Clockwise from upper left: Li Gonglin (ca. 1041-1106), The Classic of Filial Piety (detail), ca. 1085, handscroll, ink and color on silk, Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, From the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Family Collection, Gift of Oscar L. Tang Family, 1996, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Guiseppe Castigolione (Lang Shining, 1688–1766), The Qianlong Emperor Enjoying the Lunar New Year (detail), 1736-38, hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, The Palace Museum; and Yashima Gakutei (1786-1868), Tomono Naoienushi, from the series, Twenty-four Japanese paragons of filial piety, early 19th century, woodblock print, Bequest of Charles H.W. Verbeck, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
Happy Father's Day!
We wish everyone a warm and enjoyable celebration of the pleasures and tribulations of fatherhood, with a day of princes (and princesses) gathered happily around. A day even an emperor enjoyed!
Many of the artistic and literary descriptions of the father-child relationship in East Asia focused on the Confucian fundamental text, The Classic of Filial Piety (孝經), which is thought to have been written around the 4th-3rd century B.C.E. While the father was responsible for the life, well being, education, and marriage of his children, sons and daughters owed their parents devotion, service, and obedience in turn. This obligation extended into the parents' old age and continued after their deaths, when they then received veneration due to family ancestors. This relationship and its attendant benefits and obligations are seen as being at the literal heart of society.
We will post more images of fathers and their children on AWNY's social media sites this weekend, so keep an eye out for more great works of art of our Dads!
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Samurai armor with dō-maru, Early Edo period, 17th-18th century, courtesy of Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art
Certificate: The armor is accompanied by a certificate of registration as Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho Shiryo (Especially Important Armor Object) no. 1277 issued by the Nihon Katchu Bugu Kenkyu Hozon Kai (Japanese Armor Preservation Society), 2020.11.01
This flamboyant Samurai armor is entirely made of small individual scales (hon-kozane), lacquered in black and gold and laced together with blue, orange, and white silk, in order to create a multicolored pattern.
The helmet (kabuto) is very elaborate, of suji-bachi construction, made of 62 plates joined with hammered rivets, with three gilt-copper shinodare, descending in the front from a rich tehen-no-kanamono (decorative fittings around the edge of the opening at the top of the helmet). The maedate (front ornament) is a classical ken-kuwagata, with stylized horns and a votive sword. The neck protection (shikoro) has the same color-scheme as the whole armor. The cuirass (dō) is of dō-maru type and made into a single piece with individual small scales laced together, which were used in the early suits of armor. As expected in an armor of the early Edo period, the shoulder guards (chū-sode) are small, and the neck protection is of the hineno-type, following the shape of the shoulders.
The suit of armor bears a rare samurai family crest in the design of three white oak leaves. This appears not only on the helmet’s flanges (fukigaeshi), but also on all the gilt-copper support plates (kanamono) of the cuirass.
A raja receives two courtiers by night, possibly from the ‘Small Guler’ Bhagavata Purana series, attributed to the Guler artist Manaku and his family, c. 1740-50, Opaque pigments and gold on paper, 17.8 × 28.2 cm, including a narrow orange border, Inscribed in Devanagari on the verso (wrongly): 3 Raga Hindola; Provenance: Ludwig Habighorst collection
A wide array of works from the dealers participating in our Autumn 2021 virtual exhibition was sold. Here are some of the highlights:
Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.
(top of page) Wakao Toshisada (b. 1933), Shino Glazed Long Platter with Bamboo design, c. Late 1980's, Shino glazed Stoneware, (h) 3.8" x (w) 22.7" x (d) 11.2"; (h) 9.8 x (w) 57.8 x (d) 28.5cm.
In the Shino-glazed platter by Wakao Toshisada (b. 1933), the artist recalls a scene from Taketori Monogatari or The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter: the bamboo grove casting long shadows under a milky white moonlight.
William Simpson (British, 1823-99), The Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, dated 1864, Watercolor on paper, inscribed at l.l. Wuzzeer’s Mosque Lahore, signed at center foreground Wm. Simpson 1864, 31.5 by 48.4 cm.; 12 3/8 by 19 in.
One of the nineteenth century’s most accomplished and prolific topographical artists, Simpson travelled widely in India and the Middle and Far East and was patronized by Queen Victoria. His work can be found in the Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Yale Center for British Art.
Tai Xiangzhou (b. China, 1968), Celestial Tale – The Leaping Dragons in Crystal Sound, scroll, mounted and framed, ink on silk, ca. 2021, Inscribed and signed with one seal of the artist, dated May 18th, xingchou year (2021), 12 2/5 × 55 3/25 in/ 31.5 × 140 cm.
The key to Tai’s practice is his dual concern with modern physics and ancient Chinese cosmology. He is particularly interested in topological phase transition, the process by which physical objects transform between gas, liquid, and solid states.
Ken Matsubara (1948-present), Crescent Moon, Painting, H35 x W49 in, H88.9 x W124.46 cm.
Featured worldwide from the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum to Paris and Cologne, Matsubara’s paintings are serene, drifting, yet contained and dynamic. From intense brush strokes to delicate texture, each painting represents a return to nature, an appreciation, and consideration of the earth and natural elements.
Hu Jing (paintings dated 1609-1640), “Retreat Under Pines” 1640, Hanging scroll, ink on figured silk, 112.0 x 44.6 cm. (44 1/8 x 17 1/2 in.) Inscription: “During the tenth lunar month of the year 1640, painted by Xianqing at the Xiangxue Studio.” Artist’s seals: Hu Jingzhi yin; Wolu
Hu Jing, born in Nanping in Fujian province, trained as a scholar, known for his poetry and calligraphy, became a monk toward the end of his life. The “Retreat Under Pines” is distinguished by the artist’s use of a figured silk as ground for his painting. The juxtaposition here of its subtle pattern with the painted image yields an interesting pictorial tension and rewards close viewing of the painting.
Vishnu, South India, Tamil Nadu, Vijayanagara period, 16th century, Copper alloy 28 in. (71.1 cm.) high.
Just as those created in Tamil Nadu in prior centuries, this copper alloy sculpture of Vishnu from the Vijayanagara period, 16th century, was both an important temple commission as well as an object of transient worship, as it is fitted for processions with bronze loops and tangs at its base.
Henry Spencers and Son Auctioneers, The Square, Retford, January 1996.
Private New York collection, since the early 2000s.
Itō Hidehito (b. 1971) "Space" craquelure celadon-glazed, flattened round sculpture with ridged waist 2021, Glazed porcelain 9 3/8 x 16 3/4 in.
“Space” is one of Itō’s first fully sculptural works. The flattened sphere is, upon closer inspection, a half-rounded base capped by a slightly larger, flattened dome heightened by thick layers of dripping glaze around the ridged waist. The artist’s mastery of glaze is on full display in this, one of his largest works ever, as the glass-like surface reveals a “cracked ice” effect underneath in brilliant blue.
Takahashi Shotei (Hiroaki), 1871-1945, Famous Places in Nikko, Snow, Moon & Flowers, signed at lower right Hiroaki with artist's seal Shotei, with publisher's seal at lower right, (limited edition of 300), ca. 1929, oban tate-e 15 1/2 by 10 1/4 in., 39.5 by 26.1 cm.
The role of Takahashi Hiroaki (Shotei) in the shin-hanga movement is arguably as integral as it has been overlooked. He was one of the most prolific among the shin-hanga artists. This print is from a series published by Fusui Gabo in 1929, Famous Places in Nikko (Nikko Meisho) which included three designs based on the classical theme of Snow, Moon, and Flowers (Setsugekka) and all three designs are quite scarce.
“Starry Night,” porcelain sculpture by Ipek Kotan. It is the largest piece in the group of works presented in the first one-woman New York show by the Turkish-born ceramic artist. She re-fired it several times since 2015 to get the glaze to crystalize in such a way.
A yellow Chinese Jade Brushwasher with Rams, Qing Dynasty (Estimate: $10,000/15,000)
Lark Mason Associates is pleased to announce that its autumn 2021 Asian art sale opens for bidding on October 5th through October 21st on iGavel Auctions. With over 500 lots on sale, the auction centers around a strong collection of approximately 70 archaic and later jades that were purchased mainly in the 1970's from reputable sources, including Christie's, Sotheby's, Spink & Son's and other galleries. Many jades have a copy of the original invoice and often the original sale date and lot number. The collection features several examples of yellow jade, including a beautiful yellow jade water coupe carved with three rams that dates to the Qianlong period. It also includes several archaic jade blades, cong-form carvings and a Huang- form jade dating to the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Rounding out the sale are over 100 lots of Japanese arms, including swords, blades, tsubas and other sword fittings, dating from the 15th-19th centuries.
A large 17th/18th century Chinese Bronze Jardiniere, (Estimate: $20,000-40,000)
Among the top highlights are a large 17th/18th century Chinese Bronze Jardiniere, (Estimate: $20,000-40,000); a green Chinese Jade Brush Pot, Republic Period (1912-1949), (Estimate: $12,000-18,000); a yellow Chinese Jade Brushwasher with Rams, Qianlong Period (1735-1796), (Estimate: $10,000/15,000); an 18th/19th century Chinese Red and Black Lacquer Table Cabinet, (Estimate: $8,000/12,000.
The Japanese arms and armor will be on display at the Braunfels, Texas sales room, 210 W. Mill Street. Hours are Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The New York sales room, located at 227 E. 120th Street, is open by appointment only. Phone 212-289-5524 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
A Partial Chinese Imperial Falangcai European-Subject Porcelain Vase, Qianlong four-character seal mark in blue and of the period, Height 4 7/8 inches, width overall 4 inches. Doyle, Asian Art sale, lot 189.
A rare and important Chinese Imperial falangcai vase achieved the week’s top price, $2.45 million at Doyle’s Asian Works of Art auction. It is one of a rare group of wares created during the reign of Qianlong (1735-1796), of which there are very few extant examples. The vase was the star of the collection of Belk department store heiress and philanthropist Sarah Belk Gambrell (1918-2020). Determined bidders from around the globe competing via telephone sent the vase soaring over its pre-sale estimate of $100,000/300,000.
The highlight of the sales at Bonhams was a gilt copper alloy figure of Yamantaka Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali, Ming dynasty, 15th Century, which fetched $687,812 in the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art sale. Unusually large in scale at a foot and half high, the figure was exhibited in the National Palace Museum in Taipei in 1987 as part of a landmark exhibition dedicated to Buddhist Art from the prestigious Nitta Group Collection (lot 1207, est. $600/800,000).
Paintings from their sale, The Reverend Richard Fabian Collection of Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy III were sought after, particularly a hanging scroll in ink and color on paper by the well-known modern artist Huang Binhong (1865-1955). The work brought $275,312, far more than the $100/150,000 estimate (lot 11).
One of the top lots in the Important Japanese Art sale at Christie's was an iron articulated sculpture of a mythical beast (Shachi) from the Edo period (18th century), signed Toto Ju Myochin Shikibu (Sosuke), which sold for $625,000, above the estimate of $120,000/170,000 (lot 12).
Jehangir Sabavala (1922-2011), The Embarkation, oil on canvas, 42 ¼ x 32 ¼ in. (107.3 x 81.9 cm.), Painted in 1965, Christie's, South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art, lot 624.
The week's highest price at the same house was $1,590,000 for The Embarkation, a much-published work by major modern artist, Jahangir Sabavala (1922-2011) in the South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art sale (lot 624, est. $300/500,000). The work achieved a world auction record for the artist. The painting, an oil on canvas, was painted in 1965, a period when Sabavala’s work underwent important changes.
Property from the Springfield Museums, sold to support art acquisitions and collections care, did very well in the house’s Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale. Two late Ming, 15th century gilt-bronze figures of deities did the best, selling for $1,158,000, more than double the $300/500,000 estimate (lot 601). They are notable for their large size and fine casting.
Chinese paintings were the stars at the Heritage Auctions Asian Art sale. Scholars and Attendants with Painting, a hanging scroll in ink and color on silk, attributed to 14th century artist Chen Yu (1313-1384), sold for $137,500, many times the $15/20,000 estimate (lot 78233).
Prices were very strong for many of the archaic bronzes from the MacClean Collection, sold in the Sotheby's sale of Important Chinese Art. The first lot, an extremely rare pair of late Shang Dynasty archaic bronze ritual vessels (ding), were the stars. They sold for $1,895,500, multiples of the $200/300,000 estimate. Not only do very few pairs of such vessels survive, but their inscriptions, Zi Gong, seem to have been rendered partly in mirrored image, identifying them as a true pair.
A Copper Alloy Figure of Vishnu, Bhudevi and Sridevi, South India, Vijayanagar, circa 14th/15th Century, Height of tallest 15 in. (38.1 cm), Sotheby's Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art, lot 371
The highest selling Indian & Southeast Asian antiquity in the recent week of sales was a copper alloy figure of Vishnu, Bhudevi and Sridevi, from South India, Vijayanagar, circa 14th/15th Century. It brought $685,500, a reflection of the rarity as well as the exceptional quality of the group (lot 371, estimate $200/300,000). The Alice Boney and Pan Asian Collection provenance was an additional asset.
Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2021 Presenting Sponsor. Learn more about another one of their stunning retreats below!
The Laigu lodge is Songtsam’s highest property and is one of the most unique heritage hotels to be found in the world (it was the Winner for best Architectural Design by Heritage Architecture and received The Architecture MasterPrize 2019). With the prime consideration given to the preservation of natural and Tibetan cultural heritage, the building was designed with modular prefabrication and embedded under a high cliff hidden from sight. The project pays special attention to environmental sustainability in tectonic design and construction. Complete with twenty guest rooms, each one has a breathtaking view of Rawu Lake and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The lodge is equipped with state of art oxygen concentrator technology to achieve a 24-hour closed oxygen supply. The floor heating is imported from Denmark and the floor-to-ceiling triple-layered vacuum glass windows provide warmth and UV protection.
Destinations & Activities
At an elevation of 3,800 metres, Rawu Tso (Ranwu Lake) is the largest lake in eastern Tibet and to the west is one of the three largest glaciers in the world. Nearby there is an ancient village that inhabits a dozen families. This rural area is one of the word’s best-kept secrets and is nestled amongst glaciers, snow-capped mountains and lakes.
Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2020 Presenting Sponsor. Learn more about another one of their stunning properties below!
Songtsam’s first lodge opened its doors in 2001 and underwent a renovation in 2019. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Shangri-La, the lodge is located in Kna Village only a 2-minute walk to the Songzanlin Monastery. The lodge is a beautiful four-storey stone building housed in a traditional Tibetan dwelling within a self-sufficient farming village, where founder Pema Dorjee spent his childhood. Rooms excel in creating a true feeling of home, all of which are decorated in a Tibetan style and balanced with modern comforts. The inside of the property exhibits an impressive collection of hand-picked antique furniture, Tibetan Thangkas, and handicrafts, as well as traditional intricately woven carpets featured throughout the lodge.
Destinations & Activities
Shangri-La is the capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, China with an altitude of 3,200 metres. It has been long viewed as a paradise on earth with its majestic landscapes, diverse cultures, and deep spirituality. Located in a wide valley Shangri-La is surrounded by mountain ranges on all four sides. It is the capital of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the gateway to the ancient Tibetan kingdom. The region is characterised by snow-capped mountain peaks, pristine forests and lakes, as well as traditional Tibetan villages with white-walled and richly decorated buildings. There are many beautiful hiking routes to explore the mountains, lakes, and idyllic villages and pastures.
Songtsam is Asia Week New York's 2020 Presenting Sponsor. Learn more about another one of their stunning properties below!
Part of a mixed Tibetan/Lisu farming community, Songtsam Lodge Tacheng enjoys a comfortable climate and boats the region’s most fertile land. The spacious and cozy rooms in the main building face beautiful terraced rice fields and mountains in the distance. The lodge is elegantly designed to showcase fine Chinese art and style; big windows and balconies enable guests to take in the stunning rural scenery.
The year-round climate yields an abundance of fruits and nuts, growing alongside terraced fields of rice, wheat and grapes. Meals in Tacheng benefit from a rich supply of locally grown organic vegetables all year round, as well as wild honey, fish, and ham that might just be the best in China.
Tacheng is also home to the endangered Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti). The endearing wildlife, idyllic environment, and relaxing atmosphere make it popular for family excursions and romantic getaways.
Destinations & Activities
At an altitude of 1,900 metres, Tacheng County is located between the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers, where some of the best old-growth forests in the world can be found. This is one of the most fertile valleys, yielding, among other crops, plentiful amounts of rice and fruit. The semi-wild boars, which feed on wild nuts before winter, make the best ham in the world. Tacheng is also famous for its rich Tibetan culture and Naxi and Lisu villages, with charming, distinctive black-roofed farmhouses.
The rare Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), is one of the world’s most endangered primates with less than 2,000 found in the wild. They live at the highest altitude of any primate (3,000-4,500 metres), excluding humans.
The journey down the Mekong River from Meili to Tacheng is simply incredible. Within only 250 kilometres, the road winds through vastly different landscapes, and includes descending from high to low altitude and experiencing cooler to warmer climates, Tibetan and Lisu culture, buckwheat crops and rice fields, and different styles of architecture.
From Cizhong to Tacheng, the countryside is incredibly beautiful. Industry is absent and the area’s natural beauty remains untouched. As passers-by, travellers will see farmers singing in the fading light while working in the fields.
On July 23, 2020, curators Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, Sarah Laursen and Sarah Fee presented three magnificent museum exhibitions that were either postponed or not available for viewing due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Up Closeat The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Lost Luxuries: Ancient Chinese Gold attheMiddlebury College Museum of Art; and The Cloth That Changed the World: India's Painted and Printed CottonsatThe Royal Ontario Museum.
Watch the full recording below, or jump to: 02:48 - Joseph Scheier-Dolberg / the Met 13:29 - Sarah Laursen / Middlebury College Museum of Art 28:51 - Sarah Fee / Royal Ontario Museum 41:21 - Q&A