A Gaggle of Interests – August 16 2009

From this week, Geo and I would list some of the interesting items that we have found in auctions, antique shops or eBay. Most likely, we neither own the items nor do we have the capability of examining the items in person. It mains serves as an inventory record of what interest me (not necessarily in terms of value or investment opportunities) and possibly how much it fetches (if the result can be obtained). If you are serious about some lots, please  contact the auction houses, dealers or eBay sellers directly.

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 112: 5 Sketchbook of Europe Views 1914 Henry W Ranger
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 112: 5 Sketchbook of Europe Views 1914 Henry W Ranger

1. Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 112: 5 Sketchbook of Europe Views 1914 Henry W Ranger

It is rare to find the sketchbooks of a major artists because in the past some sold piece by piece to reap the profit. I am not sure how the auction house dated the works. His contact with Hague School artists began in the 1880’s and it was during that period that he experimented with different techniques in watercolors and did critics with other peer fellows. Nevertheless, the group of 5 sketchbooks will made an important addition to art institute or serious collectors in Old Lyme School or American tonalism.

2. Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 251: c1820 Classical New York Mahogany Card Table

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 251: c1820 Classical New York Mahogany Card Table
Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, August 22, 2009. Lot 251: c1820 Classical New York Mahogany Card Table

This table is dated around 1820. Anything made of New York of classical period will catch Geo’s eyes. The old finish makes it look dark, at least from the photo, the pineapple pedestal and paw feet look in good condition. If the table is sturdy, it can be used as a secondary dining table when unfolded. Estimated between $1000 to $1500, this can add both functionality and beauty to any room. 

Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 394: Set of Four Regency Side Chairs
Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 394: Set of Four Regency Side Chairs

3. Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 394: Set of Four Regency Side Chairs

The only exception to preserving the original condition of chairs is caning, that makes the set of four elegant Regency side chairs wonderful addition to home furnishing. I love the light and airy feels from those reeded sabre legs and caned seats. Actually unlike Geo, I like lighter chairs like those of Regency style or Queen Ann period. It will surprise those who only shop at stickley, for both its quality and price tag.

4. Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 696: Arts & Crafts Schoolgirl Vase

Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 696: Arts & Crafts Schoolgirl Vase
Ken Farmer Auctions & Appraisal, August 23, 3009. Lot 696: Arts & Crafts Schoolgirl Vase

No, it is not Rookwood made by Carl Schmidt or Kataro Shirayamadani, nor is Newcomb vase of moonlight behind Spanish moss. I am no expert in art pottery, and in this case the intial PL does not provide too much information. But I am captivated by the design: Cranes in deep forest. The flattened tree trucks and the tight cropping clearly show the influence of Japanese art. The cranes lacks some of the elegance seen in Oriental arts, but it demonstrates the virtues of the driving force in the the arts and crafts movement: the enthusiastic layman. For me, that is always one of the most stunning aspect in American Culture.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 - 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that "his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.

Leave a Reply

*