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Asian Deities: a Primer to Religious Figures in Sculpture with a Focus on Gilt Bronze

The imagery of Asian religious sculptural figures can be bewildering. Distinguishing Chinese deities from Japanese and Indian from Thai can be a daunting challenge. With multiple materials ranging from wood to gilt bronze and figures taken from Hindu, Buddhist, and other religions it is not an easy task.

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Chinese Gilt Bronze Figure of Vajrasattva, Early Ming Dynasty $1,530,000.00

 Asian art for sale,Chinese gilt bronze for sale,chinese gilt bronze at auction,Buddhist art for sale,Buddhist art at auction,antique chinese art,ming dynasty chinese art

In this primer I’ll review the most common Asian deities and provide pointers about how to distinguish the sculpture of one Asian culture from another.  This is useful as an introduction and will provide you with an insight into what terms are commonly used in this field, and what they mean.

 

 

 

 

 

MATERIALS

 

WOOD

With sculpture, there is a hierarchy of value based upon material. Generally, the most common figures are those that are made of easy-to-work organic materials, usually wood. Wood figures can be painted or, more commonly, lacquered. Small, carved wooden figures were made in large numbers and are relatively common, while large, imposing wooden figures were most often made for important religious sites, and are therefore much scarcer, and thus usually more valuable.

-Asian art for sale, Chinese gilt bronze for sale, chinese gilt bronze at auction, Buddhist art for sale, Buddhist art at auction, antique chinese art, ming dynasty chinese art.

Khmer Sandstone Torso of a Male Deity, Angkor Period, Bakong Style $12,600.00

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Chinese Lacquered Wood Figure of a Guandi, Ming Dynasty $63,000.00

STONE

Stone religious figures are similar to those in wood, but almost always created for large public buildings. Some were created as architectural embellishments, others as independent sculpture. Many were originally painted, but most have lost their pigments through exposure and often burial. There are many images of buddhas created in Jade, and Jadeite, however we will not address them in this blog.

By far, the most desirable types of religious sculpture for collectors are those in metal, usually bronze. 

GILT BRONZE

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Tibetan Gilt Bronze Figure of a Seated Lama, 16th C. $103,125.00

Bronze is created from an alloy of copper and tin with smaller amounts of other metals. Bronze is less brittle, more durable and melts at a lower temperature than iron; it oxidizes only superficially. While most Hindu and Buddhist bronze figures are undecorated, others are covered in colored lacquer, and the highest-quality figures are those that are gilded. A lacquered or gilded surface enhances the appearance, and reflects the special devotional aspects of the figure.

“figures are often associated with legends, stories of great accomplishments that are represented by symbolic imagery that is meant to remind the viewer of the event.”

Gilding bronze can be accomplished by two processes. Mercury gilding is achieved by an amalgam of mercury mixed with gold, which is heated in a furnace where the mercury evaporates, leaving the gold on the surface. Once the gold has been annealed to the surface, it is polished, resulting in a resplendent shine. A less costly and less complicated process covers the bronze with thin sheets of gold under a transparent or burgundy lacquer surface.

IMAGERY

 

Asian art for sale, Chinese gilt bronze for sale, chinese gilt bronze at auction, Buddhist art for sale, Buddhist art at auction, antique chinese art, ming dynasty chinese art.

Mongolian Gilt Bronze Seated Figure, Tara, 17th/18th C. $487,500.00

In Asia, gilded bronze figures are found in the Himalayan cultures of India, Tibet, and Nepal; China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and other Asian societies. Gilded bronze figures are the apogee of metal sculpture. Most figures have a devotional purpose and are either Hindu or Buddhistic and frequently incorporate elements from both sources. 

Images are often distinguished by their attributes, which are physical characteristics that represent an element of their personality, protective powers, or emotions. A vengeful figure will often have a grimacing expression; a benevolent figure, an expression of calm and quiet dignity. Protective figures will sometimes brandish swords or other weapons. In addition to the appearance, figures are often associated with legends, stories of great accomplishments that are represented by symbolic imagery that is meant to remind the viewer of the event.

MUDRA

Asian art for sale, Chinese gilt bronze for sale, chinese gilt bronze at auction, Buddhist art for sale, Buddhist art at auction, antique chinese art, ming dynasty chinese art.

Tibetan Gilt Bronze Figure of a Seated Lama, 16th C. $103,125.00

Ritual hand gestures, called mudra, originated from dance, where positioning the hands and fingers in a specific manner would have an effect on the dancer and also convey meaning to the viewer. Many bronze figures of Asian deities have the hands displaying a particular mudra. 

The abhaya mudra represents peace, protection and the dispelling of fear.

One of the most often seen is the abhaya mudra, formed by raising the right hand to shoulder height with the arm bent and palm facing forward with the fingers joined and pointing up, while the other arm is hanging down at the side of the figure. The abhaya mudra represents peace, protection and the dispelling of fear.

GILT-BRONZE BASES

One of the helpful identifying characteristics of gilt bronze figures, in addition to the imagery of the figure, is the base upon which the figure stands. In Tibet and China, these bases are often embellished with borders of upright lotus leaves, and in many instances the base itself is in the shape of a lotus leaf.

Asian art for sale, Chinese gilt bronze for sale, chinese gilt bronze at auction, Buddhist art for sale, Buddhist art at auction, antique chinese art, ming dynasty chinese art.

Sino-Tibetan Gilt Bronze Figure, 18th century, Sold for $144,000.00

In Tibetan and other Himalayan cultures, it is also common to find the underside of the base with a thin metal cover, incised with a vajra or dorje symbol, and within this sealed base is often contained a paper inscribed with a prayer.

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Chinese Gilt Bronze Figure of Vajrasattva, Early Ming Dynasty $1,530,000.00

TYPES OF FIGURES MOST COMMONLY REPRESENTED

 

BUDDHA

Asian art for sale, Chinese gilt bronze for sale, chinese gilt bronze at auction, Buddhist art for sale, Buddhist art at auction, antique chinese art, ming dynasty chinese art.

Chinese Gilt Bronze Standing Buddha on Lotus Base, 17th/18th C. $108,135.60

The most important and common figure depicts Buddha, a person who has reached an understanding of the world and universe in which we live, and who exists to lead others to the same state of understanding. Some figures depict the historical Buddha, a prince who lived in the 5th/6th century B.C.E., but others represent an idealized Buddha.

 

Most figures of Buddha are seated with legs crossed on a raised base. Images of Buddha usually wear a double robe, often with an incised foliate decorated border and have long, pendulous ears and a cranial bump, called an ushnisha. The hair is tightly coiled and often has a raised bump above the eyes in the center of the forehead, called the urna, and the hands are raised in a mudra.

Although most figures of Buddha are sitting, in Thailand and other South Asian societies, figures of Buddha are often standing, reclining or walking, and unlike the figures of China, Japan, or the Himalayan cultures, the cranial bump is sometimes augmented by a spike or spire.

BODHISATTVA AND LOHAN

A bodhisattva is a person who has not yet attained enlightenment, but is on the path towards enlightenment. A bodhisattva can take many forms, and in Japan is called bosatsu. The most well-known bosatsu in Japan is Jizo, a monk, depicted most often with a shaven head and wearing a long robe. This figure is similar to but different from the Tibetan arhat, an enlightened disciple of the Buddha, called a luohan in China, who also frequently appears in the visage of a monk.

Did you know Maitreya is the only Buddhist deity revered as both a Buddha and a Bodhisattva?

GUANYIN AND AVALOKITESVARA

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Chinese Silver Inlaid Bronze Figure of Guanyin, 18th C. $8,125.00

One of the most important Buddhist figures represented in gilded bronze is that of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy or compassion. Called Kannon in Japan, or alternatively in China, as a male in the manifestation of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, this figure is often standing and wearing long, gently draped robes. In both China and Japan, this figure usually is identified by the graceful appearance, heavy lidded eyes, long pendulous earlobes, and open-necked robe revealing a long beaded necklace.  Here Guanyin is displayed in a bronze form, inlaid with silver.

Seated versions in the posture of royal ease have one raised leg with the other draped over the base on which the figure is seated. Although most often represented as female in China, the figure was also represented as male or female in other Asian cultures. Frequently, Chinese versions of Guanyin are depicted with a small child or attendant.

TARA

Tara is another popular bronze figure found throughout Asian cultures, but not often in China. The consort of Avalokitesvara, this figure is a bodhisattva, and is found standing or sitting and usually is voluptuously modeled, wearing multiple long strands of beaded necklaces, a crown, and often with lotus flowers rising from each shoulder.

There are many manifestations or characteristics of Tara, most of which are identified with the colors green or white.

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Mongolian Gilt Bronze Seated Figure, Tara, 17th/18th C. $487,500.00

SHIVA AND PARVATI

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– Indian Bronze Figure of Parvati, 19th C. $11,760.00

Shiva, a Hindu deity, is identified by a third eye in the forehead. This figure usually appears in South Asian cultures where Hinduism and Buddhism mingled. Often in a regal stance, the figure of Shiva frequently wears a crown and holds a trident, emblematic of authority. His consort is Parvati, the divine mother goddess whose manifestations are represented by all other goddesses. When alongside Shiva, Parvati is usually depicted with two arms, when alone, often with four and standing beside or on a tiger or lion.

 

From the ancient beginnings of Buddhism in India and its spread by pilgrims throughout Asia, local spiritual beliefs, practices, and imagery were adopted and adapted by the different peoples along the way. Buddhism was layered on local Hindu, animist, or other beliefs, and a pantheon of deities, gods, goddesses, spirits, forces and manifestations of human emotions and experiences combined to create the imagery that is unique to each Asian culture. Understanding the interwoven texture of these cultures is the foundation for identifying any Asian sculptural work. 

This article written by Lark Mason was first published on Antiques Roadshow website:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/grandrapids_200805A43.html

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre

With two fairyland lustre bowls in Abington Auction’s Fall Sale, ending October 26, 2016, one similar that was featured in the below article on Antiques and Fine Art Magazine in an article by Harold B. Nelson. I found the below article to be intriguing:

wedgwood-fairyland

Figure 1: Fairyland series by Daisy Makeig-Jones. “Castle on the Road”. Octagonal shape. Crisp detailed decorations, 24K gold trim, circa 1917

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Figure 2: interior of Figure 1

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Figure 3: Fairyland series by Daisy Makeig-Jones. “Celestial Dragons”. Octagonal shape. Crisp detailed decorations, 24K gold trim, early 1900’s

wedgwood-fairyland-3

Figure 4: interior of Figure 3

“The Staffordshire-based ceramics factory established in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795), now known by the name of its founder, became widely acclaimed soon thereafter for the high quality of its functional and ornamental wares as well as its commitment to technological innovation. In this vein, Wedgwood, with partner Thomas Bentley (1730–1780), first explored lustre glazes in the 1770s in an effort to simulate the appearance of precious metals in ceramics. The company continued to produce ceramic bodies with lustre glazes into the nineteenth century—their variegated, silver, and gold lustreware reaching a height of fashion in the 1810 to 1820 period. Wedgwood’s handcraft studio revived its production of lustreware in the early twentieth century, and by 1915 the wares were once again a commercial success.

Between 1915 and 1930, Daisy Makeig-Jones (1881–1945) designed for Wedgwood a popular lustreware based on imagery from illustrated childrens’ books of the 1890s through the 1910s, aptly called “Fairyland Lustre.” The heavily detailed, brightly hued ornamental ware—a far cry from the soberly colored, classically inspired jasperware for which Wedgwood is so well known—became hugely popular in the 1920s as people looked for fantasy and escape in the wake of the horrors of World War I.

To elaborate on her designs, in 1921, Makeig-Jones wrote Some Glimpses of Fairyland, in which she recorded her own versions of popular fairy tales and invented new ones. In one story, Makeig-Jones describes the adventures of two little boys who one day venture forth from home and down a well that leads them to the Land of the Fays. They are treated well by the Fays (fairies), who eventually return the boys to their home and give them apples, plums, and pears by which to remember them. The story relays that this is how apples, pears, and plums were first brought to Europe and notes that, to the little boys, the fruit had never tasted as good as in the Land of the Fays.

Makeig-Jones’s design “Castle on a Road,” introduced in 1917, depicts two disparate vistas on adjoining panels—one, a landscape of contemporary Europe, the other, the Land of the Fays (Fig. 1). The world of reality and the world of fantasy are juxtaposed in ideal harmony.

Usually off-view, this opulent bowl, one of the most serene designs produced for Wedgwood by Makeig-Jones, is featured in the exhibition Imps on a Bridge: Wedgwood Fairyland and Other Lustres, presented at the Long Beach Museum of Art through September 9, 2001.”

It was in the 1930’s that wedgwood, saved from bankruptcy by designs like Makeig-Jones, decided it would go in a different direction.  With a new art director, the innovative designer of the Fairyland Lustre wares was asked to step down from her position.

wedgwood-lustre

Below watch TV star appraiser Nick Dawes appraise the above collection of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre (Fig 5) on the Antiques Roadshow:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/season/10/houston-tx/appraisals/wedgwood-fairyland-lustre–200503A51

http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=225

Lark Mason Appraisal Most Valuable in ARS History – Mashable

CapturFiles_2Popular news website, technology and social media blog Mashable recently published the top 10 most valued items in Antiques Roadshow’s history. Top of that list was Lark Mason’s appraisal of 18th century Chinese rhinoceros horn cups, estimated at  $1 million to $1.5 million at auction. The episode originally aired in January 2012. Click here to view it now.

Other notable finds include an 18th century Qianlong jade collection from the Qing Dynasty, estimated at $710,000 to $1.07 million at auction, and a 1904 Diego Rivera’s “El Albañil” oil painting, worth $800,000 to $1 million in retail value.

Read the full story here

‘Antiques Roadshow’ is Back in NYC After 13 Years

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The most valuable items ever appraised on Antiques Roadshow: Asian arts expert Lark Mason identified this collection of five late 17th/early 18th-century Chinese carved rhinoceros horn cups and valued the set at $1 million to $1.5 million. (Antiques Roadshow)

You’re coming back to New York after 13 years? 
Yeah, the last time we were there as in 2001. You’ve got it right. We were in Rochester before that but this is our second time in the city, third time in the state.

I was wondering if you noticed any changes in the kinds of ways people sort of approached going to Roadshow. For example, has the Internet helped or hindered or made people that they are more expert?

I think overall I would say that the Internet has been a great help. It has made us a more informed public, which is ultimately the goal of Antiques Roadshow. And so you can definitely see a more knowledgeable public overall at the events from when we first started doing the show. Back when we started taping, nobody had a cellphone, really—forget the Internet, what was that word that has a capital “I.”

We just didn’t have the kind of information we have at our fingertips. And what some of the Roadshow experts tell me—and they’re the ones in the market, and I think it’s really interesting—when Roadshow first started airing Disney cels, you know animation cels, people thought they were more rare than when Roadshow first started airing them, this is pre-Internet. All of a sudden people with Disney cels came out of the woodwork. It brought prices down because they weren’t as rare as people thought.

So it’s made us a more powerful public, a more knowledgeable public about what does exist because we can actually connect with one another, whereas we couldn’t before. That makes us a more knowledgeable person.

Read the rest of the story on Gothamist

‘Antiques Roadshow’ attracts nearly 5,000 from Chicago area

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Image Credit Chicago Tribune

More than 18,000 people entered the lottery to win tickets and about 5,000 people had up to two objects appraised by one of 72 appraisers during a taping of “Antiques Roadshow” at McCormick Place. One of PBS’ most popular programs features short segments in which an average Joe describes what he has brought and why, and an expert appraiser discusses the item’s likely history and cultural relevance and gives as estimated value.

 

Read the full story on Chicago Tribune

What you need to know before ‘Antiques Roadshow’ pulls into Chicago Saturday

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Lark Mason valued this collection of five Chinese carved rhinoceros horn cups at $1 million to $1.5 million. (Photo courtesy PBS)

 

PBS’ popular appraisal series, “Antiques Roadshow,” is dropping by Chicago’s McCormick Place Saturday as part of an eight-city summer tour.

 

Nearly 19,000 people applied for the 3,000 pairs of tickets that will get attendees — and their two precious items — into the event. (Don’t bother showing up if you don’t have a ticket.

 

A team of 70 experts from around the world will verbally appraise roughly 10,000 objects over the course of the day. A small fraction of these appraisals will be highlighted in a trio of upcoming “Antiques Roadshow” episodes airing in the 19th season, which launches in January on WTTW-Channel 11.

 

Read the rest of the story on Chicago Sun-Times

Separated At Birth

 

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NEW YORK, NY.- Thanks to the trained eye of Antiques Roadshow expert Lark Mason, a twin set of extraordinary 400-year-old Chinese chairs have been reunited and are now up for auction. Against the backdrop of China’s momentous history-wars, famines, political tumult and a long list of rulers of wildly varying dispositions-these identical museum-worthy Huanghuali chairs stood side by side, decade after decade, century after century. Then, after all that time, the chairs came to be separated.

According to Mason, the renowned authority in Chinese art and antiquities and the former director of online auctions at Sotheby’s, the story of these chairs begins with an American ambassador named Philip Manhard, who as young foreign service officer was stationed in Tientsin in late 1949 and charged with overseeing American interests in China. “It was a tense, confusing time,” says Mason. “The Nationalist government fled to Taiwan and the Chinese Communist government took over the country. And it was at this point that Manhard found himself in the advantageous position to make a very noteworthy purchase.” Chinese citizens who could get passage out of Tientsin were clamoring to sell prized possessions to the few remaining Western residents, Manhard among them.

Even in a market flooded with heart-stoppingly beautiful furniture, paintings, Imperial ceramics and other objets d’art, says Mason, Manhard could not have failed to recognize the outstanding quality of two 17th-century chairs that must have stood out very conspicuously. Says Mason: “They are simply outstanding. The quality is extraordinary; the condition, superb. The moldings are finely beaded, and the crest rails and handgrips are boldly curved. Is it any wonder Manhard could not resist them?”

Manhard continued his foreign service career, ultimately serving as ambassador to Mauritius. He and his family eventually settled outside of Washington, D.C., where he raised two sons, Philip Jr. and Richard. The pair of chairs were the standouts in a modest household inventory that included an array of other Asian works of art. Manhard passed away in 1998, but not before conveying to each scion one of the chairs. Son Phil moved to Englewood, Fla., and Rick to Sterling, Va., each taking his heirloom with him.

In late 2013, Philip contacted Lark Mason for an opinion. The moment his e-mail arrived with a photo attached, Mason recognized the chair as a masterwork of the Chinese cabinetmaker’s craft, dating from the late Ming Dynasty. After a series of conversations about a possible sale, Phil revealed that his chair is one of a pair, a discovery that all the more thrilled Mason, who reached out to Phil’s brother, Rick. A visit to him in Virginia resulted in the chair’s being brought to New York, where it was reunited with its mate in Lark Mason Associates. The chairs are now being offered for sale as a pair in an auction of works of art that closes on April 30th. (Estimate:$120,000-$180,000).

Chairs of this type rarely have both pierced aprons with upright braces and beaded legs, although both features are individually commonly associated with examples from the late 16th or early 17th centuries. The striking curvature of the S-scrolled splats and the dramatic grain enhance both chairs.

Concludes Mason: “These beautiful chairs are now ready to begin a new chapter in their long, long lives, a chapter that may well take them back to China, the location of their birth, bringing this noteworthy tale full circle.”

More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/69604/Lark-Mason-reunites-rare-pair-of-17th-century-Chinese-chairs#.U1fEcOZdWJs
Copyright © artdaily.org

Estimate: $120,000-180,000

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Lark Mason and John Nye Discuss Collectibles and High Tech Auctions on “The Collectors Show”

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Lark E. Mason

Lark Mason of iGavel Auctions/Lark Mason Associates and John Nye of Nye and Company Auctioneers and Appraisers were guests of Web Talk Radio’s The Collectors Show episode last week with Harold Nicoll. They are the first members of the Antiques Roadshow to make an appearance on the show.

Click here to listen to Lark Mason on the Web Talk Radio website

For more information on Lark Mason Associates, visit LarkMasonAssociates.com

johnnye

John Nye

Click here to listen to John Nye on the Web Talk Radio website

For more information on Nye & Company, visit NyeandCompany.com

 

iGavel and Lark Mason Featured on Examiner.com

Popular online news website Examiner.com’s Jennifer Eberhart talks about Lark Mason and the success of iGavel Auctions in her column. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Mainly comprised of regional dealers like Nye and Company, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, and Litchfield County Auctions, iGavel has a never-ending supply of artworks passing through its site. Over fifteen categories are noted on the site, including stamps, jewelry, books, and fine art. Mason notes that the top sales are in furniture, painting, and Asian art. Sales have exceeded the $2 million mark in the past but you can find smaller works online for a starting bid as low as $25.

 

Lark Mason, an expert in Asian art whose past experience includes work at Sotheby’s, and who is now a television personality on Antiques Roadshow, says he loves “the dynamism of the art market” – working an antiques business means he can combine both research and finance in his career.

 

Mason runs his company efficiently. Every sale is on a “carefully contrived schedule” – before one auction ends another has already started, and there is “constant site updating,” keeping buyer interest from beginning to very end. Although no official celebrations have been planned to mark the decade, Mason is obviously proud of the work he and his company have done.

 Read the full article on Examiner.com

Lark Mason Interviewed by Marketplace.org

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lark Mason, president of Lark Mason Associates and iGavel Auctions was interviewed for a Marketplace.org’s tech column. Below is an excerpt from the interview:

Which roadshow is better: Twitter or Antiques?

 

Lark Mason is an appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, and he’s a lot like a skeptical investor.  I asked him about this seven-year-old social media company — it has a really cute sky-blue bird on it — how much does he think it might be worth?

 

Well, he says, there are a lot of ways to figure out value, so he’s going to have to ask me some questions. Like, what kind of condition it’s in…

 

It hasn’t made a profit yet, I say.

 

Hmm, he says. That’s kind of a challenge.

 

But it has 230 million users, up 39 percent between 2012 and 2013, and it’s expected to keep growing, I perk up.

He likes that a bit better. There’s a good reason to say it’s got a pretty strong valuation for the moment, he says, but as to long term viability, it’s hard to say.

 

Click here to read and listen to the full interview on Marketplace.org

Lark Mason Associates Online Fall Auction of Asian, 
Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art Achieves Over $2.2 Million

Lark Mason Associates’ auction of Asian, Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art that closed on October 15th, 2013 had 828 sold lots with more than 4,500 bids, resulting in a total of over $2.2 million. This Asian sale represents a strong continuance of the company’s successful auction history and ability to navigate the Asian art and antiquities market.

Chinese Porcelain Flambe Glazed Hu Form Vase, Qianlong Mark and Period. Sold for $138,001

Chinese Porcelain Flambe Glazed Hu Form Vase, Qianlong Mark and Period. Sold for $138,000

 

 

Eight lots sold above $50,000 each, and the
top four lots sold for approximately half a millon dollars. The high-value lot from this auction was a Chinese Landscape Decorated Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup, 17th Century, which sold for $180,000.

 

Chinese Parcel Gilt Lacquered Bronze Seated Figure with Wood Stand, Ming Dynasty. Sold for $89,401

Chinese Parcel Gilt Lacquered Bronze Seated Figure with Wood Stand, Ming Dynasty. Sold for $89,401

 

Other highlights include: a Chinese Porcelain Flambe Glazed Hu Form Vase, Qianlong Mark and Period, which sold for $138,000; a Chinese Parcel Gilt Lacquered Bronze Seated Figure with Wood Stand, Ming Dynasty, which sold for over $89,000; a Chinese Polychrome Wood Guanyin, which sold for over $86,000; a Chinese Carved Rhinoceros Horn Libation Cup with Daoist Immortals, 17th Century, which sold for $69,000;  and a Pair of Small Chinese Carved Cinnabar Lacquer Cabinets, 19th/20th Century, which sold for over $56,000.

 

Lark Mason Associates, the eponymous, Harlem-based auction house specializing in Asian and other works of art, was founded by Lark Mason after many years as an expert at Sotheby’s New York. Mason served as a General Appraiser from 1979-1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003.

Lark E. Mason, President of Lark Mason Associates

Lark E. Mason, President of Lark Mason Associates

From 2000-2003 he was a Director of Online Auctions for Sothebys.com, and served as a consulting curator at the Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. He is noted for his regular appearances on PBS series, The Antiques Roadshow. He is the owner and CEO of iGavel Auctions.

Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts sales on the iGavel Auctions platform and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art.

Lark Mason to speak at Nelson-Atkins Museum and appraise at Antiques Roadshow in Kansas City this Saturday

Kansas City newspaper Kansas City Star recently interviewed Lark Mason on his upcoming visit to Nelson-Atkins Museum and filming of Antiques Roadshow this upcoming weekend. Read the interview below:

 

 

Cj2XK.St.81Lark Mason, a widely published art and antiques expert, will be in Kansas City on Saturday for a taping of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” at Bartle Hall.

Mason, the senior vice president for Chinese art at Sotheby’s from 1985 to 2003, is a specialist in Chinese furniture, and while he’s in town, he will speak on “An Insider’s View of Classical Chinese Furniture” at 7 p.m. Friday in the Chinese Furniture Gallery (202) at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call 816-751-1278 to reserve tickets.

 

Tell me about what you’ll be doing with “Antiques Roadshow” in Kansas City.

 

I am one of the appraisers to appear on air with a large number of other specialists. My area of expertise is Chinese art. We’ll be at the convention center, and we’ll have a lot of people coming to see us, including supporters of PBS and members of the general public bringing objects. They were selected by lottery through WGBH in Boston.

 

And you’ll also be speaking at the Nelson?

 

My top area is Chinese furniture. The Nelson has one of the finest collections in the world. Colin Mackenzie, the museum’s curator of Chinese art, is a good friend, and he’s invited me to do a gallery walk to look at the Chinese furniture collection.

Laurence Sickman, who put together the Nelson’s Chinese collection, was a good friend of my mentor, Wang Shixiang. I translated his book, “Connoisseurship of Chinese Furniture,” in Beijing. So I also have a wonderful connection to the Nelson because of his direct association with Sickman. Wang helped him choose things for the collection.

 

And it’s turned out to be one of the Nelson’s greatest assets.

 

It’s fantastic because of the passion of Laurence Sickman and the support of the board, which gave him free rein to be in China and make selections of things that, at the time, were considered minor works of art. But the result of that freedom and farsightedness is that the Nelson has one of the finest collections, not just in the U.S., but in the world.

It all comes down to the enthusiasm of a particular person pushing his vision and a confluence of opportunity, knowledge and the willingness to commit the resources at a time when there weren’t a lot of resources.

 

What are some of your favorite objects in the Nelson’s collection?

 

One is an alcove bed, which is very famous. The form itself is unusual. It’s a bed with an entry area at the forefront, almost a bed within a small self-contained room. It was made for a wealthy person, with a personal assistant or servants who would help him get dressed. If you use your imagination, you can see the curtains that would have enclosed the sleeping chamber part of the bed, and the outer area where the servant would wait to be received. It’s quite marvelous.

 

The construction and design of it is absolutely fantastic. It’s a Rubik’s Cube of furniture joinery. All these different types of furniture joinery arranged in a repeating pattern have to be put together in a specific order, otherwise it doesn’t work.

 

What other pieces will you highlight?

 

There are a pair of cabinets — what we call “sloping style cupboards” — that are made of huanghuali, a particular kind of Asian rosewood. It’s a beautiful wood of the highest quality used during the Ming and Qing dynasties. What’s extraordinary about these cabinets is the simplicity of the design and the use of the beautifully dramatic grain of the wood as part of the design.

 

The cabinetmaker purposely chose specific cuts of wood to enhance the overall form, mixing man’s creativity with nature. That’s what Chinese cabinetmakers excelled at.

 

Can you cite a couple of memorable finds from your gig on “Antiques Roadshow”?

 

One of the most amazing occurred in Albuquerque about 10 years ago. Albuquerque was not one of those places I expected to see a lot of Chinese art or Asian art in general, but in the middle part of the day, a lady came in with a large group of towels wrapped around an object. She brought it in on a little wagon and wheeled it up to my table. I looked and it was an eighth-century carved marble lion made during the Tang dynasty.

 

It was such a shock to see something that would have been perfectly at home at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, sitting in a Western Flyer wagon wrapped in beach towels. She had inherited it from her family and had been using it as a doorstop.

 

I don’t remember exactly what I valued it at — around $300,000. It was the most valuable item we saw that day.

 

So that kind of find is fairly unusual?

 

None of us knows what’s going to be coming in the door. A tremendous number of people, who receive tickets by lottery, come in and try to find out something about an object they’ve had.

 

A fairly common occurrence is when someone’s parents pass away and leave an object to a child and the child wonders, “Why did my parents leave this to me? What is important about this object?” By figuring out where it was made, why it was made, where it was sold, we can often come up with an answer. That answer may be: “It was made in 1915 and was probably a wedding gift, and they wanted to be sure you had it.”

 

It often has nothing to do with the monetary value. It’s more about the emotional content invested in the object. A lot of what all of us (at “Antiques Roadshow”) do falls into that category. I guess you could say we’re therapists.

I have a copy of a list you put out of “Top 10 Collecting Trends for Summer 2013.” One of the things you point out is how the values placed on objects change with the generations.

 

I think we’ve had a very significant generational shift in the last hundred years. A century ago, one of the important goals was to have an enormous house filled with objects from a variety of cultures that would be evidence of one’s sophistication and worldliness. In the past it was very overt. The furniture was deeply carved and dark and clearly tied to an early period of time in England or France, or even the U.S.

 

Today that kind of overt connection is not necessary. The younger generation is looking for objects that show a sense of design that reflects the period of time in which we live and an international design sense, that emphasizes comfort and subtly messages sophistication.

 

Tell me about iGavel Auctions.

 

It’s an auction platform used by independent auction companies with guarantees for authenticity and condition. It’s a vetted marketplace. I’m the owner, and we have a team of people that oversees it, and I have representatives all over the U.S. who work through our company, including some individuals in Kansas City.

 

It’s a great source for art and antiques and design. We have a sale on iGavel daily; I also have a company, Lark/Mason Associates, and offer online auctions of Asian art twice yearly in October and April. My company is on iGavel with other companies.

 

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/02/4378388/qa-lark-mason-antiques-roadshow.html#storylink=cpy

Brian Witherell on the Antiques Roadshow

Brian Witherell with a victorian-style wicker rocking chair that iGavel Associate Seller John Nye of Nye and Company appraised for the Antiques Roadshow in Baton Rouge

Brian Witherell with a victorian-style wicker rocking chair that iGavel Associate Seller John Nye of Nye and Company appraised for the Antiques Roadshow in Baton Rouge. Photo Credit Advocate.com

From The Advocate.com

As is the case with oak trees, Scotch whisky and leather, on “Antiques Roadshow,” older usually means better.

Thousands of people filed into the Baton Rouge River Center on Saturday to participate in a daylong filming session of the popular traveling appraisal show that plans to televise three hourlong episodes from its Baton Rouge visit sometime in 2014.

Some of the day’s most valuable items included a landscape painting by Porfirio Salinas appraised for $45,000; a group of autographs from astronauts worth $35,000; and a nearly 250-year-old French sword — valued at $20,000 — that was sent across the Atlantic Ocean in 1779 for use in the American Revolutionary War.

Chris Mitchell, one of about 70 of the show’s appraisers on site, said the sword’s owner thought the sword dated back to the Civil War era, but that upon closer examination, it turned out to be much older.

“The thing that someone brings in for the show that they think is really good is usually junk,” and vice versa, Mitchell said, not insinuating that a Civil War-era sword would be junk, but that “Antiques Roadshow” offers plenty of surprises, even for people who have been appraising items for decades.

Brian Witherell, a general appraiser who has worked for the nearly 20-year-old show since its second season, said that in regard to Louisiana furniture, it’s all about history and wood type.

One particular chair that he appraised featured tapered arm rests, a Spanish moss-stuffed seat cushion and an assortment of poplar, birch and oak woods that made up the chair’s framework.

If the wood is Southern, Witherell said, the possible plantation chair could be worth up to $5,000. If not, then it might be worth only $100, he said.

Continue Reading on The Advocate.com

 

Antiques Roadshow and Lark Mason to stop in Baton Rouge this weekend

LSU newspaper The Daily Reveille featured Lark Mason for their story on Antiques Roadshow, which is taking place in Baton Rouge this weekend.

Lark Mason during Antiques Roadshow in 2011

Lark Mason during Antiques Roadshow in 2011

The hit PBS series “Antiques Roadshow” will be making a stop at the Baton Rouge River Center this weekend.

 

The show, which premiered in 1997, has received ten Emmy awards and is the highest-rated show on PBS.

 

The hour-long program takes viewers to various cities across the country as thousands of people bring antiques and collectibles to be appraised. However, only a select few are chosen to actually showcase their items on television.

 

The appraisers in attendance are experts from the country’s leading auction houses who offer free appraisals and share the fascinating history of the items that are brought in for examining.

 

One of the most notable appraisals in the show’s history includes a set of Chinese cups that dated back to the 18th century, which were estimated to be worth up to $1.5 million at the show’s Tulsa, Okla., stop in 2011.

 

On Saturday, “Antiques Roadshow” will be making its debut appearance in Baton Rouge, but it isn’t a stranger to the state of Louisiana. In 2002, the show paid a visit to New Orleans.

 

“We are in the big leagues now with this show,” Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden said in a news release. “I don’t think you can put a price tag on it because of the people it will reach.”

 

Thousands will flock to the Baton Rouge River Center with hopes that their family heirlooms and pieces of history will be worth thousands  — and maybe millions — of dollars.

A religious document that Baton Rouge resident Diamond Ryan will be bringing to the show dates back to 1796.

 

“I refer to it as a ‘framed scroll.’ There is a statement in Italian which certifies that it is authentic,” Ryan said. “It goes on to say this item is being sent from South America to North America. All that remain are a few spindles of black cloth fibers which are stated to be from the Virgin Mary from the House of Loreto — a biblical Holy place.”

 

Ryan added that she has received much interest in regard to the document over the years, including an inquiry by the Smithsonian Institution.

 

Baton Rouge is one of eight cities that will be featured on the 18th season of “Antiques Roadshow,” which will premiere in January 2014.

 

Click here to read the story on The Daily Reveille

Associate Seller Brian Witherell Interviewed on Online Auctioning

Image Credit: AUTUMN PAYNE / apayne@sacbee.com

Brian Witherell. Image Credit: AUTUMN PAYNE / apayne@sacbee.com

iGavel associate seller Brian Witherell was recently interview by The Sacramento Bee on the benefits of online auctioning and how it helped him to reach larger audiences around the world. The below excerpt was taken from the article. Click here to read the full article on The Sacramento Bee website

For Witherell’s auction house in midtown Sacramento, the Internet has opened up a whole new world.

 

Brian Witherell said online auctions have enabled his house at 20th and C streets, along with other relatively small operators, to draw the attention of bidders all over the map.

 

Their quest to reach a larger audience is one of the factors that propelled online auctioneering into a multibillion-dollar business over the past 20 years. Witherell’s, a family-run company dating back to 1969, shifted its auctions entirely to online in 2002.

 

“Online has changed everything, not only for clients but for research and (determining) value,” said Witherell, whose firm offers both auctions and appraisals. “It’s allowed more people to become involved, no matter where they live.”

 

At Witherell’s spring online auction in May, the firm expected to raise $200,000, but came away with $325,000.

 

A Maynard Dixon painting titled “Guard of the Cornfields” went for $69,000, or nearly 40 percent more than expected; a stained-glass Tiffany “Daffodil” table lamp fetched a hefty $35,460, and a Louis Vuitton trunk found in a basement sold for nearly $5,000.

 

Witherell’s typically features fine art, antiques and other objects of value, but it has appraised and auctioned off items of all stripes over the years. The boutique firm occupies a tiny slice in a massive national and international online auctions pie, a market that includes everything from eBay to auto auctions to super-high-end players like Sotheby’s.

 

While eBay is the industry giant with millions of buyers and sellers, smaller auction houses like Witherell’s are becoming increasingly popular, touting deep expertise in art, antiques and older items. After all, you wouldn’t want to sell great-grandma’s brooch online for 50 bucks, when it might actually be worth $5,000.

Within the industry, there are subsegments – some auctions accept online bids at a live auction site with on-site bidders – but true online auctions are just that: only online bids are accepted for a specific period of time.

 

Industry trackers estimate current annual online auctions revenue at somewhere north of $25 billion, or about five times what it was just 10 years ago.

 

Some analysts say they think the $25 billion number might be conservative, given the myriad kinds of online auctions held in the United States each year. San Jose-based eBay Inc. alone reported revenue of $14 billion in 2012.

 

“I don’t think anyone has a handle on the true value of online auctions,” said Peter Schaub, a marketing and branding expert in New York. “The industry has grown so quickly, and how do you separate out live auctions that have online bidders?

 

“It could be worth billions more than current estimates.”

 

Witherell said his business has been growing 25 percent annually for four years running. In the industry, he’s well-known. He has been one of the featured appraisers on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” for years.

 

Witherell said online auctions have been on a very fast track in the United States due to a combination of generational changes and technology advances.

 

“We’ve seen an increasing number of aging baby boomers involved,” he said. “Tastes change, and fewer people are interested in keeping the sterling silver flatware or the furniture that’s been in the family for generations.”

 

Witherell’s is among a group of companies that sell online through New York-based iGavel Auctions (www.igavelauctions. com), a $25 million-a-year enterprise.

 

iGavel offers a platform for independent auction firms to host auctions. Specializing in fine arts, antiques and collectibles, iGavel promotes sales via social media, collectors forums and other links. Lark Mason Jr., president of iGavel, said the wildfire growth of online auction technology – driven in part by giant-volume enterprises like eBay – has made it possible for a “small auction house to remotely reach a large audience. Because of that, this dramatically increased competition for consignments.”

 

Witherell said his auctions typically draw bids from as far away as Florida, New York, New Mexico and Massachusetts.

 

Witherell’s handles many estate items and currently conducts four online auctions annually – spring, summer, winter and fall. Witherell said the company is considering adding more in the future.

 

Each auction lasts two weeks; the next is set for Aug. 6-20. Lots can be seen online and on-site. Commissions vary, based on the number of lots and the nature of the items up for bids, but 10 percent is the general standard.

 

Witherell says a good auctioneer-appraiser typically has an eye for detail, a strong grasp of U.S. and world history and a quick head for numbers.

 

Not surprisingly, he’s handled clients who had some eye-popping items.

 

That includes a seller of White House china stretching from the administrations of former presidents Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson. And he once encountered a client with “suitcases” full of old coins.

 

A future auction item is a chair that once graced George Washington’s Mount Vernon home in Virginia.

 

Asked why a prospective seller should choose his company over eBay, he smiled and said: “I would say we’re efficient … in determining value. You don’t want to make mistakes … sell something for far less because you didn’t know its value.

 

“People might say they know it all in this business. But believe me, you don’t know it all in this business … You have to work at it.”

 

QUALITIES | CHINESE JADE

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Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate our Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. SOME OF The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

Chinese Jade

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Carved stone cylinder seals were used extensively in the Mesopotamian area beginning
around 3500 BCE as a means of recording ownership of property or establishing authorship for documents on clay tablets. These seals would be decorated with mythological figures or other devices which would be unique to the owner. Carved from agate, rock crystal, lapis or other materials, the cylinder seal was the precursor to the signet ring and other types of carved small stone articles commonly found in many Asian cultures.

The most popular of these stones and that most often associated with Asia is jade. There are two types of stone which are commercially referred to as jade: nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is the more often found material, usually in dark green, white, pale green, brown and occasionally yellow. It is an extremely hard stone, registering 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, and cannot be scratched by steel. Jadeite has a more granular texture and appears in bright emerald and other shades of green, lavender, black, brown and white. The most valuable stones are emerald green and very translucent. Jadeite was not used as a material for carving in China before the 18th century and most examples date from the late 19th or 20th centuries. Other stones and materials used in small carved articles ale coral, agate, amber and rock crystal.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

CHINESE DARK GREEN JADE SEAL WITH IMPERIAL BILINGUAL INSCRIPTION, 20TH CENTURY

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PAIR OF CHINESE PALE CELADON JADE MUGHAL STYLE CHRYSANTHEMUM DISHES, 20TH CENTURY

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QUALITIES | CHINESE ENAMELS

AsiaWeekNewYorkHomepageBanner

Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate our Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. SOME OF The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

Chinese Enamels

Large_Chinese_Cloisonne_Tripod_Lotus_Censer_Ming_Dynasty_19189_A

Some of the principal colours used in Chinese cloisonné enamelwork are red, green, white, yellow, dark and bright blue. Although enamelled metal articles date from ancient times in China, the first cloisonné objects date from the 15th century. Cloisonné enamel dating from the Ming dynasty typically is decorated with repeating foliate patterns, mythical animals and occasionally landscape scenes. Forms and designs follow those found on ceramics of the same period.

Cloisonné Enamels

Cloisonné was probably introduced into China by the Mongols. Byzantine enamels were widely admired in Central Asia and probably provided the inspiration for Chinese cloisonné. Ming decoration usually incorporates dragons, lotus scrolls, leafy vines, landscapes and flowers. Most Ming cloisonné enamels are unmarked but Jingtai marked examples (1450-1457) are an exception. The Jingtai mark is usually honorific and objects with it usually date from later periods.

During the Qianlong period cloisonné techniques became increasingly sophisticated with finely drawn patterns of delicate inlays. The patterns lack the robustness and vitality of the early Ming example but reach a new standard in technical execution. Typical vessels include sets of censers , candle ticks and vases made as garnitures for temples and vessels which are inspired by ancient bronze form. These piece are often accentuated with gilded bronze surfaces. The repertoire of shapes include small models of animals, myth Ological creatures and large vases and other vessels. Cloisonné continued to be made in large quantities during the 19th and 20th centuries, but much of this output recapitulates earlier forms and, possibly due to the larger quantities manufactured, often has a lifeless, stiff appearance.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

LARGE CHINESE CLOISONNÉ TRIPOD LOTUS CENSER, MING DYNASTY

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Sale Highlights | Southern Estates & Various Owners

iGavel Auctions is proud to present Everard & Company’s Southern Estates & Various Owners auction. This sale is now live through March 13th. Included in the auction is a group of fine art by Southern artists or of Southern subject matter including works by George Beattie and Jr., Charles de Wolf Brownell, an Antonio Frilli marble sculpture of a nude on its original pedestal, a pair of Victorian leather upholstered corner club chairs and more.

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Highlights include a 19th Century Chinese Gilt Bronze Sculpture of a Man on a Mule. The statue stands 20 inches on a lacquer stand and in good condition. This sculpture is now available for bidding and estimated at $4,000-6,000. Click here to bid

 

 

 

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Included in the paintings offered in the sale is an Augusta Oelschig still life. Oelschig (Savannah, 1918-2000) depicted social injustice of southern race relations in her art in many of her paintings during her career. This painting is now available for and estimated at $5,000-7,000. Click here to bid

 

 

 

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Another featured statue in the sale is an Antonio Frilli (Italian, 1860-1920). This marble nude stands 18 inches and mounted on a marble pedestal with a label indicating that it was part of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, a World’s Fair held in San Francisco in 1915. This sculpture is now available for bidding and estimated at $4,000-6,000. Click here to bid

Sale Highlights | Locati Auctions’ March Sale

Locati Auctions’ March Sale includes property from Philadelphia-area collections and estates. The sale features Asian art, fine art, decorative arts, musical instruments and much more. The auction is now live on iGavel Auctions through March 11. Items are on view on March 9th, from 10AM to 5PM, by appointment at Maple Glen, PA. For more information, Locati Auctions can be reached at 215-619-2873, or at michael@locatiauctions.com

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The sale features a lovely 19th Century Pair of Gilt Bronze French Wall Sconces. Each sconce is decorated with a cornucopia figure on the body with four acanthus decorated arms. They were later wired to use with electricity. These sconces are estimated at $2,000-3,000 and available for bidding. Click here to bid

 

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Another highlight from the sale is a Large Bronze Bust c. 1890. The gilt bronze bust was commissioned by Tiffany and Co. and was dubbed “Thersea” by the sculptor, Georges van der Straeten (1856-1941). The bust is estimated at $800-1,600 and available for bidding now. Click here to bid

 

 

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Another sculpture included in the auction was made by the French artist Jules Moigniez(1835-1894). The piece depicts a turkey and a cockerel fighting over a dish of food on a naturalistic base. It is estimated at $1,500-2,000 and available for bidding now. Click here to bid

Thursday Link Roundup | 2-28-13

1

Ancient Babylonian bricks stolen in Iraq | The Art Newspaper

2

Amateur artist’s paintings valued at £200,000… because work by Francis Bacon has been found hidden on the back of canvases | Mail Online

3

Banksy Mural Chiseled Off Building, About To Be Sold At Auction For $700,000 | Forbes

4

Museums’ hidden treasures | The Telegraph

5

Daniel Cooney presents John Mann and Brea Souders Exhibitions | Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Sale Highlights: Photographs by Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Daniel Cooney Fine Art and iGavel Auctions are very pleased to announce our new Online Auction of Photographs. The sale features photographs from the collections and estates of many prestigious private holdings such as the Estate of Dody Weston Thompson, and includes works by by A. Aubrey Bodine, Gregory Crewdson, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplehtorpe, Edward Weston, and Dody Weston Thompson among many others.

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Highlights include a vintage photograph dated 1926 by George Seeley. Seeley was a painter until he met Fred Holland Day who introduced him into photography. Seeley’s photography mostly consisted of landscapes. This photo is a great example of his work depicting a lake. This vintage photo is now available for bidding and estimated at $2,500-3,000. Click here to bid

 

 

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Another highlight from the sale is a series of three portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe. His subject matter included large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers and nude men. These photographs are now available for bidding and estimated at $5,000-8,000. Click here to bid

 

 

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An another renowned photographer, Gregory Crewdson’s work is also featured in the sale. The lot consists of six signed photographs of the artist’s subject, staged surreal suburban life scenes. These photographs are estimated at $10,000 – 15,000 and available for bidding now. Click here to bid

Sale Highlights | Case Antiques’ Winter Fine Art and Antique Sale

iGavel Auctions’ newest associate Case Antiques will intrigue many prospective collectors with their inaugural Winter Fine Art and Antique Sale. The sale consists of 114 lots of art and antiques, including several estate collections. Categories include fine art, silver, historic ephemera, Asian antiques, art glass, early American glass, jewelry, English Staffordshire, European porcelain, New England stoneware, early iron, lighting, toys, and antique holiday items. The sale is now live until February 26th. Below are a selection of highlights from the sale:


The auction features an oil on canvas by British painter Daniel Charles Grose (American, 1838-1900). The painting depicts an Indian market streetscape with two sepoys standing next to a river with buildings in the back ground, possibly in Lucknow or Delhi. W. Daniel Charles Grose was born in England and lived most of his life in Canada. In the 1870s, he moved to Washington DC, where he lived until his death in 1900. While mainly noted for his Landscapes of North America, he also painted international scenes during a five-year world tour he made with his wife in the 1880s. This painting is available for bidding now and estimated at $1,200 – $1,500. Click here to bid

 

 

Selections from interior design include this unique hand-forged mild steel and pipe mirror in the form of a squid by Robert Sextone. Sextone is an artist, wood worker and blacksmith who resides in Putney, Vermont. The mirror is estimated at $800 – $1,200 and available for bidding now. Click here to bid

 

 

Another highlight from the sale is a folk art walnut mantle clock by Edgar A. McKillop (NC, 1879-1950). The clock is in the shape of tombstone with brass bell inscribed San Jaun Capistrano 1775 and tan dial with brass surround and dark roman numerals. Etched in the back of the clock and in the base is artist’s name, McKillop N.C. in ink. Born in Balfour, North Carolina, Edgar McKillop became a well-known folk art carver despite a lack of formal training. His career as a woodcarver began in 1926 when he was offered four black walnut trees from a neighbor in exchange for removing the trees from the neighbor’s property. This marked the beginning of his intense interest in woodcarving, which continued until his wife’s death in 1938. His subjects included clocks, human figures, musical instruments, and practical objects including furniture. Even when working with large, complex forms, he chiseled the entire figure out of a single block. This clock is estimated at $400 – $500. Click here to bid

Sale Highlights | Elder’s Antiques Winter Auction

Elder’s Antiques Winter Auction features the lifetime collection of a prominent Atlanta interior decorator and set designer. The sale is now live through February 13th and the items are on view at an exhibition on February 12th from 12PM to 7PM at their Nokomis, Florida gallery. For more information, visit Elder’s Antiques website at www.eldersantiques.com

 

The sale features three prints after John James Audubon. This particular print, titled “Yellow Crowned Heron” is estimated at $3,000-5,000 and available for bidding now. Click here to view

 

 

 

 

Asian items in the sale include this pair of 19th Century Japanese Polychrome painted carved Ivory tusks. The sculptures are in the natural ivory tusk form and depict a couple in Chinese dress. This item is estimated at $4,000-6,000 and available for bidding now. Click here to view

 

 

 

The auction also features a number of vintage women’s jewelry lots, including this lovely 18K yellow gold ring. Mounted in the center is a 4.56 ct. Sapphire Cabichone. Rounding the sapphire are 16 .77 pt diamonds decorating the ring. The ring is estimated at $2,500-3,500 and available for bidding now. Click here to view

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