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Indepth Arts News:

"Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Important Sancai Glazed Pottery from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman "
2001-03-20 until 2001-03-20
New York, NY,

Tuesday, March 20, will mark the beginning of Christies spring series of Asian art sales at Christies Rockefeller Center. The sale offine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art will commence the Asian week with bravura, offering many highlights including an important massive bronze ritual wine jar and the world-renowned Alan and Simone Hartman Collection of Tang Sancai pottery.

Ming qi, or articles of the spirit, were objects such as vases, jars, ewers and figures specifically created to accompany the deceased on their voyage into the afterlife and often vividly reflected the social and cultural atmosphere of the time. By the Tang Dynasty (618-907), such tomb accoutrements constituted a large part of the ceramics production. The most refined ming qi of this period display the masterful application of sancai, or three-colored, glazes that cover the objects with vibrant shades of green, blue, orange and brown. Whether a brilliantly colored vessel, a gracious court lady or a serene buffalo carrying a sleeping boy on its back, these pieces possess a powerful presence and a timeless appeal.

The Collection of Tang Sancai pottery of Alan and Simone Hartman contains several extremely rare and important examples of Tang ming qi. Among the outstanding figures from the Hartman collection are three court ladies whose sensitive modeling and beautiful coloring endow them with a marked grace and charm. The coquettish young girl holding a lotus (estimate: $170,000-200,000), the regal seated lady with phoenix headdress (estimate: $120,000-150,000) and the elegant lady holding a mirror (estimate: $170,000-200,000) offer an intimate and remarkably vivid view of Tang Dynasty court life. Among the ming qi depicting animals are a lovely blue buffalo carrying a sleeping boy (estimate: $80,000-100,000), a powerfully built boar covered in a deep orange glaze (estimate: $8,000-12,000) and a wonderfully animated lion biting at its leg (estimate: $35,000-45,000). One of the striking features of the vessels is the modern simplicity of their forms. This is exemplified in an ovoid vase glazed in brown, green and orange (estimate: $20,000-25,000) and a tall ovoid jar vibrantly colored in oranges and greens ($10,000-12,000). In the hope that this well-balanced collection will be kept intact, Christies will take the unusual step of first offering the forty-eight items in a single lot. Only if need be will the collection be offered individually, lot by lot.

A second highlight is a highly important massive bronze ritual wine jar, Fanglei dating from the late Shang (ca. 1600-1100 BC) /early Western Zhou dynasty (ca. 1100-1256 BC) (estimate on request). Masterfully cast with brilliantly conceived combinations of imaginary creatures, including coiled dragons and horned masks, this magnificent wine jar appears to be one of the largest known examples. The jar also bears a pictogram, indicating its purpose and its commissioner.

Dating to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) is a rare russet-splashed black-glazed truncated meiping (estimate: $60,000-80,000), while the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) is represented bya celadon cong-form vase covered in an exquisite bluish~green glaze (estimate: $40,000- 60,000). The selection ofQing porcelain (1644-1911) includes an extremely rare famille rose yellow-ground hexagonal vase, Yongzheng four-character mark and period (estimate: $60,000- 80,000). Equally exuberant in color and form is a rare pair of Imperial enamel, gilt metal and glass cache-pots oflingzhi fungus dating to the Qianlong period (estimate: $100,000-120,000). Auction: Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art including important Sancai glazed pottery from the Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman March 20 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Viewing: Christies Galleries, 20 Rockefeller Plaza March 13-19

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