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Auction Report: Skinner Asian Art Sale

by Christopher Kent (04/20/09).

On April 24 and 25, Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers will present in its Boston salesrooms the Asian Works of Art Sale.

Skinner has specialized in Asian works of art for more than 20 years. This auction will offer fine furniture and decorative arts from Asia and the South Seas including Chinese, Korean and Japanese glass, pottery, netsuke, porcelain, lacquer ware, paintings, woodblock prints and textiles. The Skinner sale provides a cross-range of items both low and high for the discerning collector and dealer.

Asian works of art, particularly as the sales trends are dictating, are strong with contemporary 20th-century artists leading the sales records. (A recent Sotheby’s Asian art sale realized an 11 percent higher pre-estimate yield totaling sales of $89 million.)

Lot 46, a work by the “Van Gogh of Japan” and perhaps the most influential member of the Mingei movement in Japan, woodblock artist Munakata Shiko. It is titled “Goddess” and dated 1952. The woodblock is hand colored, signed and dated in pencil and includes the artist’s seal. The work is mounted as a scroll in a wooden box. The condition, coloration and impression are excellent. The estimate for the work is $4,000 to $6,000.

Munakata Shiko's "Goddess"

Munakata Shiko's "Goddess"

Lot 116 is a fine example of a miniature 16th-century Persian painting from the Safavid Empire (1501-1722). The signed painting depicts a “scene of courtly entertainment” and is executed in ink, jewel colors and gilt on heavy paper stock. The painting measures 9 inches by 5-1/2 inches and has an estimate of $400 to $600.

16th-century Persian miniature

16th-century Persian miniature

Lot 149, a 12th-century celadon ewer is Korean from Korea’s Koryo period. It has a double-gourd form with thick sea-green glaze over a molded design of willow branches and lotus petals at the front with a glazed base. There are repairs to the handle and spout. The estimate for this excellent piece is $1,500 to $2,500.

Koryo celadon ewer

Koryo celadon ewer

Lot 251, an 18th-century Turkish jeweled saber with a repoussé silver scabbard that includes designs of arabesques and trophy arms, hangers and basses of silver with Solomon’s star and a tughra (an imperial monogram) all set with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The hilt, with a silver hand guard, is set with the same. The grip of Moghal style is pistol shaped made of white jade inset with a herringbone pattern in gold and set again with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The watered steel blade of typical Turkish form is inlaid with gold and includes two inscriptions on either side. Estimate is $3,000 to $5,000.

Jeweled Turkish saber

Jeweled Turkish saber

jeweled-turkish-saber-closeup-1

skinner-lot-251-jeweled-turkish-saber-closeup-2

Lot 483, an impressive red sandstone Image of Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Infinite Light) in standing position with princely jewels and robes. The image is 34 inches and Chinese, Sui to early T’ang period 7th century A.D. The estimate on this rare piece (rare for condition, subject matter and material) is $20,000 to $30,000.

Sandstone image of the Buddha

Sandstone image of the Buddha

Lot 504 is a gilt-bronze image of the Buddha of the future Manjushri (Buddha of wisdom, doctrine and awareness, whose name translated from Sanskrit means Gentle Glory). It is 16th-century Tibetan. The surface is patinated and engraved with flower, clouds and an inset with coral, lapis lazuli, turquoise and pearls. The image is seated in the lotus position with hands in the Mudra of appeasement, 10 inches high with an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500.

Gilt-bronze image of the Buddha

Gilt-bronze image of the Buddha

– By Christopher Kent, a member of the WorthPoint board of advisers and director of evaluations for WorthPoint. He is also an antiques and collectibles generalist, fine-arts broker and president of CTK Design.

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One Response to “Auction Report: Skinner Asian Art Sale”

  1. natalie says:

    to whom it may concern I have a painting by Shiko Munakata it is the heavenly courier (hein) would like to know if any one is interested in buying it if so please e-mail me or call me at 323-378-5897 thank you natalie

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