Christie’s to Offer Fine Chinese Art From the Arthur M. Sackler Collection

NEW YORK, NY – Christie’s has announced the single owner sale of Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, which will be offered on March 18, 2009. This is the first of a series of auctions consigned by the Arthur M. Sackler Collections Trust of its part of the large collection amassed over many decades by the internationally well-known collector Arthur M. Sackler. The sale is expected to realize in the region of $4 million. Following the precedent set by the spectacular results of the December 1994 sale of Important Works of Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections, which realized an astonishing $4.9 million at that early date, Christie’s will now offer more of this well-known and exceptionally fine collection of Chinese classical paintings, archaic jades, bronze vessels, Tang and Song ceramics, and Buddhist sculpture, to Ming frescoes and classical furniture.

Theow H. Tow, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas and Asia said: “We are thrilled again to have been entrusted with items from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. Arthur M. Sackler was an extraordinary collector who had a wide-ranging and profound taste for Chinese art. We expect that the group of objects we are offering with such important provenance will attract the attention of museums, dealers and collectors alike, as these works are fresh to the market as they have mostly been in storage for many years. It is also gratifying that most of the members of the original Christie’s team that worked on the 1994 sale will also be involved in the upcoming series of sales.”

The sale features more than 150 works of art representing multiple periods and styles, including a fine group of archaic jades, bronze vessels, ceramics, weapons and classical paintings from all periods of Chinese culture. Leading the sale is an important set of four hanging scrolls of Birds and Ducks, painted by Bada Shanren (Zhu Da) (estimate: $300,000-500,000) and an exceptional Cizhou sgraffiato meiping vase with peonies of the Northern Song Dynasty (estimate: $120,000-180,000). Additional highlights include a fine selection of inlaid weapons, ritual bronze vessels, and archaic jade blades and ritual implements including a Northwest China, Qijia culture, green jade Bi disc.

Arthur M. Sackler
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was one of America’s foremost art collectors and has, with good reason, been called a modern day Medici. The range of his interests was extraordinary and included Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Pre-Columbian art as well as European ceramics, sculpture, paintings and drawings from the medieval to the modern periods.

Among his many art-related projects are The Sackler Wing that houses the Temple of Dendur at The Metropolitan Museum in New York. There is an Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at Princeton University and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum opened at Harvard University in 1985.

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – a Smithsonian Institution museum for Asian and Near Eastern Artwas inaugurated in Washington D.C., in 1987 and its distinctive subterranean galleries form a complement to the adjacent Freer Gallery, with which it is linked underground. In China, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, an archaeological facility teaching museology to students, opened on the grounds of Beijing University in 1993. The museum also houses the university’s extensive archeological collection.