Skinner, Inc to host auction of Asian Works of Art April 20 – 21

BOSTON, Mass. – Skinner, Inc., one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, will host an auction of Asian Works of Art on April 20th and 21st in its Boston gallery. The sale will feature more than 950 lots of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese artwork and antiques.

An important group of cloisonné works from China covers a range of periods from the 18th through 19th centuries. A noteworthy example is a bottle-form vase from the K’ang-hsi period. The vase (lot 463, estimated between $10,000 and $15,000) is made from polychrome enamel on bronze with a turquoise blue ground and is decorated with leaf scrolls and central lotus flowers. It comes from the collection of Robert M. Hoi and was purchased at the American Art Association sale on February 18, 1911.

Copper Red and Underglaze Blue Flask, China, 18th century, disc-shape body with a leaping full-face dragon encircling a “flaming pearl” and rising above a band of stylized crested waves on each side, the cylindrical neck with a cloud on each side, with two handles decorated with spiral scrolls, Qianlong mark to base, ht. 16 1/8 in.

Other highlights include a rectangular vase depicting a dragon and phoenix with a “Cun Tun Dian Zao” mark at the base (lot 450, $500 to $700), and an 18th century censer decorated with scrolling lotus flowers and leaves, marked with “Xuan De Nian Zhi Se” at the base (lot 451, $1,000 to $2,000).

Snuff Bottles and Flasks
The sale features eighty lots of snuff bottles. Highlights from this excellent assortment include a green and black 19th century pudding stone snuff bottle (lot 384, $300 to $500), a 19th century jade snuff bottle carved in the shape of a peach (lot 425, $300 to $500), and a tan colored jade snuff bottle with russet markings (lot 426, $300 to $500). An interior-painted snuff bottle (lot 398, $250 to $350) depicting a landscape and an image of two horses and trees has lion mask handles and an inscription “belongs to Sir Kang You Wei.” This remarkable example dates to Republic’s First Year and is signed “Ye Zhong San.”

A blue, white, and copper red moon flask (lot 626, $5,000 to $10,000) from the 18th/19th centuries depicts a scrolling lotus and tendrils. The lotus is rendered in pale copper red with ruyi-head borders and stylized chilong handles. A disc-shaped, copper red and underglaze blue flask from the 18th century (lot 556, $20,000 to $25,000) depicts a leaping full-face dragon encircled with a “flaming pearl” and rising above a band of stylized crested waves on each side. A cloud surrounds the cylindrical neck on each side and handles are decorated with spiral scrolls. There is a Qianlong mark to the base.

Scholar’s Objects – Brush Pots, Inkstones, and Table Screens
A diverse selection of scholar’s objects will be offered, including a Chinese bamboo brush pot depicting Immortals and attendants in a nature scene (lot 303, $300 to $500), a zitan brush pot decorated with the scene of a scholar and attendant at the entrance of a hut surrounded by the “Three Friends of Winter:” pine, bamboo, and plum (lot 302, $800 to $1,000), and two inkstones with bird designs (lot 306, $150 to $250).

A goldstone table screen depicting figures in a boat surrounded by the “Three Friends of Winter” on one side, and a scholar and attendant among mountains and pavilions on the other side (lot 291, $800 to $1,000) and a carved tortoiseshell screen depicting stylized cranes and clouds (lot 320, $400 to $600) will also be offered.

Rhinoceros Horn Cups
The sale presents a fine offering of rhinoceros horn cups, highlighted by a 19th century zitan libation cup with a carved flowering plum branch design (lot 333, $300 to $500), an 18th century zitan libation cup also adorned with a flowering plum branch design (lot 335, $1,000 to $1,200), and a zitan libation cup depicting scholars at various pleasurable pursuits (lot 342, $2,000 to $4,000).

Fine Jade and Jadeite
A Ming dynasty jade cup (lot 672, $3,000 to $4,000) from stone of a gray-celadon color has a pair of chilong dragon handles, and a monumental jadeite boulder (lot 664, $10,000 to $15,000) depicting Kuan Yin seated on a lotus throne, holding a ruyi scepter and a lotus blossom is made from semi-translucent jadeite of celadon with dark and light green markings.

Jade ruyi scepters include one example carved in the form of a large lingzhi fungus (lot 676, $4,000 to $6,000) with two branches bearing entwined lingzhi heads of white stone with inclusions. Another example (lot 682, $2,000 to $3,000), made from wood, is inlaid with three pale celadon jade plaques of rams with scrolling flowers and leaves.

Asian Furniture
Many beautifully crafted furnishings include a hardwood compound cabinet with doors of burl inlay (lot 944, $2,000 to $4,000), a pair of 18th century hongmu display cupboards (lot 946, $1,500 to $3,000), and a Luohan bed with three-panel screen railings with decorated marble insets (lot 964, $2,500 to $3,500). A 19th century Japanese wood and Shibayama-style cabinet with elaborate high relief and openwork wood carving designs (lot 970, $1,000 to $1,500) will also be offered.

According to Judith Dowling, director of Asian Works of Art at Skinner, “we’re offering a uniformly strong auction across all categories from furniture to decorative and fine arts.” Dowling added, “once again, we look forward to keen interest from Chinese buyers, as well as buyers of the fine Japanese, Korean, Indian, and South East Asian works of art in this sale.”

Previews, Catalogue and Bidding
Previews for the auction will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., and Thursday, April 19, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., and Friday, April 20, 9 a.m.-11:00 a.m., and Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Illustrated catalogue #2591B is available from the subscription department at 508-970-3240. It is also available at the gallery. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogues, and bid live in real-time through SkinnerLive!
Visit the Skinner Facebook gallery with sale highlights: and read Judith Dowling’s recent blog series on the Skinner Blog:

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site