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     Lacquered wooden panel of a seated young beauty with flowers by Alix Ayme. UPDATE: THIS MADE 80,000 AT HAMMER

    The fabulous arts of Asia – magnificent, rich, colourful, symbolic, auspicious – will come under the hammer at three days of sales at James Adam in Dublin kicking off next Tuesday.  More than 1,000 lots including newly discovered masterpieces of fine Chinese and Himalayan art will feature in two Asian Spring auctions and one of decorative Asian art. There will be global interest in an auction series which has been already previewed at the Pagoda Fair in Paris. Irish collectors and those dipping their toes into this market for the first time will find plenty of opportunities at sales where estimates range from €80 to €400,000.

    In an era of fakes, knockoffs and forgeries seasoned collectors of Asian art  value provenance very highly.  These auctions are rich in works from well known collections like that of Carlos Alfredo Tornquist Altgelt (1885-1953); Juan Carlos Katzenstein (1925-2018); Jorge Casares of Buenos Aires and Canadian industrialist Baron Sir Duncan Orr-Lewis. The top lot of the auction is a rare six panelled lacquered wood screen of a Mekong River landscape with village by Vietnamese artist Le Quoc Loc (1918-1987). This 1943 panel is estimated at €200,000-€400,000. From snuff bottles to carved animals to screens and vases there is enough jade to make one green with envy.  On day one there are Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze figures, rock crystal censers, blanc de chine porcelain vases, Chinese export porcelain, silver, cloisonne ware, an opium tray, furniture, art and scrolls.

    Le Quoc Loc – Six panelled lacquered wood screen of a Mekong River landscape with village. UPDATE: THIS MADE 360,000 AT HAMMER

    The emphasis on Wednesday is on Vietnam, Indochina, Asian painters and Japan.  There are some Japanese prints along with a selection of art and artefacts headed by the six fold lacquer screen by Le Quoc Loc and a beautiful lacquer panel with a Byzantine inspired gold ground by Alix Ayme (1894-1989), professor at the Indochina Fine Arts College in Hanoi.  The artist, once a pupil of Maurice Denis, was instrumental in the revival of the ancient art of lacquer which she taught in Hanoi. On Thursday the sale of decorative arts is brimful of interest. The Chinese incorporate auspicious symbols in nearly every aspect of life, including arts and culture. All sorts of symbols represent their aspiration for a longer, more prosperous and happier life.  Lot 701 is a Famille Rose eight boys bottle vase.  Three of them are climbing up the vase, and the depiction of five on the shoulders is particularly auspicious as it signifies the saying “wu zi deng ke” referring to the supreme achievement of one family whose five sons passed the civil service examination.  (In my view the most auspicious thing about this is that they did not live next door!).The catalogue is online and viewing is underway at St. Stephen’s Green.

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