East Meets West Sale Includes Art of Three Continents

This French 19th-century “swinger” timepiece from the estate of Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman will come to auction.

MALVERN, Pa. — Asian objects, including Chinese furniture, fine arts and porcelains, will be sold alongside items from the Western culture like traditional artwork, antique clocks and period furniture at an “East Meets West” auction slated for Friday, Oct. 4, by Gordon S. Converse & Company.

The auction will feature approximately 350 lots from East, West and Africa. These will include a remarkable collection of 10 to 20 pieces of highly decorated Chinese furniture, zitan wood items and porcelains.

The Western lots will include antique clocks from the estate of Academy Award–winning actor Dustin Hoffman, an important Federal tall-case clock signed by Ephraim Willard, the brother of renowned clock maker Simon Willard and a rare pocket “clock watch,” which strikes on the hour, made circa 1780 by Monnier & Mussard of Geneva.

The Western item swill also boast a variety of traditional, American-made antiques, fine artworks from a Pennsylvania collector, a set of six sketches of various theater activities by the British Impressionist Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970), sterling silver and furniture. There will also be about 35 lots from Africa. The themes of these diverse cultures will all come together in a well-rounded sale.

The Eastern portion of the sale contains a remarkable and highly decorative authentic Qing-period lantern with reverse-painted glasses, framed out in an ebonized hardwood with added jewelry. The piece is wired for electricity but still features the remaining hardware.

This set of two 19th-century Chinese wraparound hardwood chairs with matching end table will be sold as a single, three-piece lot.

Another example is a large and extraordinarily fine Chinese embroidery on silk from the 20th century, measuring 22 inches by 46 inches. The piece has a brocaded silk mat and is housed in a glazed frame. The many colors and intricate needlework bring a variety of birds to life as they fly through the air to rest on land.

The lots of Chinese furniture will include a pair of 19th-century wraparound-armrest hardwood chairs with carved and pierced back splats with a matching end table, which will be sold three-piece lot. Chinese decorative accessories will feature a pair of lidded vases with dramatic Ming-style dragons below two phoenix birds.

Other noteworthy Asian lots include a rare, richly decorated pair of Qing lidded cloisonné tureens made around 1900 as a birthday gift for the Chinese Empress Tzu-Hsi, and a carved and finished triad set of spinach jade, all presented on a custom-carved stand.

An extremely rare 18th century pocket “clock watch,” made by Monnier & Mussard of Switzerland, will feature in the sale.

The E. Willard–signed mahogany Federal tall-case clock has a provenance nearly as intriguing as the clock itself. It’s been in the consignor’s family since it was first made, more than 200 years ago and comes with written documentation. Gordon Converse, the auction-house lead and a clock expert, has personally cleaned and maintained the clock since the 1980s.

The Monnier & Mussard “clock watch” is extremely rare. People often confuse them with the so-called “repeating” watches because they chime on bells or gongs. But a “clock watch” will strike like a clock, without needing action from the viewer. “Clock watches” are believed to have originated as travel watches.

Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Artfact.com. Traffic is also being driven through the Gordon S. Converse & Co. website. Previews will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, starting at 5:30 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 4, the day of sale, from 9 a.m. until the first gavel falls at 1 p.m.

For more information, visit the Gordon S. Converse & Co. website.


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