two heads

Lot 1128, pair of bronze linchpins, Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 12th-10th Century B.C., 3 5/8 inches high

Lot 1128 is a great pair of bronze linchpins from the Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 12th-10th Century B.C.  They are 3 5/8 inches high and each has an animal head surmounted by spiral horns.  The lot has a modest estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.  It sold for $11,875.


Offering man

Lot 1137, bronze figural support, Warring States Period, 5th-3rd Century B.C., 10 inches high

Lot 1137 is a rare bronze figural support from the Warring States Period, 5th-3rd Century B.C.  It is 10 inches high and the support is cast as a kneeling servant holding a cylindrical tube and he is wearing a robe secured by a belt into which is tucked a sheathed knife.  A similar figure is in the Royal Ontario Museum and another at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and a third in the Nelson-Atkins Museum.  The lot has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $663,750.


Two beasts

Lot 1160, Two-headed pttery of a mythical feature, Six Dynasties Period, 3rd-5th Century A.D., 9 inches long

Lot 1160 is a marvelous pottery figure of a two-headed mythological figure from the Six Dynasties Period, 3rd-5th Century A.D.  It is 9 inches long.  It is being sold with a pottery figure of an earth spirit from the Northern Wei Dynasty, 4th-6th Century A.D. that is 10 5/8 inches high.  The lot has a very modest estiamte of $6,000 to $8,000.  It sold for $15,000.


Animated horse

Lot 1161, "Painted pottery figure of a prancing horse," Tang Dynasty, 618-907, 14 3/4 inches high.

 Lot 1161 is a very animated painted pottery figure of a prancing horse from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  It is 14 3/4 inches high.  The lot has a modest estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $40,000.


Yaozhou celadon ewer

Lot 1170, Yaozhou celadon carved ewer, Northern Song/Jin Dynasty (960-1234), 3 1/4 inches high

Lot 1170 is a very nice Yaozhou celadon carved ewer from the Northern Song/Jin Dynasty (960-1234).  It is 3 1/4 inches high and is from the Raymond A. Bidwell  collection.  It was exhibited at the China Institute in America in 1977.  It has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.  It sold for $135,750.

Lots 1189-1212 and 1330-1334 are consigned by the estate of Fong Chow and all sold, mostly at much more than the high estimate.  

Fong Chow was the grandson of Sir Shouson Chow who was appointed by the Government to build the Peking Manchurian Railroad and he was knighted by King George V in 1926.  

Fong Chow was born in 1923 in Tianjin and studied pottery making at the Shiwan ceramic center in Foshan near Guangzhou (Canton) and also studied in Buddhist temples.  Hecame to the United States after World War II and studied painting, sculpture, and ceramics at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and earned master's and bacholors degrees from Alfred University and from 1954-7 he was chief designer for he Glidden Pottery in Alfred.

In 1958, he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an assistant curator in the Far Eastern Art department and served as curator of Far Eastern Art and Chinese Ceramics for 25 years and was the head of the Far Eastern Art department from 1964 to 1971.  

According to the catalogue, he was responsible during his tenure for the installation of Chinese ceramics from the Benjamin Altman and John D. Rockefeller J. Collections and of two major Chinese Buddhist sculpture galleries.  The catalogue also said he acquired for the museum important Chinese and Japanese paintings, Korean ceramics, and Indian sculptures.  He retired  from the museum in 1982 to pursue a career as a ceramicist and a photographer and his pottery was widely exhibited including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.  In 1953, he received the Good Design Award from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Fong Chow

Fong Chow and his wife, Chao-ling Tsien

In 1960, he wed Chao-ling Tsien, the youngest daughter of Tsien Tai, the former Chinese ambassad
or to France.  She died in 2008.  Fong Chow died in May 21, 2012.


Chow lady

Lot 1191, Gilt lacquered bronze fiugure of Guanyin, DaliKingdom, Yunnan,10th-13th Century, 21 inches high

One of the impressive works among the Fong Chow group is Lot 1191, a gilt-lacquered bronze figure of Guanyin from the Dali Kingdom, Yunnan, 10th-13th Century.  It is  21 inches high and the catalogue compares it to one in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and to another one in a museum in Cologne, Germany.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $171,750.


Chow bronze

Lot 1190, gilt-bronze figure of the seated Maitreya Buddha, Northern Qi/Tang Dynasty, 6th-Early 7th Century, 5 1/2 inches high

Lot 1190 is a very nice gilt-bronze figure of the seated Maitreya Buddha, Northern Qi/Tang Dynasty, 6th-Early 7th Century, from the estate of Fong Chow.  It is 5 1/2 inches high.  A similar work was formerly in the Stoclet Collection that had a small Duccio painting that was reently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This lot was an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.  It sold for $75,000.


Red pot

Lot 1204, copper-red-glazed small ming-style "monk's cap" ewer and cover, Kangxi Period (1662-1722), 5 1/2 inches high

Another fine work from the Fong Chow collection is Lot 1204, a rare copper-red-glazed, small Ming-style "Monk's Cap" ewer and cover from the Kangxi Period (1662-1722).  It is 5 1/2 inches high and is notable for the fact that its red glaze thins to white on the raised areas and that its top is a highly original geometric form.  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $109, 350.

Green pot

Lot 1206, crackled apple-green glazed "chrysanthemum" teapot and cover, Yongzheng/Qianlong Period (1723-1796), 8 inches across


Another fine work from the same collection is Lot 1206, a rare crackled apple-green glazed "chrysanthemum" teapot and cover from the Yongzheng/Qianlong Period (1723-1796).  It is 8 inches across.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $243,750.



Two cups


Lot 1209, a pair of Doucai bell-shaped wine cups, Kangxi/Yongzheng Period (1662-1735), 2 3/16 inches in diameter each

Lot 1209, also from the Fong Chow collection, is a pair of Doucai bell-shaped wine cups from the Kangxi/Yongzheng Period (1662-1735).  Each cup is 2 3/16 inches in diameter.  The lot has an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.  It sold for $43,750.

There are many other choice works of art from various sources in the remaining sections of the auction.

Long table and large screen

Lot 1323, massive and very rare Huanghuali plank-top pedestal table, 17th/18th Century, Jiahi'an, 178 1/4 inches long, foreground; Lot 1326, 12-panel carved lacquer screen, 18th Century, 256 inches long, background

Lot 1323 is a massive and very rare Huanghuali plank-top pedestal table, Jianhi'an, 17th/18th Century.  It is 178 1/4 inches long.  It is property of Jonathan and Jessika Auerbach and was exhibited at the Denver Art Museum from 2001 to 2012.  It has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.  It sold for $9,083,750, a world auction record for Huanghuali furniture.

Lot 1326 is a 12-panel carved lacquer screen from the 18th Century.  It is decorated on one side with a scene from the novel "A Bedfull of Tablets" depicting figures at various pursuits in a terraced palace setting with Guo Ziyi arriving on horseback as officials approah to pay tribute.  The lot has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It failed to sell.



Bronze jar

Lot 1243, Bronze ritual stem bowl, dou, Western Zhou Dynasty, 9th-8th Dynasty, B.C., 7 7/8 inches high

Lot 1243 is an important and very rare bronze ritual stem bowl, dou, from the Western Zhou Dynasty, 9th-8th Century B.C.  It is 7 7/8 inches high and is property of the Sano Art Museum in Mishima City, Japan.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It failed to sell.


Jar lighted

Lot 1213, Large bronze ritual wine vessel, zun, Late Shang Dynasty (12th-11th Century B.C.), 11 3/8 inches in diameter

Lot 1213 is a fine large bronze ritual wine vessel from the Late Shang Dynasty (12th-11th Century B.C.).  It is 11 3/8 inches in diameter.  There are three projected ram's heads above the main body decorated with large taotie masks formed by pairs of confronted birds and beneath the large flared top.  The lot has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It sold for $135,750.


Pot with lid


Lot 1220, bronze ritual owl-form wine vessel, xiao you, Late Shang Dynasty (12th-11th Century B.C.), 10 inches high with handle and 8 inches across

Lot 1220 is a "very rare and exceptional" bronze ritual owl-form wine vessel, xiao you, from the Late Shang Dynasty (12th-11th Century B.C.  It is 10 inches high with handle and 8 inches across.  The vessel is well cast in the form of two addorsed owls  with plump bodies and the sides are cast in soft relief with simplified wings sweeping back from the round breast.  The catalogue notes that "the domed cover is finely cast in crisp relief at each end as the head of an owl with upturned beak, domed circular eyes with recessed pupils, narrow, hair-detailed brows and small ears.  Behind each head is a pair of confronted drogons with long snouts that flank the base of the finial which
is divided into eight cicada segments." The lot has an estimate on request.  It sold for $1,143,750.


Bell 1


Lot 1224, large bronze ritual bell, Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 18 1/4 inches high

Lot 1224 is a very rare and important bronze ritual bell from the Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 18 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It failed to sell.



Bell 2


Lot 1244, large bronze bell, bo-zhong, Late Spring and Autumn Period, 6th-5th Century B.C., 24 1/4 inches high

Another bronze bell is Lot 1244 is from the Late Spring and Autumn Period, 6th-5th Century B.C.  It is 24 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $81,250.

Jaguar

Lot 1233, bronze tiger-form applique, Late Eastern Zhou Dynasty, 5th-4th Century B.C., 4 3/8 inches long

Lot 1233 is a very rare and superb bronze tiger-form applique from the Late Eastern Zhou Dynasty, 5th-4th Century B.C.  It is 4 3/8 inches long and was once in the collection of Oswald Siren, of Stockholm, the great historian of Chinese Paintings, and Eskenazi Ltd. of London.  It has an estimate of $45,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $62,500.


2 Rabbits

Lot 1226, bronze tubular chariot fitting, Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C., 5 3/4 inches long
 
Lot 1226 is a bronze tubular chariot fitting of a pair of addorsed rabbits from the Late Shang/Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 11th-10th Century B.C.  It is 5 3/4 inches long.  A similar work is in the Palace Museum.  It has a modest estimate of $7,000 to $9,000.  It sold for $36,250.


Water buffalo


Lot 1258, Early white marble figure of a recumbent water buffalo, Late Shang Dynasty, 12th-11th Century B.C., 10 3/4 inches long

Lot 1258 is a very rare and excellent early white  marble figure of a recumbent water buffalo from the Late Shang Dynasty, 12th-11th Century B.C.  It is 10 3/4 inches long and was once in the collection of Robert H. Ellsworth of New York, the noted Chinese art collector.  It has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $183,750.



Vase with green wings


Lot 1568, large famille rose hu-form vase, Late Qing Dynasty, 20 3/4 inches high

Lot 1568 is a large famille rose hu-form vase from the Late Qing Dynasty.  It is 20 3/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $15,000 to $18,000.  It sold for $30,000.


Stud dress

Lot 1305, Imperial midnight blue satin guardsman's ceremonial uniform, Qianlong/Jiqing Period (1736-1820), the tunic 31 3/4 inches long and the apron 38 3/4 inches long

Lot 1305 is a very impressive midnight blue satin guardsman's ceremonial unifrom from the Qianlong/Jiqing Period (1736-1820).  The tunic is 31 3/4 inches long and the apron is 38 3/4 inches long.  It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $231,750.


Light blue gown

Lot 1306, Manchu woman's turquoise silk robe, chang-yi,  Late Qing Dynasty, 59 inches long

Lot 1306 is a very attractive Manchu woman's turquoise silk robe, chang-yi, from the Late Qing Dynasty.  It is 59 inches long.  It has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  It sold for $8,750.

Cushion

Lot 1296, Imperial embroidered apricot-yellow silk throne cushion cover for an heir apparent or his consort, Qianlong Period (1736-1795), 32 1/4 inches high

Lot 1296 is a very ornate and impressive Imperial embroidered apricot-yellow silk throne cushion cover for an heir apparent or his consort from the Qianlong Period (1735-1795).  It is 32 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $87,500.

Painting by Zhang Daqian


Lot 1339, "Ink Lotus," by Zhang Daqian, hanging scroll, ink and light color on paper, signed and dated 1962, 52 3/4 by 27 inches

Lot 1339 is a handsome hanging scroll by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), the famous forger, connoisseur, and painter.  Entitled "Ink Lotus," is meausres 52 3/4 by 27 inches and is signed and dated 1962.  It has an estimate of $90,000 to $110,000.  It sold for $375,750.


Double ring

Lot 1452, "Imperial blue and white ring-shaped box and cover, Jiajing six-character mark in underglaze blue in a line within a rectangular panel and of the period (1522-1566), 15 3/8 inches in diameter

Lot 1452 is a handsome and very rare and important Imperial blue and white ring-shaped box and cover with a Jiajing six-character mark and of the period, 1522-1566.  It is 15 3/8 inches in diameter.  It was once in the collection of The Tsui Museum of Art in Hong Kong. It has an estimate of $500,000 to $700,000.  It failed to sell.


blue white oval pot

Lot 1488, "Blue and white moonflask," Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795), 19 1/2 inches high

Lot 1488 is a handsome blue and white "moonflask" with a Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795).  It is 19 1/2 inches high and has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.  It failed to sell.


Emerald

Lot 1378, Carved emerald-green jadeite, ruby and diamond phoenix-form brooch, 2 7/8 inches long

Lot 1378 is a stunning carved emerald-green jadeite, ruby and diamond phoenix-form brooch that is 2 7/8 inches long.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It failed to sell.


Blue white vase

Lot 1456, blue and white vase, zun, Jiajing Period (1522-1566), 8 1/2 inches high

Lot 1456 is a very handsome blue and white vase, zun, from the Jiajing Period (1522-1566).  It is 8 1/2 inches high.  A similar base is in the Palace Museum in Beijing.  The lothas an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $195,750.

buddies

Lot 1571, unusual famille rose double vase, Republic Period (1912-1940), 7 5/8 inches high

Lot 1572 is a very attractive and unusual famille rose double vase from the Republic Period (1912-1940).  It is 7 5/8 inches high.  It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.  It sold for $27,500.

dragon vase

Lot 1396, "pale greenish-white jade archaistic rectangular vase, 18th Century, 5 3/8 inches high

Lot 1396 is a very handsome pale greenish-white jade archaistic rectangular vase with a scaly dragon rising to the rim on one side.  The 18th Century piece is 5 3/8 inches high and is property from the collection of Dorothy Braude Edinburg and it was once in the collection of C. T. Loo of New York.  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $81,250.

horse

Lot 1433, Large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a Ferghana horse, Tang Dynasty, 618-907, 30 3/8 inches high

Lot 1433 is a "magnificent" large sancai-glazed pottery figure of a Ferghana horse from the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  It is 30 3/8 inches high and was once in the collection of C.T. Loo of New York.  It has an  estiamte of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $315,750.


White vase

Lot 1388, White jade archaistic square vase, 18th Century, 8 5/8 inches high

Lot 1388 is a very handsome and finely carved white jade archaistic square vase from the 18th Century.  It is 8 5/8 inches high.  It has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000.  It sold for $60,000.


Celadon jar

Lot 1500, Archaistic ru-type hu-form vase, Yongzheng six character seal mark and of the period (1723-1735), 18 1/2 inches high

Lot 1500 is a very nice and rare archaistic ru-type hu-form base with a Yongzheng six character seal mark and of the period (1723-1735).  It is 18 1/2 inches high.  It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.  It failed to sell.




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