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Fine Classical Chinese Paintings

Sotheby's New York

10 A.M., March 21, 2013

Sale 8973

Blossoms

Lot 542, "Plum Blossoms," by Li Fangying, ink on paper, one of eight album leaves, 8 1/2 by 12 5/8 inches


By Carter B. Horsley

The March 21, 2013 auction at Sotheby's New York of  Fine Classical Chinese Paintings is highlighted by some wonderful calligraphy, beautiful works by Li Fangying and Jin Yao, and good works by Tang Dai, Yun Shouping and several works by Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien).

Lot 542 is a beautiful album of eight leaves called "Plum Blossoms" by Li Fangying (1695-1754).  Each ink on paper leaf measures 8 1/2 by 12 6/8 inches. The lot, which is the cover illustration of the catalogue, has an estimate of $120,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $317,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The auction was quite successful with 117 of 139 offered lots (84.2 percent) selling for $18,559,250, which was 95.3 percent sold by value.  The pre-sale estimate was $7,000,000 to $11,000,000.

As good as many of the lots in this auctions are they cannot compare with some of the spectacular works in the SHUIMO exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings in Sotheby's SI2 Gallery from March 14 to March 28, 2013.  The show is the first selling exhibition of Asian Art at Sotheby's and is highlighted by the very spectacular and very large works by Li Huayi that take the traditional subjects and style of Chinese paintings to awesome new heights.

Frog

Lot 601, "Flower, Birds and Insects," by JinYao, ink and color handscroll, 11 1/2 by 143 1/4 inches

Lot 601 is a very bright and beautiful ink and color handscroll of flowers,birds and insects by Jin Yao (18th Century).  It measures 11 1/2 by 143 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.  It sold for $118,750.

Flowers slant

Lot 597, "Flowers and insects after Shen Zhou," by Li Shan, ink and color on paper, one of a pair of hanging scrolls, 10 3/4 by 15 5/8 inches


Lot 597 is one of a pair of scrolls by Li Shan (1686-1762).  Entitled "Flowers and insects after Shen Zhou," it measures 10 3/4 by 15 5/8 inches.  It is notable for having calligraphy in the upper right corner that seems to run diagonally down a branch.  It has an estimate of  $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.

Scroll bird

Lot 507, "Flower and Birds," by Ren Yi, ink and color on paper hanging scroll, 32 3/4 by 9 inches

Lot 507 is a pleasant ink and color on paper hanging scroll of "Flower and Birds" by Ren Yi (1840-1896).  It measures 32 3/4 by 9 inches.  It has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  It sold for $20,000.



Scroll buffalo

Lot 508, "Buffalo,  Herdboys, and Geese," by Wang Zhen, ink and color on paper hanging scroll, 66 by 18 5/8 inches

Lot 508 is a hanging scroll by Wang Zhen (1867-1938) that is entitled "Buffalo, Herdboys and Geese."  An ink and color on paper, it measures 66 by 18 5/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $7,000 to $9,000.  It sold for $10,000.


Scroll mountains

Lot 502,"Landscape after Huang Gongwang and Ni Zan," by Wang Yuanqi, ink on paper hanging scroll, 24 5/8 by 13 inches

Lot 504 is an ink on paper hanging sccroll by Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715) that is entitled "Landscape after Huang Gongwang and Ni Zan."  It measures 24 5/8 by 13 inches.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It sold for $137,000.


Mountains square

Lot 501, "Landscape after Huang Gongwang," by Wang Shimin, ink and color on silk hanging scroll, 13 5/8 by 14 5/8 inches

Lot 501 is an ink and color on silk hanging scroll by Wang Shimin (1592-1680) that is entitled "Landscape after Huang Gongwang."  It measures 13 5/8 by 14 5/8 inches.  it has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It sold for $47,500.


Scroll rock

Lot 522, "Expounding on History in a Pine-Shaded Pavilion," by Xu Fang, ink and color on silk, hanging scroll, 38 by 13 5/8 inches

Lot 522 is a nice hanging scroll on silk by Xu Fang (1622-1694).  Entitled "Expounding on History in a Pine-Shaded Pavilion," it measures 38 by 13 5/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.  It sold for $93,750.


Dark scroll

Lot 547, "Thatched Pavilion," attributed to Huang Gongwang, ink on silk, 48 3/8 by 23 5/8 inches

Lot 547 is a large ink on silk entitled "Thatched Pavilion" that the catalogue states is "attributed to Huang Gongwang (1269-1354), noting that it has a "spurious" colophon of Ni Zan (1301-1374).  It measures 48 3/4 by 23 5/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.  It sold for $12,500.

Lot 566, "Recluse in Lofty Summer Mountains," attributed to Fan Kuan (?-1031), ink and color on silk  hanging scroll, 43 1/8 by 21 7/8 inches.  Fan Kuan is one of the rarest and most important of all Chinese classical painters.  This lot has an estimate of $350,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $425,000.

Scroll mountains 2

Lot 560, "Landscape after Wu Zhen," by Lan Ying, ink on silk hanging scroll,  63 by 18 inches

Lot 560 is a nice ink on silk hanging scroll by Lan Ying (1585-1666) that is entitled "Landscape after Wu Zhen."  It measures 63 by 18 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $245,000.

Lot 561 is ahandscroll by Zha Shibiao (1615-1698) that is entitled "Peach-Blossom Spring" and measures 13 7/8 by 154 5/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $545,000.  Another version of the composition is in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.

Lot 585 is a beautiful handscroll by Zhang Zhong (14th Century) of two Wagtails that is an ink on paper that measures 7 7/8 by 24 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $1,169,000.

Lot 612 is a handscroll by Tang Dai (1673-?) of a "Stream-Laced Mountain After Snow."  An ink and color on silk, it measures 11 by 93 3/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It sold for $2,741,000.

The auction includes several works by Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) (1899-1983) the legendary forger, connoisseur and collector who is suspected of having painted several works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see the Chinagate section of thecityreview.com/home.html).    Lot 615 os a handscroll entitled "Mirror Lake" that measures 11 1/4 by 49 1/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.  It sold for $1,085,000.

The auction also has two works by Wang Jiqian (C. C. Wang), Lots 639 and 640.  The latter, a landscape, had an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.  It sold for $20,000.  C. C. Wang sold 25 Chinese paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that are the subject of "Chinagate" (see reference above).

Fan mountains

Lot 531, "Landscape after Huang Gongwang," by Wang Yuanqi, ink and color on paper, fan leaf, 6 3/4 by 19 1/8 inches

Lot 751 is a nice fan leaf by Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715) that is entitled "Landscape after Huang Gongwang."  It measures 6 3/4 by 19 1/9 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $60,000.

Fan flowers

Lot 534, "Spring Breeze," by Yun Shouping, ink and color on gold paper, fan leaf, 6 3/4 by 19 7/8 inches


Lot 534 is a lovely fan leaf by Yun Shouping (1633-1690) that is entitled "Spring Breeze."  An ink and color on gold paper, it measures 6 3/4 by 19 7/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It sold for $81,250.


Calligraphy

Lot 570, "Poem in Cursive Script" by Fu Shan, ink on silk hanging scroll, 88 by 25 1/4 inches

Lot 570 is a large ink on silk hanging scroll of calligraphy by Fu Shan (1607-1684).  It measures 88 by 25 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It failed to sell.

Lot 568 is a scroll with calligraphy by Zhu Yunming (1460-1526) from the collection of Robert Ellsworth.  It measures 8 5/8 by 38 7/8 inches. It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $1,385,000.  Entitled "Du Fu's Poem 'Autumn Meditations,'" it contains two of Du Fu's eight poems in the set.

Lot 578 is a 14 1/8-by-336 1/8-inch handscroll of exquisite and very beautiful calligraphy by Zhang Bi (1425-1487) that has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000.  It sold for $749,000.

Lot 582 is a 10 3/8-by-42 7/8-inch handscroll of calligraphy by Wang Shouren (1472-1529) that has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.  It sold for $1,925,000.

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