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Exceptional Museum-Quality Antiques at

Fine Art Asia 2017
30 September - 3 October 2017, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Fine Art Asia 2017, Asias leading annual fine art fair, showcases the elite of antiques galleries worldwide. Expert specialists from both East and West will present an unprecedented range of museum-quality artworks, ranging from ancient Chinese and Himalayan bronzes to Central Asian gold wares, Chinese porcelain and lacquer to furniture, textiles and snuff bottles.

Rossi & Rossi, London and Hong Kong, which has exhibited every year since the inception of the fair in 2006, returns with rare stone sculptures, bronzes and paintings from China, India, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet. Each piece displays masterful craftsmanship and embodies deep religious significance.

A centrepiece of the exhibition is an exquisite late 17th to early 18th-century Mongolian gilt copper sculpture of Chagan Sambhar-a with painted details. Samvara, Sanskrit for ‘obligation’ or ‘vow’, is a popular tutelary for patron deities of Tibeto-Mongolian Buddhism. Though typically shown in his wrathful form, with twelve arms and four heads, Sitasamvara, the White Samvara, is depicted here in his benevolent form. Seated on a double-lotus pedestal, the deity has two arms and one head, and embraces his consort, Vajravarahi – their union symbolising the merging of compassion and wisdom. Both deities are beautifully crowned, coiffed and bejewelled. Traces of paint remain on their hair and faces, highlighting their full lips and gently curving eyelids. At 24 cm in height, this is a relatively large example of Mongolian bronze production, and is in excellent condition.

 

Chagan Sambhar-a
Late 17thV early 18th century
Gilt copper with painted details
H. 24 cm
Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong / London
     

Rossi & Rossi will also exhibit a number of paintings from China and Tibet, including a 17th-century Sino-Tibetan painting depicting Arhat Vanavasin. Here, Vanavasin is shown in his usual iconographic form: making a pointing gesture with his right hand and holding a fly whisk in his left. He is dressed in a red and blue patchwork robe featuring rich brocade patterns. To his right stands a lay attendant holding a scholars’ rock, and at the top centre of the composition is the Buddhist meditational deity, White Tara. The set of paintings to which this work belongs was almost certainly based on an earlier group of Chinese imperial workshop paintings dating from the Yongle period (1403–25) depicting the same subject.

Other highlights include a polychrome Head of the Buddha from c. 3rd century; and a statue of a Hindu Deity, Chalukyan Dynasty, c. 9th century, made of sandstone.

 

Arhat Vanavasin
17th century
Distemper on cotton, with silk and gold thread brocade
H. 101.5 x W. 59.5 cm
Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong / London

 
Vanderven Oriental Art, s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, returning to Fine Art Asia for the 7th consecutive year, presents an outstanding exhibition of Chinese porcelain and works of art.

A highlight is a rare large porcelain standing deer dating from the Tongzhi period (1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty.  Naturalistically modelled, the animal stands gracefully with its right foreleg lifted. The raised head has a gentle face with an alert expression, wide open turquoise eyes with dark pupils and flared nostrils. It is finely enamelled in warm ochre-yellow with white spots. The fur is naturalistically rendered, the hair meticulously drawn in a darker colour.  There is a white patch on the breast and a beige spiralling line along the spine. The exposed skin inside the ears, under the short tail and on the rear, are painted in pink; the hooves are enamelled in black. It has been fitted with removable organic antlers at a later date. The deer stands on a European wooden stand, embellished with gilt commemorative medallions portraying the 18th century French King Louis XVI and the Queen Marie-Antoinette. The piece has exceptional provenance, having been in the collection of Baron Alphonse de Rothschild from 1827-1905 and later in private collections in France and Italy.

 

Porcelain standing deer
Qing Dynasty, Tongzhi period (1862 – 1874)
H. 42 cm
Vanderven Oriental Art, The Netherlands

 
 

Also featured is a foliate lacquer box and cover, Qing Dynasty, 18th century. Intricately carved with ten lobes, the box is decorated with two dragons amongst crested waves, surrounding a flaming pearl.

Foliate lacquer box and cover
Qing Dynasty, 18th century
D. 10 cm
Provenance: private collection, UK
Vanderven Oriental Art, The Netherlands

Priestley & Ferraro, London, established in 1994, specialises in early Chinese art, with a particular focus on the ceramics of the Song dynasty. The gallery also deals in many types of works of art, including Song dynasty silver and plain lacquer, Yuan and Ming dynasty carved lacquers; Ming dynasty jades and cloisonné enamels; sculpture and Buddhist stone carving, as well as some paintings on silk.

Exhibiting for the 7th time at Fine Art Asia, highlights of their exhibition at this year’s fair include a rare bronze seated figure of Guanyin dating from the Ming Dynasty. The bodhisattva is cast seated in an upright position. Her body is turned to the right, while her head is turned to the left, an arrangement very rare in Chinese art. Her head is superbly modelled; her hair is drawn back in an elaborate coiffure. This Guanyin appears almost genderless, suggesting a date earlier than the typical feminine representations of the later Ming and Qing dynasties, as the bodhisattva had not yet fully transformed from the male manifestation – usually called Avalokitesvara – of earlier eras.  

A rare bronze seated figure of Guanyin
Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644)
H. 42 cm
Priestley & Ferraro, London

Barrère Hong Kong is the Hong Kong gallery of the renowned Galerie Jacques Barrère, founded in 1969 is located in the heart of Paris, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. Barrère Hong Kong was founded in 2013 to serve better Asian collectors and to promote and preserve Far Eastern art. The gallery specialises in Chinese sculpture, archaeology, ceramics and decorative arts, as well as Japanese sculpture and porcelain, and statuary art from Gandhara, India and Southeast Asia.

 

A highlight at Fine Art Asia 2017 is a Head of Buddha from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), which perfectly illustrates the renaissance of statuary in China at the beginning of the 7th century.Still influenced by the stylised iconography of the Northern Wei, the style proclaims the suppleness that characterised art during the Tang Dynasty. The contours of the face are deliberately emphasised to give force to the divinity’s expression. The slender eyes gaze downwards with a great strength. The heavily-etched brows join to form a fine and well-drawn nose, highlighted with a central urna in relief. The well-defined and rounded mouth hints at a discreet smile. The neck is adorned with the three folds of beauty. The hair, assembled in stylised curls, is formed into a chignon with large geometric swirls.

  Head of Buddha
Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)
White marble with traces of polychromy
H. 31 x W. 24 x D. 16 cm
Barrère Hong Kong

David Aaron, London, originally founded in Isfahan, Iran in 1910, is widely recognised as one of oldest and the most pre-eminent galleries in the world for important and exquisite antiquities and ancient works of art. The scope of the collection includes Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, Central Asian, Near Eastern, Islamic and Indian works of art.

Leading the exhibition this year is a highly important gold Ziwiye fragment with embossed animals, from Central Asia, dating from c. 7th century BC. This is the largest known fragment from a very famous gold belt found in the Ziwiye hoard of treasure in 1947 in modern day Kurdistan. As the contents of a royal tomb of a great ancient king, the pieces are of huge significance in scholarship about the Silk Road and are dispersed across many of the world’s most famous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Louvre. This rare sophisticated gold plaque, which has been published in the most eminent reference books on the subject, is one of the iconic symbols of this period and is the only piece of the belt still in private hands.

Another highlight is an Achaemenid Lapis Lazuli Bowl from Iran, 5th – 4th century BC. The Achaemenid Empire (550 – 330 BC) was renowned for its high art. Spanning Western Asia, established trade routes enabled the spread of luxury items like this exceptional lapis lazuli bowl. Such items were often royal gift exchange goods, esteemed for their rarity and skilled working. Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its deep and rich colour, and scarcity. Mined since the 7th century BC in what is now Afghanistan, it was an expensive material that conveyed the owner’s wealth and status throughout the Achaemenid Empire and further. This fine bowl with carved fluted motifs complementing the natural streaks of colour in the stone, is the work of a skilled craftsman highly versed in the material. Lapis lazuli was often mixed with gemstones such as emeralds, turquoise and carnelian in jewellery. This piece, however, is exceptional for its size – such a large piece of lapis lazuli was extremely hard to come by. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a gold Achaemenid fluted bowl of similar size and design.

 
 

Highly important gold Ziwiye fragment
Central Asia, c. 7th century BC
H. 9.5 x W. 9 cm
David Aaron, London

 

Achaemenid lapis lazuli bowl
Iran, 5th – 4th century BC
D. 9.5 x H. 2.5 cm
David Aaron, London

Carlton Rochell Asian Art, New York, will celebrate the 15th anniversary of his gallery by exhibiting Masterpieces of HimalayanArt at Fine Art Asia 2017. Mr Rochell, world-renowned art dealer and connoisseur, spent the first 18 years of his career at Sotheby’s, including several years in Hong Kong from 1997 when he was appointed Managing Director of China and Southeast Asia. During his time in Hong Kong, he presided over record-breaking auctions, including the sale of the highest price paid for any Chinese work of art auctioned in Hong Kong at the time, for a rare porcelain Chenghua “chicken cup” sold in April 1999.

 

Carlton RochellAsian Art returns to Fine Art Asia with an exceptional Nepalese sculpture of Bodhisattva Manjusri dating from the 12th century. This is one of the finest of all Nepalese bronzes depicting the bodhisattva, highlighting the transcendent qualities of Newar artists. The Buddhist god of wisdom is depicted as a youthful, suave prince, his body adorned with fabulous jewellery and clothed in a short, floral-patterned dhoti. Black curls are striking against his golden colour, and sparkling gemstones decorate his body.  His posture is relaxed, emphasizing his muscular, broad-shouldered physique with graceful poise. Serene expressions of divinity define his spiritual nature, a temperament instilled by the sculptor that conveys the bodhisattva’s compassion for his devotees and his infinite wisdom.

Bodhisattva Manjusri
Nepal, 12th century
Copper alloy with gilding, semiprecious stones, and pigment
H. 91.2 cm
Carlton Rochell Asian Art, New York

 
Another highlight is a very fine thangka depicting scenes of Milarepa’s life from Eastern Tibet, dating from the late 17th century, formerly in the David R. Nalin Collection. Milarepa is one of the most beloved and best-known figures in Tibetan Buddhism. His is the tale of a young boy who, out of grief and anger, causes massive death and destruction but eventually finds his way to compassion and wisdom.His story represents hope and transformation and is frequently told in images and words. The fine detailing and exquisite painting of this thangka are immediately evident. Milarepa clad in his characteristic white robes sits on a modest throne in the midst of a lush green landscape of rolling hills. Surrounding him are a number of finely-painted narrative vignettes. The style of this painting, with formal elements such as craggy green-blue rocks, dark shading around the clouds, spiky bamboo leaves, and open spaces in the canvas strongly suggests it was made in eastern Tibet.
 

Very fine thangka depicting scenes of Milarepa’s life
Eastern Tibet, late 17th century
H. 105.4 x W. 61.6 cm
Carlton Rochell Asian Art, New York

Kaikodo, New York specialises in Chinese art of all media and periods and is well-known as one of the few private dealers in the West specialising in high-quality Chinese paintings. Once again, Kaikodo brings an unparalleled collection of classical Chinese paintings to Fine Art Asia 2017. Scholar in Spring Garden, by an anonymous artist, is a rare and exquisite fan painting dating from the Song Dynasty, 12th century. It depicts a scholar leisurely walking on a garden path with mimosa trees providing a soft canopy of shade, and is outstanding for its delicacy of execution and serenity of mood.

Also featured is an album of 12 leavesby Tang Shihu (1831 – 1902). The painter of this extremely attractive album, featuring a variety of gorgeous blossoms, was born in Wujin, the modern Changzhou in Jiangsu province.  This area had been the centre of an important school of bird-and-flower painting since the early Song dynasty, and Tang was a most accomplished heir of this school, while his most important predecessor was the great Yun Shoupin (1633-1690). Tang’s elegantly drawn blossoms, vines and branches, ingenious compositions, and highly-skilled use of line and wash to create scenes of natural beauty are all quite similar to the best of Yun’s work. The flowers depicted include camellia, peony, rose mallow, hibiscus, chestnut rose, wisteria, dwarf Chinese holly, tiger lily, begonia, carnation, and narcissus. Tang was also known as a calligrapher and poet and it is recorded that in 1894 he submitted a floral screen to the court, where it greatly pleased the Empress Cixi (1835-1908).

 
 

Anonymous
Scholar in Spring Garden
Song Dynasty, 12th century
Ink and colour on silk
H. 26.2 x W. 28 cm
Kaikodo, New York

 

Tang Shihu (1831 – 1902)
Flowers
1876
Album of 12 leaves
Ink and colour on silk
Each H. 29 x W. 29 cm
Kaikodo, New York

 

 

 

Fair Organiser

Art & Antique International Fair Ltd (AAIF) was founded in 2005 by well-known antique Chinese furniture dealer Andy Hei to provide a vibrant new platform in the Hong Kong for the art world in Asia and worldwide. The company is the pioneer of art fairs in Hong Kong: its inaugural fair in 2006 was the first international art fair in Hong Kong in more than a decade.

In 2010, Fine Art Asia was recognised as Hong Kong’s first globally acclaimed non-corporate art enterprise brand, featuring internationally renowned fine art and jewellery exhibitors as well as attracting the world’s foremost collectors.

In 2011, Asian contemporary art collector and promoter Calvin Hui joined Fine Art Asia as Co-Chairman and Director, sharing his knowledge of the Asian art market and his public relations network to enhance and continue the expansion of the fair.

Art and Antique International Fair Ltd has successfully held 13 fairs in Hong Kong to date.

 

www.fineartasia.com

 

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