BEVERLY HILLS — Rarely has a summer sale of Asian and International Fine Arts looked as impressive as the one coming up at I.M. Chait on June 29. Collectors will find extensive collections of fine Chinese porcelains, particularly blue and white, jade and jadeite carvings and ancient pottery. Folded in among the more than 400 offerings are important collections of Buddhist bronzes and scholars objects. Finally, a remarkable collection of diamond, colored stones and jade jewelry tops off the day.
Properties in the sale come from collections and estates on the West Coast, New York, Florida and Taiwan. Leading the porcelain offerings is Lot 205, a large, early 18th century Yongzheng vase that is rare in both size and shape. Its bulbous and squared body, with squared handles, recalls the archaic bronze form. The masterful and evenly fired Guan-type celadon crackle glaze vase stands 19 ½ inches tall. Bearing the Yongzheng mark, it is estimated at a high of $50,000.
Lot 206, a 14th century Yuan Dynasty bowl leads the strong showing of blue and white offerings. The interior of this deep bowl features a loosely tied bouquet framed by a classic scrolling border at the rim. The outside of the bowl is scrolling foliage and lotus blossoms. It is expected to bring between $20,000 and $30,000.
In the same price range, but of a different period and taste, Lot 208, is a large blue and white Qianlong period covered jar. Impressive at 20 inches tall, the 18th century ovoid beauty is decorated with fully opened lotus blossoms amid scrolling foliage. Lot 207, a Jiaqing cylindrical mallet shaped vase offers yet another version of the blue and white theme as it was interpreted later in the 18th century. This finely rendered vase has alternating floral panels and a long tapering neck festooned with sprays of foliage. Bearing the Jiaqing mark, it carries a high estimate of $25,000.
Also at this top end are two striking examples of single color glazed porcelain items. Lot 210 is an antique Chinese cobalt blue Jiaqing covered vessel. Of Tou-footed form, it is beautifully modeled and carries archaistic geometric bands. In remarkably pristine condition, the cover and base each bear the Jiaqing mark. It is estimated at a high of $15,000. Lot 211 is a spare but stunning white porcelain jar of the Ming Dynasty Yongle period. Of baluster form, it has an all over anhua scrolling lotus design and is expected to draw interest at about $15,000.
The depth of the collection of blue and white porcelains can only be hinted at here, but includes a fine Chenghua censer (Lot 217), a rare Jiajing Ming square dish (Lot 218), a Wanli blue and white box (Lot 219), a Kangxi bottle vase (Lot 225) and a Ming cobalt blue covered jar (Lot 157), to name just a few. The articles range from a high of $15,000 to about $1,000.
There are more than 50 lots of fine jade and jadeite carvings, which have consistently been valued among collectors for their beauty, rarity and workmanship. Lot 240 is a carved white jade vase with animal head handles and a long elegant chain. It is estimated at $25,000. Lot 188 is a celadon jade bowl with intricately carved symbols of the "Immortal of the Waters," the plant of immortality and tender shoots of bamboo, the homophone for "to wish." The 17th or 18th century bowl is expected to draw interest at $20,000. The oldest item in the group is Lot 108, a finely worked ancient Neolithic period jade tool. The wide flat blade has a greenish-gray coloration and is carries a catalog high estimate of $3,000. Other carvings, in colors as deep as spinach, as rare as ginseng and the delicate celadons and whites, include: brush holders, tea pots, censers and floral and animal models and figural groups.
Among pottery figurines, the star is a rare kneeling Bactrian camel laden with "heavy" saddlebags. Lot 191 is of the Northern Qi Dynasty, and with traces of pigment still showing, the camel is estimated at $20,000. Lot 192 is a large prancing horse of the Han dynasty. The delightful creature is expected to fetch between $12,000 and $15,000. Lot 193 is a Northern Qi Dynasty painted bull. Its elegant trappings and elegant horns retain some original pigment and it is estimated to go off at a high of $12,000.
Rare and fine jewels, as always, make an appearance in the final hour of the sale. Notable is the set of diamond pear shaped earrings placed at Lot 309. Suspended from diamond-set bails, the brilliant cut stones weigh 2.0 and 2.11 carats. The classic jewels should fetch $35,000. Lot 308 is a marquise-cut diamond engagement ring weighing 2.15 carats and flanked by tapered baguettes. It is estimated at a high of $12,000. At the same estimate, Lot 299, a diamond and ruby necklace with 15 oval cut rubies weighing approximately 12.5 carats, is well positioned at between $10,000 and $12,000. All told, there are 33 splendid offerings of jewelry.
Buddhas include Lot 228, a Song/Jin glazed stucco head that was illustrated in "Collecting Chinese Antiques in Hong Kong." It is estimated at about $8,000.
There is also a fine collection of Japanese antiques (Lots 273-280) that includes bronzes and swords. Lot 281 is a 17th century Samurai spear (yari).
Collectors of smalls will uncover a fine collection of zitan boxes and brush pots, snuff bottles, blanc de chine items, netsuke and okimono.
Making an appearance at the end of the sale are 18 lots of natural history items, which range in age and category from woolly mammoth hairs to elegant fossil tabletops.