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Chen Hongshou 1598-1652 | Lot | Sotheby's

Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), Figures, signed Hongshou, dated gengyin (1650). With one seal of the artist, lao lian, and one collector’s seal, cheng yi zhai zhen wan; ink and color on silk, framed;144.6 by 56 cm. 57 by 22 in. Estimate 800,0001,200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 18 September 2014 Sotheby’s New York will present the bi annual various-owner Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy sale immediately followed by a single owner auction from the Collection of General and Mrs. Zhu. The sales include a range of calligraphy by masters such as Wang Shouren, Xie Jin, Wen Zhengming, and Ni Yuanlu, and Classical paintings by Zheng Xie, Tang Yin, and Chen Hongshou among others. The full offering goes on view on Friday 12 September. 


The various owner sale is led by Chen Hongshou’s Figures from 1650 (est. $800,000/1.2 million). The painting beautifully represents the artist’s skill at capturing the human form and comes from an important Singapore collection. (lot 772)

Zheng Xie was one of the ‘Eight Eccentrics’ – a group of Qing Dynasty artists who pioneered a new bold and experimental approach to painting. Bamboo and Rock is a well preserved large-scale example from this period that has remained in the same private collection for decades (est. $850,000/1.2 million). (lot 821)

Zheng Xie 1693-1765 | Lot | Sotheby's

Zheng Xie (1693-1765), Bamboo and Rock, signed Banqiao Zheng Xie, with two seals of the artist, ban qiao dao ren, bing chen jin shi. With one collector’s seal, xiao xian ye lao; ink and color on paper, hanging scroll; 239 by 122 cm. 94 by 48 in. Estimate 850,0001,200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Tang Yin is one of the great Chinese historical figures of the Ming Dynastry whose fame extends far beyond his renown as a painter. Works such as Wait for a Boat in Autumn appear on the market extremely rarely (est. $300/400,000). (lot 750)

Tang Yin 1470-1523 | Lot | Sotheby's

Tang Yin (1470-1523), Wait for a Boat in Autumn, signed Wujun Tang Yin, with one seal of the artist, tang bo hu, ink and color on silk, hanging scroll, 67.5 by 31.7 cm. 26 1/2  by 12 1/2 in.  Estimate 300,000400,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Among a strong group of calligraphy being offered in the sales is Poems in Cursive Script by the influential artist and polticial figure Ni Yuanlu (est. $250/350,000). Very few handscrolls by the artist remain in existence and it is particularly rare to find an example with such extensive text. (lot 797)

Ni Yuanlu 1593-1644 | Lot | Sotheby's

Ni Yuanlu (1593-1644), Poems in Cursive Script (detail), signed Yuanlu, with two seals of the artist, ni yuan lu, hong bao. Colophon by He Zhen (19th century), dated jihai of the Daoguang reign (1839), spring, signed Qiantang He Zhen, with two seals, chen zhen, fang gu; Qian Yaohe (?-1830), signed Qian Yaohe, dated the eighth year of the Daoguang reign, wuzi, the fifteenth day of the eleventh lunar month (Nov. 21, 1828), with one seal, qian yaohe; Naito Konan (1866-1934), signed Neiteng Hu, dated bingyin (1926), the eleventh lunar month, with one seal, hu nan; Nagao Uzan (1864-1942), signed Changwei jia, dated bingyin, the seventeenth day of the eleventh lunar month (Dec. 21, 1926), with two seals, chang wei jia yin, yu shan. Titleslip by Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1931), signed Quanyang Yi, with two seals, both illegible; Frontispiece by Inukai Tsuyoshi, signed Quanyang Yi, with two seals, quan yang yi yin, zi yuan. With two collector’s seals of Pei Jingfu (1854-1924), bo qian bao ci guo yu mihng zhu jun ma, pei jing fu; two collector’s seals of Yan Liangyu (Qing Dynasty), liang yu, bao hou shen ding, ceng zai yan shi san ai xuan, san an xuan; Jin Futing (19th Century), jin fu ting shou xian shi shou cang; and four other collectors’ seals, de jian shen ding, shang yu ni yi zhen shang, wu xing yao zhuo suo jian miao ji, gui hua xuan cang. Ink on paper, handscroll, 22.5 by 186.4 cm. 8 7/8  by 73 3/8  in. Estimate 250,000350,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Wen Zhengming is one of the four great masters of the Ming Dynasty and is represented in the National Museums of both Beijing and Taipei. Xiyuan Poems in Cursive Script comes from the Estate of Wai-Kam Ho – a connoisseur and museum curator who worked at many distinguished institutions and spent the last few months of his life working at the Shanghai Museum (est. $200/250,000). (lot 782)


Wen Zhengming (140-1559), Xiyuan Poems in Cursive Script, signed Zhengming at the age of eighty-six, dated yimao (1555), the sixth lunar month, with three seals of the artist, zheng zhong fu yin (2), wen zheng ming yin, ting yun
With three collector’s seals of Cheng Qi (1911-1988), cheng bo fen tu shu ji, shuang song lou, yan bo sui chu xiao you xian; 
ink and color on paper, handscroll, 24.7 by 450 cm. 9 3/4  by 177 1/4  in. Estimate 200,000 — 250,000 USDPhoto: Sotheby’s.

The single-owner sale of eight pieces formerly in the collection of General Zhu Shaoliang and Mrs. Zhu includes four works by Zhang Daqian and four pre-modern works of painting and calligraphy. The sale is led by Zhang Daqian’s Portrait Of Avalokitesvara From Dunhuang Buddhist Cave which the artist painted during his stay in the Mogao caves in the early 1940s (est. $2.6/3.2 million). Zhang Daqian spent over two and a half years in the caves on the edge of the Gobi Desert painstakingly copying the intricate murals that covered the walls and ceiling. The painting depicts Avalokitesvara holding a crystal plate and a ribbon from the robe. With rich color and dignified figure, this work absorbs the best quality of the Dunhuang art. (lot 967)

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983 | Lot | Sotheby's

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983, Portrait Of Avalokitesvara From Dunhuang Grottoes, signed shujun Zhang Yuan, dated guiwei (1943), the sixth lunar month, with a dedication to Mrs. Zhu (Hua Defen, 20th Century), and two seals of the artist, yuan, da qian, ink and color on paper, hanging scroll, 128 by 66.1 cm. 50 1/2  by 26 inEstimate 2,600,0003,200,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Other highlights include Lotus After Shitao (est. $800,000/1 million, lot 968) and Poem In Running Script (est. $50/70,000, lot 962) also by Zhang Daqian while the calligraphic works include Letters by Dong Qichang (est. $120/150,000).

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983 | Lot | Sotheby's

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983, Lotus After Shitao, signed shujun Zhang Yuan, dated guiwei (1943) autumnwith two seals of the artist, zhang yuan zhi yin, da qian. ink on yellow paper, hanging scroll, 166 by 74.3cm. 65 3/8  by 29 1/4  in. Estimate 800,0001,000,000 USD. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Artist’s inscription: 
A blossom and a leaf: the meaning of [the Buddha’s] arrival from the West: Did Dadi know this or not then? 
I wish to move and live amidst the flowers,
But worry that my mundane thoughts would disturb the waters. 

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983 | Lot | Sotheby's

Zhang Daqian (Chang Dai-chien) 1899-1983, Poem In Running Script, signed shujun Zhang Yuan, with two seals of the artist, yuan, daqian; ink on paper, hanging scroll, 143.5 by 38 cm. 56 1/2  by 15 in. Estimate 50,00070,000 USDPhoto: Sotheby’s.

Aritist Inscription:
How have affairs changed over the years?
Even Buddha seems aged and weary.
With his magical bowl he tamed the Dragon;
With his powers he guards the Pigeon King.
Beyond the Jade Pass is a dusty vastness;
The Dang River is a roiling whiteness.
On the collapsed pagoda no bells ring;
A profound darkness confronts the sun setting.

A poem on the West Qianfo cave site in Dunhuang, recorded for Master Yimin’s instruction and correction.

Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Letters

Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Letters (detail)

Dong Qichang (1555-1636), Letters. 1. signed « name is on the letter cover », dated the ninth day of the sixth lunar month, with one seal, qi chang – 2. signed « name is on the letter cover » – 3. signed « name is on the letter cover », dated the twenty-eighth day of the fourth lunar month – 4. signed « name is on the letter cover », dated the twentieth day of the sixth lunar month. Colophon by Fan Zhenxu (1872-1960), signed Dongxue laoren, dated yihai (1935) mid-summer, with one seal, yu qin; Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), signed Daqian Zhang Yuan, dated renwu (1942), the beginning of summer, with two seals, yuan, da qian; Gao Yihan (1885-1968), signed Gao Yihan, with one seal, gao yi han yin; Wu Jingheng (1865-1953), signed Wu Jingheng, dated thirty-first year of the republic (1942), the eighth lunar month, with one seal, wu jing heng yin; ink on paper, handscroll; 26.7 by 216.5 cm. 10 1/ 2  by 85 1/8  in.  Estimate 120,000 — 150,000 USDPhoto: Sotheby’s.