Relics from East Asia


Precious pieces from the Ming, Qing, Hang, and Tang Dynasties will open the first day of the Asia Art Week auctions on September 16. Perhaps the most exceptional draw of the day is the magnificent Guhyasdhana Avalokitesvara, one of the only known existing wood sculptures with ties to the Xuande reign of the Ming Dynasty. This four-armed bodhisattva is engaged in a spiritual unification with the prajna (representing feminine wisdom). Intricately carved, this spiritual icon emanates Eastern mysticism.

Other highlights of the day include a pair of arresting sancai glazed pottery, Earth Spirits from the Tang Dynasty. Figures of such considerable size and caliber are extremely rare. The tomb guardian figures have an estimated sale value between $70,000 and $90,000. Chinese and Japanese works of art from the Collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal represent some of the highlights of the auction. Of note are classical Ming and Qing furniture, as well as 17th and 18th century Huanghuali furniture. Han and Tang Dynasty pottery and paintings, a great Chinese carpet, and Japanese 18th and 19th century gold lacquer will also be up for auction on the opening day.

September 17 brings a wave of contemporary Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art to Sotheby’s. Untitled and Quatre Saisons, two modern paintings by Kim Whanki, are estimated to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000. Zao Wou-ki’s 16.5.1959 is estimated to sell from $250,000 to $300,000, and Wang Guangyi’s Great Criticism Series: Longines is estimated to garner bids in the $250,000-range. A chief highlight of the sale is Cai Guo-Qiang’s Two Eagles, which is estimated to receive high bids of $600,000.

Feng Zhengjie’s Chinese Portrait Series is estimated to sell at $180,000 to $250,000. The captivating, billboard-sized portraits radiate with electrified auras and brilliant colors to create a sort of ultramodern pop art. September 18 marks the commencement of the Modern and Contemporary Indian Art sale, while the following day brings the Indian and Southeast Asian auction.