On March 12, 2019, Freemans
will hold back to back auctions: Asian Arts (beginning at 10:00am) and Japanese Arts (beginning at 3:00pm). The Asian Arts auction, with nearly 400 lots, will present works from China, Korea, Southeast Asian and the Middle East, that span a period of over 5000 years, including fine ceramics, furniture, textiles, jades, bronzes, and more. Among the sales highlights is a group of painted and glazed pottery sculptures and vessels from various owners, dating from the Neolithic period to the Ming dynasty. Lot 3 (estimate: $8,000-12,000) is an excellent example of a Neolithic (circa 1500 B.C.) painted grey pottery tripod vessel from the inner Mongolian Xiajiadian culture, whose dark body contrasts with the orange and white floriform motifs painted on the body. Many centuries later, during the Han dynasty (206 B.C. to 220 AD), figural representations had become prevalent. These figures, though often stylized representations of human form, included armored guardians, attendants and sinuous dancers, such as the pair of dancers in lot 8 (estimate: 4,000-6,000).
The influence of exotic trade along the silk route was already prevalent during the Northern Qi period, illustrated by the grey pottery model of a kneeling camel loaded with goods (lot 16; estimate: $3,000-5,000). In the Tang dynasty, high culture was an elegant and exotic fusion of east and west. Sculpture became more realistic and expressive, enhanced by the development of the so-called Sancai glazes, including brilliant green, amber, straw and blue hues. A fine example of this is lot 23, a Sancai-glazed camel from the collection of Jeffrey Kaplan (estimate: $7,000-9,000).
Rivaling the expressive and graphic range of early Chinese pottery are the vast panoply of subtler Chinese monochrome-glazed porcelains and stonewares, most notably dating from the Song through the Qing dynasties. According to Ben Farina, Head of the Asian Arts Department at Freemans, These wares have been collected by connoisseurs for centuries and truly come in all colors of the rainbow.
Over a period spanning the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century, the artisans of the Chinese imperial kilns, with the preeminent director Tang Yin at the forefront, explored and developed a wide variety of extraordinary glazes at the behest of the Emperors.
Additional glazes such as the Qing dynasty flambés and transmutation glazes were inspired by the splashed Jun wares of the Song and Yuan dynasties. A wonderful example of this type is the unusual Splashed Jun-type glazed bottle vase is lot 138, (estimate: $3,000-5,000), from the collection of monochromes assembled by Dr. Steven K-M Tim (19371998) and Nancy Tim, of Brooklyn, New York. A fine example of the copper-red glazes produced during the Kangxi period is the baluster vase, also from the Tim collection, (lot 134; estimate: $1,500-2,500). Mr. Farina notes, As a collector, Dr. Tim was particularly drawn to the subtle glazes and elegant forms of Qing dynasty monochromes. It is Freemans privilege to be able to share Mr. Kims collection with the next generation.
Another notable group of objects comes from a Private Pennsylvania collection. Assembled over a period of decades, the collection encompasses a wide variety of Chinese, Korean and Japanese works of art, with a particular emphasis on fine and delicate workmanship. Representative works include the rare matched pair of Wanli mark and period Qilin and Foreign Attendants dishes (lot 79; estimate: $3,0005,000), an unusual Ming dynasty incised Tianqi red lacquer stand, decorated with five-clawed dragons (lot 81; estimate: $10,000-15,000), and an attractive gilt-bronze figure of seated Budai, Ming dynasty (lot 83; estimate: $3,000-5,000). Other works from this collection include Song, Ming, and Qing dynasty ceramics and a fine pair of hardwood armchairs (lot 188; estimate: $8,000-12,000).
The Asian arts auction also includes a variety of snuff bottles from private collections, Thai Sawankhalok ceramics from the collection of the American studio potter Dean Mullavey, as well as Korean, Indian and Middle Eastern works, including lot 379, an Ottoman gold and silver-embroidered curtain, circa 1813 (estimate: $8,000-12,000).
The Japanese Arts auction features over 150 lots of fine lacquers, cloisonné, ceramics, bronzes and works of art. For nearly a generation, the market for Japanese works has been fairly quiet, with a few dedicated dealers and collectors actively seeking out fine and rare examples of ceramics, lacquers, cloisonné, bronzes and works of art. However, there are strong indications that renewed interest is on the rise, with prices for fine Japanese pieces beginning to climb and dedicated, stand-alone Japanese auctions re-appearing. Freemans has been extremely fortunate to assemble an exceptional group of Japanese fine and decorative arts from private Pennsylvania and New Jersey collections for this auction. says Farina.
From a New Jersey collection come a group of Shinhanga color woodblock prints, including works by Hiroshi Yoshida and Kawase Hasui. These 20th century works combine the technical skills of traditional color woodblock printing with an evocative modern sense of color and mood, such as in the two-part lot 556, which includes Hasuis Sakuradamon at Night (estimate: $1,200-1,500).
This range of color and line are echoed by a particularly fine group of Meiji and Taisho period cloisonné vases from the collection of Duane Lease. The quality of these works is particularly high, often with fine cloisons, sometimes utilizing silver or gold wires, and a wide range of colored enamels. While often unsigned, such as lot 596, the pair of Chrysanthemums, Aster and Sparrows cabinet vases (estimate: $1,000-1,500), or lot 594, the Butterflies vase (estimate: $1,000-2,000), many of these are obviously the work of master artisans. Other fine Japanese works from Leases collection include lot 586, a charming patinated bronze sculpture signed Miyao (estimate: $1,000-1,500), as well as Satsuma-type enameled wares and Zushi shrines.
From another complementary Pennsylvania private collection comes a group of well-executed mixed metal vases. These are joined by works from other owners such as an impressive mixed-metal inlaid bronze vase from the Meiji period, with exquisite inlays and chasing (lot 583; estimate: $7,000-9,000), a group of Edo period porcelains of Kakiemon palate, Arita porcelains, including lot 502, a rare Arita landscape-decorated jar, 17th century (estimate: $3,000-5,000), additional Satsuma and Satsuma-type wares, and studio porcelains by Makuzu Kozan. The elegance of these wares is echoed by lacquers of the Edo and Meiji period. Of particular note is lot 561, a small writing table, decorated with phoenix and paulownia (estimate: $6,000-9,000).