Horse riders to gallop ahead at Asian art sale

I M Chait auctions is to start the new year with a sale of Asian and International Art sale.

The focus is on pottery, and three lots are likely to draw the most attention from bidders:

Tang dynasty pottery horse
Tang dynasty red pottery horse

Firstly, a large red pottery horse dating from China's Tang dynasty (the picture disguises the size - it's over two feet long) has carefully shaped features, and even some of the original slip. The expected sale price is $15,000-20,000.

With this, as with all Chinese art at auction, however, there is particularly strong demand in recent times as we explained in a newsletter, and there has been a tendency for lots to exceed their estimates.  

A Ming vase sold for €1.7m a few days ago - several times its estimate, whilst two Chinese porcelain parrots sold for 250 times their estimate recently.

Continuing the horsey theme, two spectacularly colourful glazed pottery equestrian riders, again from the Tang dynasty period (618-907AD), depict a travelling couple. The 12.5in tall figures are estimated at a conservative $18,000-24,000.

Tang dynasty glazed pottery horseriders
Tang dynasty glazed pottery horseriders

From a much earlier period, the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), are two kneeling pottery figures: a cook and a merchant. The merchant holds a single fish, whilst the cook wields a knife above a set of delicacies.

Han dynasty pottery figures merchant cook
Han dynasty pottery figures

The pottery is quite detailed, but the pair are also uplifting in character with the merchant in particular smiling sweetly. Again, the two figures are expected to sell for $18,000-24,000.

The sale, which takes place in Beverley Hills, California on January 24 2010, will be interesting to watch to gauge the ongoing strength of the Asian art market.


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