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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Freeman’s to Auction Collection of Chinese and Asian Art

The Asian Arts Department at Freeman’s will be offering another fine collection of Chinese and Asian works of art in our annual spring auction. Our exhibition dates and March 20, 2010 sale date allows for the participation of many important buyers and enthusiasts who will be in the country to take part in the shows, activities and sales associated with “Asia Week” on the East Coast. With such consistent and eager buyers sure to register, the department’s yearlong task has been to procure fine and rare Asian arts to offer from across the region and country.

Freeman’s March Asian Arts auction will feature a fine variety of Chinese decorative arts. Important among these is a Chinese cinnabar lacquer suite of four chairs and a settee from the 19th century that came in from a private collection in Brooklyn, New York. The fine lacquer work applied to this suite hearkens back to a style developed in the early years of the Qing dynasty and mastered during the reign of Qianlong. The intricate diaper ground is meticulously crafted with geometric precision while the raised lotus scroll and figures conversely bend and flow in a manner very complimentary to the graceful structure of the seats. The suite’s structural design -particularly the pagoda-like backs and emphasized curvature of the legs and rails- reflects a skillful and conscious melding of traditional design with the whimsical impressions of a growing export market in the 19th century. The suite carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

Fine Chinese classical furniture -particularly those pieces carved and crafted from old huanghuali- can rival even masterfully-executed lacquer ware in price. Such will likely be the case when Freeman’s offers several pieces of old and exquisite huanghuali from a private New York collection. Chief among these pieces in significance are two pairs of carved cabinets. The tallest pair, with a gracefully carved beaded and scrolling gallery apron above two paneled cupboard doors, carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The older and more elaborate pair, bearing a pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000, features intricate lattice-carved doors and side panels above two cupboard doors well carved in medium relief to show coiled and scrolling qilong. All four cabinets will be displayed among several other furnishings made from huanghuali and other hardwoods.

A massive, rare and remarkable Chinese carved clair-de-lune glazed ‘three friends’ porcelain basin from the late 18th/ early 19th century that carries a modest estimate of $3,000 to $5,000 promises to be a popular decorative item at the auction. Its subtle carving and soft monochromatic hue set it apart from most fish bowls / basins from the period. The “three friends of winter” motif -featuring the requisite pine, bamboo and peony along with a phoenix, leaping fish and butterflies is also particularly desirable. We believe collectors of period Chinese porcelain will find it an unusual highlightt of the sale.

While Chinese prices have driven the market for years, Japanese works of art that can be attributed to the finest makers remain at a premium. Freeman’s is proud to present an impressive single-owner New York collection of Japanese Satsuma ware that includes excellent examples from the finest craftsmen of that style: Ryozan, Bizan, Kozan, Yabu Meizan and more. The inherent value of these detailed and masterfully executed earthen wares will supersede the otherwise moribund Japanese arts market and surely attract the attention of serious domestic and international collectors.

The Asian Department at Freeman’s welcomes all interested collectors, buyers and Asian art enthusiasts to attend our exhibition Wednesday March 17 and Thursday March 18 from 10am to 6pm and Friday March 19 from 10am to 4:30pm. The auction will begin promptly at 10am on Saturday March 20, 2010.