Fine Japanese Works of Art sale at Bonhams to feature great selection of prints and Korean paintings during Asia Week

Fine Japanese and Korean Art
12 Sep 2012
New York

On September 12, Bonhams will host its third participating auction in New York's Asia Week—Fine Japanese Works of Art.

On offer is an impressive selection of 85 prints, 34 of them by Yoshida Hiroshi from the Collection of Yoshida Chizuko. There are also approximately 51 lots of classical prints including works by Utamaro, Hokusai and Hiroshige—many from the collections of Herbert Evans and Miriam Simpson. An impressive highlight to the group is Kitagawa Utamaro's (ca. 1753-1806) The Hour of the Monkey (Saru no koku), oban tate-e from the series Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara (Seirō jūni toki tsuzuki), ca. 1794-5 (pre-sale estimate $20,000-30,000).

Bonhams will feature a Korean section for the first time in New York which will centre on a private collection of classical and modern Korean paintings and works of art. With 25 lots totaling $125,000-150,000, a highlight to the collection is a four-panel screen of landscapes by Kim Ki-chang (1913-2001), dated 1964, (pre-sale estimate $40,000-60,000) and a very modern work by Kim Tschang-Yeul (b. 1929) depicting seven water drops with shadows and reflections in the centre of the unprimed stretched canvas (pre-sale est. $18,000-25,000).

The fine painting section of the auction includes several modern works. Highlights include Ito Shinsui's (1898-1972) half-portrait of a Japanese maiden gazing at a flowering bush clover, titled Autumn Garden (pre-sale est. $15,000-20,000); Ito Shoha's (1877-1968) half-portrait of a maiden standing near a Japanese maple, titled Young Beauty (pre-sale est. $8,000-12,000).

The screens are highlighted by a 2-panel Hasegawa-school work from the early 17th century, depicting rocks and waves, similar in composition and execution to the famous set of sliding panels by Hasegawa Tohaku, now in the collection of Zenrin-ji temple. It was purchased at Yamanaka, Kyoto in 1966 and scholars today believe it was done by a very close follower of the master (pre-sale estimate $25,000-35,000).

Closing the sale are art works comprised of bronzes, Meiji period ceramics, netsuke and lacquer, ivory okimono and cloisonne enamel. Highlights include a complete cloisonne enamel smoking set by the Ando studio, circa 1900 (pre-sale estimate $2,500-3,500), a small cloisonné enamel vase by Namikawa Yasuyuki with birds in bamboo (pre-sale est. $5,000-7,000) and a remarkable two-panel ivory table screen with deities by Asahi Gyokuzan (pre-sale estimate $8,000-12,000).


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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