What should you think about if you want to start collecting Asian objects?
– The essential thing, if you are going to start collecting, is to collect what you love. If you like it, someone else will do the same in the future if you want to replace the items in your collection. Familiarize yourself with the objects, materials and history of the objects. Do not be afraid to ask questions to the staff at the auction house, whether you need extra information, a condition report or just some extra pictures. Provenance is very important for more expensive objects and especially older items where there may be restrictions on trade.
How do you decorate with Asian objects?
– The elegant aesthetics of the Asian objects make them fit well in our Scandinavian modern interiors as well as in classic interiors. If you want to start a collection or just invest in a "conversation piece" for your home, - Asian objects is a great start!
One of the main items in the auction is the magnificent yellow dish decorated with nine peaches in underglaze blue and with Emperor Qianlong's seal mark at the bottom (1736-95). The yellow colour was reserved for the emperor, and it is breath-taking to imagine that the dish was once in the forbidden city by the emperor's side.
That it ended up here in Sweden is through "Postmästare" Erik Nordström who was in China at the fall of the last emperor when many objects came on the market. He was sent to develop the postal service on the recommendation of the Swedish Envoy for China and Japan, Gustaf Wallenberg in 1910. Bukowskis has also previously been entrusted with selling items from his collection.
Explore the dish
Another lot of this auction that is close to my heart are the nine watercolours that depicts scenes from court life. They give a fantastic insight into everyday life; you see men, women and children from different generations interact. The paintings also give us a picture of how they decorated with furniture, antiques and art in the palace and its gardens, environments that have since been lost.
Explore the work
Exciting objects paying attention to this auction are the fine export paintings depicting Canton and its Hongs during the 19th century (painting 1), Wampoa Anchorage in the Pearl River outside Canton where the great East India Men lay at anchor and were prepared for the long journey home. Canton was not a deep harbour, so you had to bring the porcelain, tea and all that were to be loaded with sampans to the East India men. (painting2). There are also two paintings from around the year 1800, both with East India Men carrying English flags, one in a fierce typhoon and the other one when the storm or typhoon has subsided. These were probably ordered by a captain or supercargo on board of one of the ships (painting 3a+3b).
Explore Painting 1
Explore Painting 2
Explore Painting 3a + 3b
In recent years, the interest in Chinese painting has increased more and more, one to keep your eye on this auction is the one by Pu Hua (1837-1911), it is dated 1906 and inspired by one of the great painters named Bada Shanren. However, I must say that Pu Hua captured the beauty of the Lotus even better than the artist he cites as a source of inspiration. As in many Asian paintings, there is also a poem, which in this painting can be translated to The sound of dancing lotuses resemble tones of musical instruments and fencing.
Explore the painting
Viewing: 4 – 9 December, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Open: Mon–Fri 11 – 18, Sat–Sun 11 – 17
Auction: 10 – 11 December, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm
Asian department is hammered on December 11 from 10 am CET