Bonhams Presents Five Asian Art Sales in London This May

London- Bonhams will present five Asian Art sales this May: Asian Art (10 May), Roger Keverne Ltd: Moving On – Part 1 (11 May), The H Collection of Chinese Huanghuali Furniture, Archaic Bronzes and Japanese Art (13 May), Fine Chinese Art: including Exceptional Textiles Curated by Linda Wrigglesworth (13 May), and Snow, Sex and Spectacle: Japanese Art across Six Centuries (13 May). All lots will be on preview from 7 to 12 May in their respective saleroom in Knightsbridge and New Bond Street.


Asian Art
10 May, London Knightsbridge

Bonhams Asian Art sale on 10 May in London, Knightsbridge will offer a variety of Asian porcelain, works of art, textiles, paintings and furniture. Highlights include a late 19th century Manchu Lady's Padded Black Silk Embroidered Surcoat, Gua (estimate: £3,000-5,000). Surcoats, gua or waitao, were worn over robes in most formal and informal court and domestic occasions. Often expressing personal preferences rather than rank or occasion, Formal domestic surcoats would have been worn for domestic occasions such as weddings, important birthdays, births or New Year celebrations.

Other highlights include a Copper-Alloy Figure of Amitayus, 18th Century (estimate: £3,000-5,000), and a Ningxia 'Brocade Pattern' Carpet, North China, Late Qing Dynasty, woven with a large central brocade design within borders of religious motifs and Daoist emblem panels reserved on a geometric floral pattern ground (estimate: £6,000-8,000).


Roger Keverne Ltd: Moving On
11 May (Part 1), 7 June (Part 2), London New Bond Street

A life in Chinese art: over his long career, Roger Keverne met royalty-and his wife Miranda Clarke.

Bonhams is honoured to be instructed to auction the entire contents of the long-established London Chinese art dealership Roger Keverne Ltd in two dedicated single-owner Chinese art auctions to be held in New Bond Street, London. The first part will be held on 11 May and the second and final part will be held on 7 June 2021. All lots to be sold at no reserve, the two sales comprise over 800 lots celebrating the broad range of Chinese ceramics, archaic and later bronzes, jades, lacquer, cloisonné and painted enamel, and other works of art in which the distinguished London dealer Roger Keverne specialised for over 50 years.

Highlights include:
A Very Rare and Large Archaic Bronze Ritual Wine Vessel, Fanglei, Shang Dynasty (estimate: £50,000-80,000).
A Very Fine and Rare Pale Green Jade Marriage Bowl, Qianlong (estimate: £30,000-50,000).
A Rare Large Polychromed Limestone Figure of a Luohan, 9th/10th century (estimate: £30,000-50,000).


The H Collection of Chinese Huanghuali Furniture, Archaic Bronzes and Japanese Art
13 May, London New Bond Street

Bonhams is honoured to offer at auction The H Collection: Chinese Furniture, Archaic bronzes and Japanese Art. The remarkable collection includes over 80 pieces, comprising an important group of rare classical huanghuali furniture, early archaic bronze ritual vessels, ceramics, jades and scholar's works of art, as well as Japanese screens, works of art, arms and armour. Selected highlights will be on preview in London New Bond Street saleroom from 8 to 12 May, before going under the hammer on 13 May.

The distinguished European private collection was formed to the highest aesthetical and collecting standards setting a benchmark of quality and refinement, exuding elegance and fluidity through the classical furniture's simple silhouettes and austere forms, conveying the owners' tenacious pursuit of understated sophistication and stylistic excellence, perfectly blending the past with modern living.

The core part of the collection revolves around the timeless Chinese classical furniture dating from the Ming dynasty in the 1550s to the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, all made from the lustrous prized huanghuali wood. Examples from the collection were formerly sold by leading dealers including Grace Wu Bruce, Nicholas Grindley and Marcus Flacks.

Highlights include:
An Important and Exceedingly Rare Huanghuali Rectangular Day-Bed, Ta, circa 1550-1600 (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000).
A Magnificent Huanghuali Square Games Table, Qizhuo, 18th century (estimate: £700,000-1,000,000).
An Extremely Rare Huanghuali Low-Back Continuous Yokeback Armchair, Nanguanmaoyi, 17th century (estimate: £300,000-500,000).


Fine Chinese Art: including Exceptional Textiles Curated by Linda Wrigglesworth
13 May, London New Bond Street

An Exceptionally Rare Imperial Yellow-Ground Silk Embroidered 'Ladies and Lions' Screen Panel
Qianlong. Estimate: £100,000-150,000.

Highlights include:

• The sale highlights 16 lots of fine Chinese Imperial and Court textiles curated by leading expert Linda Wrigglesworth over the past four decades, led by An Exceptionally Rare Imperial Yellow-Ground Silk Embroidered 'Ladies and Lions' Screen Panel, Qianlong (estimate: £100,000-150,000). The superb satin-stitch embroidery, combined with the rich yellow ground, the meticulous attention to detail and the extraordinary sense of realism and liveliness, reflect the highest standards achieved by Imperial commission during the Qianlong period-the zenith of the silk industry.

The graduated shape and size of the panels suggest that it was made for an Imperial screen. The allusion to Immortality, conveyed by the subjects depicted on the present screen panel, indicates that this textile may have been created to celebrate the birthday of Dowager empress Chongqing (1669-1777), mother of the Qianlong emperor. Depicting a continuous scene of eight female Immortals engaging in leisurely activities with nine playful Buddhist lions, the screen panel may have been commissioned for the Dowager empress's residence, the Palace of Longevity and Health among objects underscoring wishes for longevity.

An Exceptionally Rare Silver Pouring Vessel, Yi, Second Half of 13th Century (estimate: £80,000-120,000). This vessel would have probably served to mix wine before pouring it into cups for drinking. The shape probably derived from a metal prototype fitted with a small loop beneath the spout, which may have been used to hang the bowl from the belt of Mongol horsemen, who were known for suspending weapons and other necessities from their waist.

A Very Rare Gilt-bronze Figure of Vajraputra,14th/15th Century (estimate: £50,000-80,000). Vajraputra was a lion hunter before converting to Buddhism. After the attained Enlightenment, a little lion came playfully to his side. The animal seemed to be grateful to him for giving up the life of killing lions, sparing its parents and brothers. Since then, Vajraputra and the lion have become inseparable. The present figure is a rare and fine example of Buddhist portraiture, displaying remarkable casting and vividly exemplified craftmanship in the figure's gentle facial expression, the tight curls of the hair and beard, and the elegant features of the garments.


Snow, Sex and Spectacle: Japanese Art across Six Centuries
13 May, London New Bond Street

Snow landscapes, traditional sex scenes and a spectacular bronze vessel ornamented with birds and flowers are among the highlights of Bonhams upcoming sale of Japanese Art across Six Centuries.

The snow scenes form part of a large private collection of works by Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), an artist famous for reviving the woodblock print with evocative landscapes depicting both the traditional life of Japan and the changing face of its cities. Snow at Tsukishima depicts a solitary figure making his way under telegraph poles through a snowstorm in a newly developed district of Tokyo. The lot is dated in 1930, carrying an estimate of £1,200-1,800.

The sale offers 30 lots of racy erotic prints from some of the greatest masters of the shunga ('spring picture') genre, including a rare set of twelve scenes from the album 'Picture Book: Patterns of Couples' by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), the most famous of all Asian artists. Rich in exaggerated detail and leaving nothing to the imagination, Hokusai's compositions combine tenderness and passion and depict a range of adventurous positions and locations. This rare set carries an estimate of £6,000-8,000.

No Bonhams Japanese sale is complete without a generous selection of masterpieces from the Meiji era (1868-1912), when the once-closed nation opened up to the world and pioneering craft entrepreneurs vied to produce impressive goods for global expositions and wealthy globetrotters. Our top Meiji highlight is a spectacular inlaid bronze ornamental vessel (estimate: 80,000-100,000). Its rich encrustations of bird-and-flower decoration, executed in patinated bronze alloys made exclusively in Japan, are typical of pieces commissioned by trading companies during the period leading up to the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition (1893), when the Japanese exhibits were said by one commentator to have an "air of having come from somewhere beyond the stars."


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