Bonhams to Offe Collection of Yixing Stoneware at the 2011 Hong Kong Autumn Auction

Bonhams is to offer The Gerard Hawthorn Collection of Yixing Stoneware on auction, on November 28, 2011 at the Island Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong. Forming part of a new celebrated collection for their Autumn Auctions Series, The Gerard Hawthorn Collection of Yixing Stoneware is an impressive, personal collection of a connoisseur dealer, who has passionately collected the finest quality Yixing ceramics, comparable to the rarest pieces in the Palace Museum, Beijing. It is regarded as one of the world’s greatest and most distinguished collections of Yixing Stoneware by a single owner. The only other comparable private collection is the K.S. Lo collection, donated to Hong Kong Museum and now housed in the Flagstaff Tea Museum in Hong Kong Park. The collection consists of 100 lots and is expected to sell for over HK$50,000,000.

The celebrated Yixing stoneware collection is from Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Hawthorn. In 1963, Gerard Hawthorn joined leading London Chinese art dealer Sydney L. Moss Ltd. and later became independent, assisting the world’s leading art collectors and museums in acquiring rare Chinese antiques. Additionally, he formed his own personal collection of bamboo and Yixing stoneware. In view of the strength of the market, Gerard Hawthorn has taken the decision to offer the Yixing collection for sale this autumn.

From a historical and investment perspective, Yixing stoneware is one of the most valuable collections among all kinds of Chinese antiques. Its uniqueness is not only due to the characteristic of the mud material, but also the artists’ marvellous calligraphy creativities and their life experiences, which enrich the design of Yixing stoneware. For centuries, its natural, variable shapes and ancient elegant colors have been the prized possession many collectors craved for.

Notably, some of the highlighted lots of Yixing stoneware from the Gerard Hawthorn Collection were made by Shi Dabin, Yang Luqian, Hui Mengchen, Chen Mingyuan among others, who were all renowned Yixing stoneware artists of their respective eras. Shi Dabin’s artistry has been regarded by others as incomparable in history while Hui Mengchen was a famous artist during Chongzhen’s period and a well-known figure after Shi. Hui’s artistry has been diverse; his big pieces are more simple and natural, while his small pieces are more delicate and elaborate. Meanwhile, Chen Mingyuan’s work has been highly regarded for its incredible engraving details; he infused Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy skills into the art of ceramic-making, which distinguished his pieces from his generation.

Hong Kong has been a centre for Yixing pottery since the donation of the K.S. Lo Collection to the Flagstaff Museum, established in 1984 in Hong Kong Park as a museum of tea ware. With the auction at the Island Shangri-La, just minutes walk-away, it will be an unprecedented attraction for Yixing collectors.

Other details of highlighted lots from The Gerard Hawthorn Collection as below:

1) An inscribed and rare ‘hu’ vase, signed Shi Dabin
Dated 1604
Provenance: Sir Percival David (1892-1964)
Estimate: HK$2,000,000

2) A remarkable, rare ‘prunus trunk’ brush pot, signed Yang Luqian (1736-1820)
Early Qing dynasty
Provenance: Douglas Wright, Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, 1970s
Estimate: HK$2,000,000

3) A rare brush washer, signed by the Ming master Hui Mengchen
Estimate: HK$2,000,000

4) A sculpture in the form of a frog, signed by Qing Master Chen Mingyuan
16th/17th century
Estimate: HK$1,000,000

5) An ‘ear’ water vessel with a broad irregular mouth and several other smaller apertures signed by Ming dynasty Xiang Zijin (1525-1590)
Provenance: Collection of Alan Roger (1909-1997)
Estimate: HK$500,000

Representatives of the media are invited to come to the public previews and the auction on 28th November.

Auction Date
28 November at 1pm

Public Viewing
24 November from 1pm – 9pm
25, 26 and 27 November from 10am – 9pm
28 November from 10am – 1pm

Island Ballroom & Taishan Room, Island Shangri-La Hotel, Admiralty, Hong Kong

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to

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