Auctions: Online sale of Asian art and collectibles

In the Converse sale , beginning Dec. 29, is a Chinese portrait, reminiscent of French impressionism, estimated at $200 to $300.
In the Converse sale , beginning Dec. 29, is a Chinese portrait, reminiscent of French impressionism, estimated at $200 to $300.
Posted: December 22, 2012

Gordon S. Converse will pretty much have the week between Christmas and New Year's Day to itself with an online sale of Chinese and Asian art and collectibles that starts at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at www.liveauctioneers.com. The nearly 500 lots include vases and other porcelains, fish tanks, cricket cages, furniture, figurines, and traditional and contemporary paintings.

Many of the lots are already attracting attention online. As of Tuesday morning, most of the focus was on a 9-by-9-inch brush pot made of rare huanghuali wood (akin to rosewood), with a presale price estimate of $200 to $400 and eight bids.

It is one of 13 brush pots, including three of the equally rare zitan wood, with presale estimates in the $600 range, that also have been attracting bidder attention. Brush pots were made to hold Chinese calligraphy brushes.

The auction's top presale estimate is for another of the 13 lots of zitan items, a pair of fine-carved chairs that are expected to bring $5,000 to $10,000. (According to an entry at www.zitantique.com, zitan is a slow-growing tree of the Far East that is also a member of the rosewood family and so dense that it sinks in water.)

Other top zitan items include two boxes of Qing dynasty imperial green jade seals, each with a presale estimate of $1,000 to $2,000 and multiple bidders. The seals are among 54 lots of jade in the auction, with presale estimates ranging from $100 to $200 for each of two jade bangles to $4,000 to $6,000 for a Qing dynasty Buddhist book of green jade pages.

The lot with the second-highest number of bids, six as of Tuesday, is for another household furnishing, a Chinese silk-and-metallic rug about 6 feet by 8 feet that may have been in the imperial palaces of Beijing. It has a presale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

Other furniture of note: a pair of Chinese vase stands ($400 to $900) and a 19-by-72-inch Chinese hardwood day bed ($1,000 to $2,000).

The sale also offers scrolls, paintings, and related works of art. Most of the 54 scrolls are traditional, with landscapes, animals, portraits, and calligraphy, including a large framed scroll depicting a squirrel with a presale estimate of $500 to $1,000. A few are more contemporary, such as one depicting a woman and child in front of what appears to be wainscoting, with a presale estimate of $600 to $800.

The 18 lots of paintings and related decorative objects also are a mix of traditional and contemporary, with about a quarter of them watercolors, painted snuff bottles, and, in one case, a large hand-painted famille rose vase ($300 to $500).

The contemporary works are more provocative. Among them is a woman in an off-the-shoulder dress playing what appears to be a cornet, another of "a Chinese Beauty" that looks like a French impressionist work, and a third depicting what are simply described as three Chinese leaders, one of whom is quite clearly Mao Tse-tung (each of the three is estimated at $200 to $300).

Three other Chinese lots reflect the days of Chairman Mao: a 1968 "Red Lantern" piece celebrating the Cultural Revolution ($100 to $200) and a large vase and yet another brush pot, each celebrating the Great Leap Forward (each $200 to $400).

Other items of note: a 91/2-inch-long Chinese jade hairpin ($100 to $200); a Mongolian or Tibetan bronze temple dagger ($100 to $200); a charming Chinese vase depicting a snow scene ($200 to $400); an 81/2-inch-tall Chinese ceramic statue of Buddha ($800 to $1,200); and a 22-inch-tall bronze Buddha ($400 to $600). (Unlike most of the items in the sale, which Converse can also ship, the buyer of the bronze Buddha must make independent shipping arrangements.)

Onsite previews are from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and next Friday at the auction house, 1128 Greenhill Rd., West Chester. For further information, call 610-322-3406.

Spirits and folk art. Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at the gallery in Hatfield, Alderfer Auction & Appraisal will offer more than 60 bottles of single malt scotch, brandy, cognac, and other spirits from the estate of William D'Anjolell, as well as a collection of folk-art pottery by James and Verna Seagraves, including face jugs, banks, whistles, candlesticks, fat lamps, and hollowware.

Online bidding for both categories will be available at www.artfact.com, according to an announcement at Alderfer's website, www.alderferauction.com.

The sale will also feature vintage wristwatches, antiques and collectibles, silver, sports memorabilia, and, for nostalgia lovers, a group of radio premiums, things like decoder rings (such as the one mentioned in the movie A Christmas Story) from such radio heroes as the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, and Tom Mix.

Previews are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the gallery at 501 Fairgrounds Rd. For further information, call 215-393-3023.


Contact David Iams at daiams@comcast.net.

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