Leads Bonhams Fine Chinese Paintings In Hong Kong

Fine Chinese Paintings
1 Oct 2018
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Hong Kong – A rediscovered masterpiece by the Chinese master Fu Baoshi (1904-1965), Spring Morning at Mount Shao, painted in 1961 and unseen in public since 1968, leads the Fine Chinese Paintings auction on Monday 1 October in Hong Kong. It is the artist's largest known painting on the subject, and has captured the attention of collectors worldwide.

Making its debut at auction, this piece comes from a distinguished private British collection, and was acquired in Hong Kong more than half a century ago. It returns to Hong Kong with four other pieces from the collection, including a further two paintings by Fu Baoshi – Appreciating the Chrysanthemum Under the Pine Trees (1945) estimated at HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000 and Mount Shao (1965) estimated at HK$1,500,000 - 2,500,000.

The sale presents 136 fine pieces – from the late-Song dynasty to the present day – sourced from highly regarded private collections that boast exceptional provenance. Featuring masterpieces by Emperor Lizong, Senior Late-Qing Officials, Fu Baoshi, Lin Fengmian and Zhang Daqian, the sale is estimated to surpass HK$80 million.

Poem in Regular Script (1259), inscribed on a silk fan, and attributed to the Song Emperor Lizong (1225-1264) is another sale highlight. It has been in the collections of renowned owners, including Pan Zhengwei (1791-1850), Kong Guangtao (1832-1890), Zhu Xingzhai (1902-1970) and Sa Rongcun (1911-1988) and extensively published. This calligraphic work is said to be part of the Southern Song Emperors and Empress fan-leaf album, which was previously purchased by John M. Crawford (1913-1988) from Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), and is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is believed that the current piece was separated from the rest of the album when Pan Zhengwei's Tingfanlou collection was scattered.

The iconic painters immortalised by the phrase 'Zhang in the South and Pu in the North' are also featured in the sale. Zhang Daqian's (Chang Dai-Chen, 1899-1983) Album of Landscapes, Flowers, Self-Portrait and Calligraphy (1955) consists of 14 leaves. As each leaf unfolds, three exquisite landscapes gradually present themselves. It is estimated at HK$4,500,000 - 5,500,000, while Pu Ru's (1896-1963) Peony (1955) from a Hong Kong private collection, carries an estimate of HK$250,000 - 350,000.

The sale features a further three pieces by Zhang Daqian, including Landscape (1963) which is estimated at HK$ 2,800,000 - 3,800,000.

The auction also includes another work from a British private collector – Jiufang Gao and the Horse (1940) by Xu Beihong (1895-1953), estimated at HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000. The artist was fascinated with this ancient figure, and painted the historical subject over 19 times. Embodying Xu Beihong's belief that 'a person cannot be arrogant, but must be gracious', this painting, created at the peak of the artist's career, marries the western figurative tradition with oriental brushstrokes, vividly conveying the powerful character in the story.

A body of 50 paintings from the Tanyuan Shanfang collection, formed between the 1970s and 2000s, feature a series of calligraphy by late-Qing dynasty influential government officials including Lin Zexu (1785-1850), Zeng Guofan (1811-1872), Zuo Zongtang (1812-1885), Weng Tonghe (1830-1904) and Liang Dingfen (1859-1919). They provide a unique glimpse into the cultural landscape of the time. The collection also includes a number of modern paintings, including an early masterpiece by Zhao Shao'ang (1905-1998) – Parrot Perching on Cotton Tree (1930) estimated at HK$300,000 - 500,000.

There are several other pieces by Zhao Shao'ang in the sale, including those collected by renowned Hong Kong doctor Chen Deguang, owner of Henglu Studio, and a beloved student of the artist. They are presented at auction for the very first time.

The sale also features three pieces by Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), including Lotus Pond, estimated at HK$3,000,000 - 5,000,000 from a private Hong Kong collector who acquired it in the mid-1990s. 


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

  1. Iris Miao
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