Rivertown Antiques and Estate Services of Houston, Texas, is an auction house that specializes in Asian fine and decorative art. They will present a 202-lot auction on Saturday, Oct. 12, featuring rarities that follow a timeline from the Shang Dynasty (2nd millennium B.C.) through the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Rivertown Presents Asian Art In No-Reserve Auction On Oct. 12
Offerings Range In Timeline From Shang Dynasty Through 20th Century
The carefully curated connoisseurs selection includes distinguished estate and family items from the United States, Great Britain and Continental Europe. Sources include the David Collins collection, the estate of William Nelson, the Fan Guang collection, and property from the collections of Charles George and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Johnson.
No reserve has been placed on any of the lots. We are absolutely confident that the artworks and antiques chosen for this sale, which are of utmost quality and impeccable provenance, will attract the market prices they deserve, said Rivertown spokesperson Rafael Leite. Were very proud of the artworks in this sale, which took our expert appraiser many months to authenticate and catalog.
Three of the many exquisite bronzes entered in the sale come with provenance from the collection of David Collins (1902-75) and subsequently by descent through the Collins family. Collins acquired his bronzes and other important Chinese and Tibetan artworks during the 1920s and 30s while an official with the British Consular Service in China and Eastern Tibet. In all, 38 pieces from the Collins collection are in the sale.
Among the highlights is a superb Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze Buddha, Yongle mark and period, measuring 9.5 inches high. In a vintage photograph of David Collins residence (available to view in the online catalog), the Buddha is visible through the glass window of an elegant Chinese cabinet.
Other premier bronzes from the Collins collection include a Chinese Ming Dynasty gilt-bronze figure of Padmasambhava, 10.5 inches, and an ornately presented 15th-century Ming Dynasty Buddha, 12.75 inches high. Each is estimated at $200-$400 and appears in a family photo accompanying the catalog description.
A stunning array of antique Chinese ceramics awaits bidders, with a variety of styles and glazes on display. Both a 9-inch Song Dynasty Henan black-glazed, ribbed jar and 9.5-inch Ming Dynasty Longquan celadon jar with attractive bas-relief botanical motif come with provenance from the collection of Fan Guang (1886-1962). A political figure and historian, Fan Guang served as Chinas political vice minister of Foreign Affairs from 1928 to 1931 and counselor to the Ministry of Finance from 1940 to 1944. The auction features 28 lots from this old collection, which passed by descent with Fan Guangs family to the present heir in California. Each piece is an attractive buying opportunity with a pre-sale estimate of $200-$400.
Yet another honored source of Chinese decorative art in this auction is the estate of William Nelson, who traveled extensively in Asia while working for the U.S. State Department in the 1970s to 1990s. Nelson acquired many fine pieces at art auctions while on diplomatic missions in the Far East. Premier examples include a 19.75-inch Qing Dynasty vase, Qianlong mark and period, and two exceptionally beautiful famille rose vases, both Qianlong mark and period, that were purchased at a Hong Kong auction in 1995. One of them stands 11.75 inches tall and features a mountain scene in a central cartouche, while the other is 14.75 inches, with a pink and white floral pattern against a rich cobalt blue ground. Each of the three vases is entered in the sale with a $200-$400 estimate.
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