Asian Art Auction: Over 360 lots from Prominent Collections

By: Anthony Wu


Asian Art Auction June 2015 

This was clearly not an ideal winter for travel, but the time I spent criss-crossing North America in February and March resulted in sourcing some amazing materials for this spring’s auction. One of the success stories (and highlights of the auction) is the 80+ superb scroll paintings from the Qing Dynasty and the 20th century consigned to us for this auction. The scrolls, from various prominent collections, discovered in Vancouver, Montreal, New York, and here at home in Toronto, form the focus of our auction.

Assembling our auctions is always a pleasure. We work carefully and thoughtfully to find the right balance of materials, following our guidelines of quality and rarity. This spring we are pleased to offer over 360 lots from various consignors, collectors and estates.

You may recall Part One from the estate of Darius Alain (1926-2013) offered in our December 2014 auction. Mr. Alain lived in Hong Kong during the early 1980’s where he enjoyed collecting Chinese modern paintings. Following Part One’s success in December, we are pleased to present Part Two of the estate this spring. Adding to our scroll theme, the collection includes a selection of modern scrolls paintings by artists such as Zhao Shao’Ang (1905-1998) and his circle.

The Estate of Yick-Ho Wong (1923-2011) is another outstanding collection we are pleased to offer this spring. This Hong Kong gentleman amassed a collection of late Qing Dynasty and 20th century paintings, calligraphy and rubbings; all featured in his Kowloon store “King Won Court” in the mid-1960’s. Prize pieces include a group of large-format paintings by the 20th century modern painting master Ding Yanyong (1902-1978). Mr. Wong befriended Ding Yanyong in the 1950’s, and supported the artist by providing him with art materials in exchange for art lessons.

Always a strong component of our auctions, the ceramics section features a massive Longquan charger from the 15th century, consigned to us from an important Montreal collection and a highlight of the Chinese ceramics section. A rare celadon Ru-type hu vase with Tongzhi Mark, period (1862-1874) from the estate of Barbara Fincham (1929-2014) adds further beauty. Also present is a miniature Guan-type hu vase from the early 18th Century that was probably used as a literati study item. This piece was consigned from a Hong Kong gentleman who purchased it during the 1960’s.

Selecting the cover lot for our catalogues is both a challenging and exciting process. With so many extraordinary works to choose from, the cover lot must stand out as an exceptional item to become the face or introduction to the entire auction. This catalogue cover is perhaps the most prized item in this sale – a handsome, large, three-drawer huanghuali coffer table from the late Qing Dynasty. With immaculate wood graining on the table’s surface, this finely crafted item exemplifies the importance of both form and material in Chinese furniture production.

Rounding out the auction, we are pleased to present a selection of exquisite items from Japan, India, and the Himalayas, including Satsuma, miniature paintings and religious bronzes. Proving once again that we truly have something for everyone.

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