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Cui hanging scroll may lead modern Chinese paintings sale

For more than four decades Jane Miller Chai amassed a collection of unique Asian art and artifacts. On March 2 bidders the collection of the late Ms. Chai is coming to auction.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Jane Miller Chai Collection of Chinese paintings March 2.

Modern Artists Headlining Chinese Paintings Offerings

Offering 20 lots acquired over more than 40 years, the small but significant collection primarily features modern works by noted artists Li Keran (1907-1989), Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996), Cui Zifan (1915-2011) and Ding Yanyong (1902-1978). An antique work by Dong Bangda (1699-1769) is also a highlight of the collection.

The auction will begin at 7 p.m. Pacific time. The online auction will appear live on four platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, eBay and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app. The app is accessible from the App Store or Google Apps (“Turner Auctions”).

Collecting Stateside and Abroad

John Way painting

Untitled, oil on paper, John Way, circa 1977, with an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

Born in Southern California in 1938, Jane Miller Chai had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, editor, teacher and author on matters related to Asia. After graduating from Stanford University in Far Eastern History, she held a number of positions that reflected her interest in Asian culture and passion for Asian arts. She was Editor for Asia at the Japanese Reader’s Digest in Tokyo.

In more recent years, she was Associate Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and taught on the San Francisco peninsula on subjects such as Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Silk Road (from China to Rome). In addition, she wrote “Tiger and the Hare,” a semi-autobiographical historical novel set during the Vietnam War; and was co-author of “Pacific Security” with Dr. Claude A. Buss.

Mrs. Chai passed away in 2017. According to her son, Neil Chai, the paintings in this sale were collected at least since the mid-1970s. Some were acquired when his mother lived and traveled in Southeast Asia, and some through an art dealer and close friend in San Francisco.

Highlights in the Sale

• “Dragonfly, Hibiscus, and Sago Palm,” 1982, ink and color on paper,

Chinese scroll painting

Landscapes with buffaloes, ink on paper, Yang Mingyi ($1,200-$1,500) (All photos courtesy of Turner Auctions + Appraisals).

hanging scroll, by Cui Zifan, carries an estimate of $4,000 to $5,000.
• “Mountain Landscape,” circa 1962, Lu Shoukun, ink and color on paper, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.
• “Magnolia with Bird,” circa 1978, ink and color on paper, Ding Yanyong, with an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000.
• “Landscape with Buffaloes, Yang Mingyi,” with an estimate of $1,200 to $1,500.
• “River Landscape with Boats, Dong Bangda,” ink and color on silk, with an estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.

For more information, visit, email, or call 415-964-5250.

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