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
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