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Bronzes, jade and textiles to take center stage at January Asian auction

Among the lots expected to draw top dollar at Kaminski Auctions January Asian auction Jan. 19, is a stunning Qing Dynasty jade censer, and a kesi silk robe.

BEVERLY, Mass. — Kaminski’s upcoming January Asian auction on January 19th will offer a variety of high quality bronze, jade and textile items, among them a monumental jade censer, a kesi robe, a gilt and cloisonné censer, and a carved white jade cup.

A truly exceptional Qing Dynasty monumental jade censer is positioned as the top lot of

Jade censer

Monumental jade censer, China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), carved from a single piece of even white or pale celadon colored jade, and a presale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. (Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

the auction. Carved from a single piece of even white or pale celadon colored jade, the censer features handles with a foo lion heads carved in high relief, and an incised design of archaic patterns, including taotie and other designs. The cover features carved openwork depicting a foo lion playing with ribbons and a ball, atop a custom spinach jade base carved with a ribbed design.

This impressive piece comes from the collection of Mr. S. A., via the collection of Mr. Simon Kriger. Simon Kriger was born in 1900 into the Russian émigré community in Harbin, China and lived as an investment banker in the French Concession of Shanghai until political events lead him to move to America with his family. Residing in Washington D.C. from 1938 onwards he founded “The Asian Cultural Exchange Foundation” an organization whose focus was to promote cultural exchange between Asia and the United States. He was known to the Freer and Smithsonian Collections for having donated objects and is also noted for lending for exhibition an 83 foot scroll painting by artist Giuseppe Castiglione (otherwise known as “Lang Shi Ning”). The present censer remained in Mr. Kriger's possession until the 1970's when it was acquired by Mr. S. A. This 9” high censer is valued at between $20,000 to $30,000.

A large and rare gilt and cloisonne Chinese censer is also predicted to be among the top lots of the day. Made in the 18th or 19th century, the piece is decorated with a design of a flying dragon and is supported by legs in the form of elephants. The censer stands 35 inches high and is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

Kesi dragon robe

Imperial kesi dragon robe, China, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the front woven with a pair of magnificent five-clawed dragons facing each other in gold thread, on an imperial yellow background, 41" x 28," with an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. (Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

The silk robe to be offered in the sale is an excellent example of the traditional kesi, or “cut silk,” technique, in which the method of weaving leaves what appear to be sharp slices in the fabric where two colors meet. Kesi silk designs are famed for their intricacy, and the examples to be offered at Kaminski are no different. Along with the robe, which features two five-clawed dragons on an imperial yellow background, Kaminski will also offer two other pieces of fine embroidery depicting a series of Daoist immortals. Each piece of kesi embroidery is expected to fetch between $2,000 and $5,000.

A number of fine jade items will also surely interest many collectors. The highest valued jade piece of the sale is a finely carved white jade cup. Made in 18th century China, the cup features handles carved in the form of flowers and rings, while the body is covered in the scrolling vegetal design. The cup is presented on a similarly ornate carved and inlaid stand and is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

Other jade lots in the sale include a pair of jade foo lions, inlaid with semi-precious stones, and a white jade alms bowl with archaic designs. The bowl was acquired by Gabriel Lucas Fine Jewelry prior to 1970 and is expected to sell for between $3,000 and $5,000.

The auction will also include a painting of a wisteria branch signed Qi Baishi. The small painting comes from a private New England collection, purchased from Henry Maynard, the Curator at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford CT.

Chinese painting

Painting, China, 20th century, of a wisteria branch, watercolor on paper, signed Qi Baishi, 10 3/8" h x 13 3/8" w, framed 14 3/8" h x 17 1/2" w., and is expected to fetch $3,000 to $4,000. (Photo courtesy Kaminski Auctions)

Porcelain offerings in the sale include a number of pieces from a private New England collector, who purchased them in the 1950s from Frank Caro, C.T. Loo's successor. Most prominent are a famille noire and green glazed vase, and two rouleau form vases.

Following the Asian auction, Kaminski will offer a short session of Continental furnishings and decorative arts. All the items to be offered in the Asian and Continental sessions can be viewed at Preview for the sale will run Thursday through Saturday, January 16th through 18th, from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily, and beginning at 8:00am on January 19th.


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