Gianguan Auctions' headquarters are welcoming collectors until 7 p.m. today through Friday, March 9th. The annual spring sale takes place on Saturday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m.
When JetSet.com ran an article recently entitled "Green, The New Gold," it described the lasting value of jade, saying: "Although there are no no set standards for jade similar to the HUI or XAU gold index, and nothing akin to Tavernier’s law that is used to determine the price of a diamond, jade has been a sought after commodity since Neolithic times (6,000 - 5,000 B.C). Its hardness made it a desirable medium for weaponry. Its rarity gave it legs as currency. Too hard to carve, it was abraded in the earliest times with bamboo, bone and stone tools, a time consuming process that made decorative objects and jewelry affordable only by the wealthy."
The jade highlights in the Gianguan Auctions sale include the MIT Jade boulder that was deaccessioned through Christie' s in 1994. Of fine mottled russet jadeite, it has three incised windows through which gleam bright patches of the vibrant emerald stone. Organica in form, the five pound stone carries a pre-sale estimate of more than $150,000. It is Lot 53.
The outstanding carved jade in the Gianguan sale is a carving of pristine Hetian white that was created during the Qin Dynasty, nearly 2,000 years ago. The 9-inch tall sculpture recreates the emporor's two-horse drawn chariot. Seated under a turreted canopy that bears the royal insignia, a figure is guarded by four spear bearing warriors. The charioteer handles chain linked jade reins. The yoke, crossbar, wheel hub, sideboard, spoke and drawbar are all highly detailed. The scene is fitted on a wooden ruyi carved base. It is Lot 133, with a starting bid of $50,000.
Further defining the richness of China's past is the silvery glow of Tang Dynasty court ladies. Embelished with hammered bronze overlaid with white slip and polychrome, the pair are dressed in long flowing robes embellished with a floral medallion of circling phoenix and birds. One holds a song bird in her hand while the other modestly conceals her hands within the sleeves of a robe. The condition is excellent, the remaining pigment appropriate for its age. This is Lot 109, having an opening bid of $200,000.
Among the devotional objects, a Northern Wei Dynasty Buddhist stele with pointed arch offers a meditation on a standing Buddha flanked by bodhissatvas guarded by dragons. All are backed by a flaming mandorla under an ogee that ascends amidst flying apsara. At the uppermost point is a stupa, the metaphor for housed relics or blessed remains. The style is reminiscent of items in the collection of the Qingzhou Museum that were excavated in 1996 at the Longxing Temple of Qingzhou, in Shandong Province. The 29 pound carving is Lot 184, valued at about $80,000.
Of more moderate value and highly desirable is a painting by Zhang Daqian. “Four Panel Painting of Poet Li Bai” portrays the white robed poet sitting, walkiing, pondering that around him, all of whiich is reflected in each panel’s calligraphic tribute. Entitled, inscribed and signed Daqian, each panel carries three artists seals. Bidding on Lot 62 starts at $10,000 although experts expect it to soar to as high as $100,000.
The categories overflow with beauty and value in works of historic calligraphy, traditional and modern paintings, and ceramics, as well as highly personal items such as Chinese stone seals, carved jades and Tibetan prayer beads.
For the full span of properties, please access the Gianguan Auctions catalog at www.gianguanauctions.com. To preview the offerings personally, visit Gianguan Auctions at 39 West 56th Street (between 5th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.) The gallery is open and manned by specialists from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. today through Friday.
To place a bid, you may attend the sale in person, or leave your bid on epailive.com or invaluable.com. For further details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org