Gianguan Auctions Offers Personal Accessories & World Famous Paintings on June 17

Gianguan Auctions Offers Personal Accessories & World Famous Paintings on June 17

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Classical Chinese paintings and collections of bronzes, ceramics, stone seals, and teapots take collectors deep into their favorite categories.


The properties in Gianguan Auctions’ sale on Monday, June 17 allow collectors to dig deep into their favorite categories.

Among the outstanding smalls is a set of scholar’s garniture in cloisonné. The 5 pieces–an inkstone warmer with cover, brush holder; brush washer with ladle, and a weasel bristle pen–have a vibrant sapphire-blue ground decorated with a yellow Wan character above and amid a front-facing dragon chasing flaming pearl. The details are set within multi-colored ruyi clouds and roiling waves, all set off by a gilt border. Each piece bears the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong four-character mark and is of the period. Lot 154 is estimated at upwards of $40,000 USD.

A rare, polychromed lacquer box with 16 lobes is an outstanding example of the “tianqi” method of coloration. Finely incised on the fitted lacquer cover is a central lotus bloom surrounded by scrolling Ba Jixiang (Eight Buddhist Emblems). The flower is made vibrant in shades of red, turquoise blue, burnt amber and green. The lobes are decorated with gilt phoenixes amidst clouds. Of the Qing Dynasty with an incised Qianlong 6-character mark, Lot 71 is of the Period. At 15.5” in diameter and 7” tall, it is valued at more than $10,000.
Further attesting to the creativity of scholar’s items is a well carved floral cup carved from a bamboo root. An anonymous visionary worked chisel and blade with great care to forge a budding flower surrounded by smaller buds on a stand. At just 4” tall, the cup’s surface has been patinated to a dark caramel brown. Lot 78 is expected to bring more than $1,500.
Votive properties include a massive Zitan Guanyin with child clutching a lotus. Carved from a single piece of wood (with mandorla added on) the deity presents as the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. It is Lot 170, 38” tall, valued at $60,000 or more.

Contrasting is a naturalistic, root-carved grotto housing a Guanyin. The knotty stumps of the tree root flow in free-form around the deity seated within. The cowl and loose robes are in keeping with her peaceful countenance. This is Lot 157, $4,000 and upwards.

At the midrange is a porcelain figure of the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The full-length Guanyin is glazed in blue and blanc-de-chine. Of the Yuan Dynasty (12th–13th C), the long flowing robes are open at the chest. The hands are in mudra, with the left holding sutra. Lot 160 is nearly 30” tall; bidding begins at $20,000.

Leading the stone seals is a jade seal within a Zitan box surmounted by an elaborately carved dragon in flight. Chinese and Manchu script decorate the sides. The seal offers 3 script marks. Of the Qing Dynasty, Lot 104 will fetch $3,000 or more.

Shoushan stones decorated with Bixie and Young knops follow. There are more, of Juxie stone, Furong and Tianhuang, as well as a delightful collection of boulders, carved with mythical creatures and fantastical motifs. Values start at $800

Within a collection of 12 teapots are an octagonal melon-form Yixing Zisha pot with conforming bud finial by Chen Mansheng. A diminutive Yixing Zisha Burl teapot with a Knot-tie finial on the cover is by Gao Jianfang. A massive Yixing Zisha teapot by Chen Wenbo is polychromed with a stylized landscape scene. The artist’s mark is on the base. Teapots are Lots 237 to 248 and span $800-$1,500.

An impressive group of ceramics are scattered throughout the sale. At the top tier is a famille rose vase with peony motif. Its slender form with bulbous base and garlic head mouth is in perfect proportion to the 16” height. Of the Qing Dynasty, with the Yongzheng 6-character mark within double circles, Lot 118 is of the period. At $150,000 upwards, it is worthy of a museum or private collection.

An entry level famille rose item is large Qing bowl with protruding mid-area decorated in highly detailed florals. Gilt lip and base lines add detail. Among masterpieces produced by the Gu Yue Xuan Studio of the Qing Emperor Guangxu’s reign, the bowl bears the Qing Dynasty, Guyuexuan Mark. It is Lot 129, starting at $6,000.

The magic of the copper red glaze is apparent in a Ming peony jar with cover. Of crushed-raspberry tones with dull gray, it is decorated with scrolls of flower sprays and scroll bands. The Yongle period jar is Lot 227. Starting bid is $10,000.

“Lady With Fan” leads a selection of 4 paintings by Zhang Daqian that display his virtuosity and mood in the mid to late 1940s. A traditionalist who eschewed tradition, Zhang Daqian heightened the interest in this statuesque portrait of a courtly maiden by focusing on the detail in the back of her golden silk robe. The face, done in flesh tones with white makeup, is a beguiling three-quarter portrait. Dated 1949, it is Lot 166, inscribed and signed Zhang Daqian, with 3 artist seals and 1 collector seal. Estimate is upwards of $80,000.

Cranes, the prince of birds often associated with longevity and peace, are depicted in symbolic guises in 4 panels by the maestro Lu Kuchan (1898-1983). The pairs are under pines, among peonies, in greenery and flying. In each a bird looks upwards while the other tends to more earthly matters. Each scroll is inscribed and signed Kuchan and carries three artist seals. Lot 120 is estimated at more than $60,000

The masterpiece that deserves mention and will be the measure of more accessible landscapes is “Scholar in the Mountain” by Qing Dynasty painter Shi Tao (1630-1724). The landscape reaches beyond the world of mortals to embody the transcendental aspirations of the scholar couched in a fold of the mountain. It is rendered in tones of black ink. Dated 1686, inscribed and signed Shi Tao, with one artist seal, Lot 109 will command $150,000 or more.

For details on these and all the properties in Gianguan Auctions June 17th sale, please visit and download the catalog. Previews open Monday, June 10, 2019.

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