BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Last year I.M. Chait took a different approach in planning its Asia Week sale: Rather than conducting the annual auction in New York amid the frenetic environment of Asia Week, the firm opted to hold the sale in its Beverly Hills gallery. That way, reasoned founder Isadore M. Chait, visitors traveling from Asia to New York could
stop over in Los Angeles and get a relaxed head start on their buying. Chait’s experimental 2013 California-based sale was a success, taking in $3.4 million. This year, the Asia Week auction will be held at the firm’s Beverly Hills gallery March 23, the Sunday immediately following Asia Week New York, beginning at 1 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Several noted collections lead the auction lineup, including a Chinese snuff bottle collection, which opens the sale. Nearly 100 bottles are cataloged, including examples carved from ivory, agate, glass, chalcedony, quartz crystal, jadeite and jade; and other precious and semi-precious materials. A highly detailed lac burguate snuff bottle in the form of a lady in a mother-of-pearl inlaid dress, playing a “stringed” instrument, is estimated at $1,500 to $2,000. Another figural bottle, depicting an empress holding a fan and a musical instrument, doubles as a brooch/pendant and is estimated at $1,200 to $2,500.
Fine Chinese ceramics from two collections include treasures of the Han, Tang, Yuan and Ming Dynasties, plus Transitional and numerous Qing pieces. A 14th-century, 15 1/2-inch-tall Yuan Dynasty blue and white porcelain jar with ovoid form and unusually molded dragon-fish handles is estimated at $150,000 to $250,000.
Leading the bronzes is a 15th-century early Ming Dynasty Xuande gilt-bronze Bodhisattva in a graceful, seated pose. The 9-7/8-inch figure is elaborately decorated with cast “jewelry,” headdress and other adornments, and is expected to make $250,000 to $350,000.
A selection of scholarly Chinese calligraphy scrolls comes to auction with impeccable provenance. Among the offerings is a pair of finely detailed ink and color on silk scroll paintings, each with a depiction of a Lohan. Each of the signed and sealed scrolls measures 94-1/2-by-27 inches, and together they are expected to achieve $12,000 to $15,000.
For additional information on any lot in the sale or to obtain a fully illustrated color catalog ($35 plus shipping), call 800-775-5020 or 310-285-0182; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the company online at www.chait.com.