“Asian Art in London,” a 10-day festival opening Thursday, will offer collectors a treasure trove from thousands of years of Asian culture, including ceramics, paintings, sculptures, jade, jewelry, textiles, metalwork and furniture originating from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East
“The sheer quantity of the galleries with special shows makes it the time to be in London,” says Jessica Curtis, the event’s project director.
More than 50 dealers will participate this year, 15 of which will come from the U.S., Europe and Asia. Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Woolley & Wallis will hold major Asian auctions at the festival, while museums, including the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, and other institutions have organized a program of Asian cultural and social events (www.asianartinlondon.com).
Eskenazi will show 20 rare imperial pieces of Qing Dynasty porcelain, primarily 18th century. They include colorfully decorated vases, plates, ewers and water pots, ranging in price from £100,000 to several million pounds. Sam Fogg and Francesca Galloway will jointly exhibit “Red Stone: Indian Stone Carving from Sultanate and Mughal India.” Late-12th century to early-13th century fragments of friezes will be exhibited beside screens from the 16th-18th centuries. Ms. Galloway will also have an exhibition entitled “The Divine & The Profane: Gods, Kings & Merchants in Indian Art,” with paintings and textiles.
Rossi & Rossi will offer paintings by U.S.-based Tibetan contemporary artist Tsherin Sherpa. His striking works build on traditional Tibetan Buddhist iconography of spirits and protector gods, visualizing them adapting to foreign lands to which his people have migrated. In “Untitled” (2012), a powerful spirit dressed in Pop Art, polka-dot underpants raises a warning, godlike hand (price: $28,000, or €22,138).
Leading Christie’s Nov. 6 auction of fine Chinese ceramics and works of art will be a yellow jade double-disk object from 1736-95 that is expected to fetch £500,000-£700,000. “Fine yellow jade pieces are very sought after,” says Pedram Rasti, who heads Christie’s Chinese Department. The second most valuable lot in the sale is a large Cloisonné enamel vase, inscribed with a poem describing moving birds and trees (estimate: £400,000-£600,000). “Cloisonné is buoyant,” Mr. Rasti notes.
The Christie’s lot I love is a dramatic gilt-bronze sculpture of a temple guardian from the 16th-17th century. Sword raised, he looks at the world with a third eye (estimate: £60,000-£80,000). “This powerful piece should not only interest Asian art buyers but collectors of sculpture generally,” Mr. Rasti says.
A highlight of Sotheby’s fine Chinese ceramics and works of art sale on Nov. 7 will be a rare blue-and-white jar from the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), depicting two dragons pursuing flaming pearls under flying phoenixes (estimate: £400,000-£600,000). Another ceramic gem will be a massive, highly decorative vase from the Qianlong-Jiaqing period (1736-1820), depicting 100 boys at play (estimate: £100,000-£200,000). “The current taste is for highly decorative, large pieces,” says Sotheby’s Asian specialist Robert Bradlow.
Sotheby’s will also have a selling exhibition of works by China’s new designers from Nov. 2-8, the first show in the West of graduate work from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Included will be a set of three stools covered in flowers and made from recycled fabric (price: £2,000).