Chinese hunting chairs top out at $26,880 in NY auction


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Huanghuali Chinese folding hunting chairs with hemp seats and brass trim; realized $26,880. Photos courtesy Finney's Auction Service

SCHODACK, N.Y. – A beautiful pair of Huanghuali Chinese folding hunting chairs with hemp seats and brass trim sold for $26,880 at a sale of the estate of the late Dr. Kevin-John McIntyre, held June 12 by Finney’s Auction Service. The sale was held in Finney’s gallery facility, at 1568 Columbia Turnpike in Schodack, located about 15 minutes from Albany.

Huanghuali is a Chinese term that literally means yellow flowering pear wood. It is a member of the rosewood family. Most Huanghuali furniture was manufactured from the mid-Ming dynasty to the late Qianlong dynasty. Over time, the materials needed to make Huanghuali pieces gradually disappeared. What survives today is highly prized by collectors of Huanghuali.

The hunting chairs were the top lot of the sale, at which hundreds of fresh-to-the-market items crossed the block. Over the course of Dr. McIntyre’s life, he amassed impressive collections of Oriental antiquities, European art, nautical items and rare antiques. All of these were auctioned without reserve.

“By any measure, this sale was a success,” said Sharon Finney of Finney’s Auction Service. “We had 118 on-site registered bidders, 150 phone bidders and 189 people registered to bid online, via LiveAuctioneers.com. Bids poured in from around the world. The items included Asian furniture and artifacts, telescopes, scientific items, early maps, erotica and art.”

Dr. McIntyre’s career included stints as senior vice president of The Discovery Channel-Asia, university professor, foreign service diplomat, documentary filmmaker and authority on Asian culture. He wrote and produced a six-part film series titled “Artifacts,” which detailed the history of porcelain, calligraphy, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk in Asia.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 12 percent buyer’s premium.

Other Huanghuali pieces included a glass-top table 86 inches long, with eight round-leg chairs, two with arms ($10,800); an altar table with two drawers ($1,344); a canted display cabinet with two small drawers under the shelf ($3,920); a Ming hoof foot day bed ($3,080); a 2-door cupboard with brass backplate and dragon figures ($2,800); and a design cabinet ($2,240).

A pair of circa 1725 celestial and terrestrial globes went for $4,480. The globes, each measuring 20 inches tall, came with mahogany stands and a travel log from 1925, when repair work was done. The stands were circa 1967. A cartouche on the globe read “By B. Martin, Fleet Street.” Also, an early 1700s armillary sphere on a wood turned base also gaveled for $4,480.

An original oil on canvas landscape painting by the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), 7 1/2 inches by 11 inches, signed by the artist and housed in a gilt frame, rose to $5,040, while an oil on canvas painting by English landscape artist Sidney Percy (1821-1886), titled Grazing and measuring 14 inches by 20 inches, signed and framed, commanded $4,760.

An 1854 oil on board painting of a field landscape by the American painter William Stanley Haseltine (1835-1900), signed, 13 inches by 15 1/2 inches, housed in a gilt frame, climbed to $2,520. Also, an early painting of a Chinese seaport topped out at $3,640, and an embroidered Chinese silk panel (circa 1785), titled Long Pao, 83 inches by 62 inches, framed, sold for $1,400.

A late Ming dynasty Jing du Jiang blue and white bowl, 16 inches in diameter, breezed to $4,760; a 16-inch Oriental vase with peacocks and birds demanded $2,520; a 12-inch Asian blue and white floral vase went to a determined bidder for $3,080; and a blue and white Oriental lamp, 14 inches in height, with six character marks had paddles waging before hitting $3,920.

One lot consisting of a framed jade Kang cylinder (circa 550 BC), a jade bi disk (Nephrite, circa 950 BC), and a Kang cylinder (circa 720 AD) together hammered for $1,400. Also, a chronometer pocket watch by Ulysses Nordin, numbered on the face (#124598), in a gorgeous presentation wood box, wowed the crowd before selling for a respectable $4,144.

Finney’s Auction Service’s next big sale is tentatively slated for September, with a date and time still to be determined. Consignments are being accepted for this and all future auctions. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call 518-479-4371 or e-mail finneysauction@nycap.rr.com.

To learn more about Finney’s Auction Service visit www.finneysauction.com.

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More Images:

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Huanghuali glass-top table 86 inches long, with eight round-leg chairs, two with arms, realized $10,800.
featuredImage
This late Ming dynasty Jing du Jiang blue and white bowl, 16 inches in diameter, breezed to $4,760.
featuredImage
This 12-inch Asian blue and white floral vase went to a determined bidder for $3,080.
featuredImage
This early painting of a Chinese seaport topped out at $3,640.

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