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Sotheby's

SPRING SALES 2017 PRESENTS CURIOSITY III

Sotheby's

Hong Kong, 24 March 2017 will present Curiosity III on 4 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The sale offers a total of 76 lots estimated in excess of HK$50 million / US$6.4 million *. Curiosity III features a gathering of objects formed by nature and man-made, a cross between the Western cabinet of curiosities and the .

International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art  This o Egypt and China, from the Jurassic period to Renaissance Europe. The centerpiece of the sale is the extremely rare 8th century lacquer head of a Bodhisattva, an object of transcendent beauty that will be shown for the first time to the public.

SALE HIGHLIGHTS
A Magnificent and Extremely Rare Dry-Lacquer Head of Avalokitesvara Tang Dynasty, 43.3 cm / overall 67.8 cm
Est. HK$18 million  25 million / US$2.32 million  3.23 million This unique sculpture of Avalokitesvara, a masterpiece of the use of dry-lacquer, was created in the High Tang period, probably during the reign of Emperor Xuanzang (r. 712-756). In its sensuous naturalism and intricacy of carving, this majestic image captivates the viewer as a personification of all that is admirable, desirable and reassuring in Buddhist thought. In spite of its genderless, spiritual beauty, this masterful sculpture appears to breathe with life. Dry-lacquer heads are extremely rare, with only a small number preserved in museum collections, and this example is in near-pristine condition. The closest comparable example in private hands is the head of Buddha from the collection of Gor Hong Kong, October 2013 for HK$40.44 million. An Impressive Allosaurus Dinosaur Skull Late Jurassic Period, Wyoming, USA, approx. 79.8cm Est. HK$2.2  2.8 million / US$284,000  361,000 A T-rex of the Jurassic period, the Allosaurus is a type of dinosaur belonging to the subordinate group of Theropodas living 153 to 135 million years ago. Slightly smaller than the Tyrannosaurus Rex, its first fossils were discovered in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh. Ferocious, carnivorous, and likely weapon was its teeth, as evidenced by this enormous skull. They all curved backwards so the predator could bite down on its prey and prevent it from escaping.

A Pair of Mammoth Tusk Chukchi Snow Goggles Northeastern Siberia, Early 19th Century, 13.1 cm Est. HK$120,000  180,000 / US$15,500  23,200 The Chukchi people are an ancient Arctic tribe inhabiting the tundra, an area of desolate wasteland in Northeastern Siberia; the treeless landscape has led them to adapt to their environment by making use of all natural resources. The only materials available for toolmaking are antlers, bones and a little wood as the inland Chukchi are herders of reindeer and those on the coast rely on fishing, so the discovery of a piece of 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk would be a valuable and much prized find. The present pair of goggles with their fine carving, smooth finish and traces of polychrome would have been greatly appreciated and must have belonged to a person of status within society. A Wax Anatomical Model of a Head Italian School, Late 18th  Early 19th Century Possibly a Follower of Clemente Susini (1754-1814), 23.5 cm Est. HK$180,000  250,000/ US$23,200  32,300 This wax head appears to have been produced as an anatomical model. Such sculptures were in great demand as visual aids for medical students in the eighteenth century. The tradition of creating realistic wax anatomical sculptures was first started by Giuseppe Ferrini in 1771. It was the Italian sculptor, Clemente Susini, who epitomised the realism of these vividly accurate models. The models were based in part on anatomical drawings, and in part on corpses dissected by anatomists such as Felice Fontana and Paolo Mascagni. Although created for use as an educational figure of anatomy, the present model was later installed on a pedestal possibly to create a memento mori. From the sixteenth century, skulls were commonly used as memento mori d the transience of human life.

Rock (pictured left) Qing Dynasty, rock 32 cm, painting 81.8 cm x 27.3 cm Ming HK$900,000  1.2 million / US$116,000  155,000 Powerfully wrought out to stand vertically on a tapering point, the elongated is pitted with an uneven surface. This rock is presented together with an ink on paper hanging scroll painting by Liu Dan (pictured right) of one view of the rock, inscribed description of the rock and four seals of the artist, painted in Beijing in 2005. While many of his works of rocks are larger-than-life representations, the present lot is a life-size reproduction of the rock, painstakingly matching every nook and crag to the fullest detail. Liu has often in painting and in the natural world.

A Hellenistic Marble Torso of Aphrodite
Circa 1st Century BC, 24.8 cm
Est. HK$500,000  700,000/ US$64,500  90,500
Aphrodite is primarily worshipped as the Greek Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and Eternal Youth. The wood stand bears the stamp of Japanese wood artist Kichizô Inagaki (1876-1951). His bases are celebrated as works of art for their own sake because each is created to fit its sculpture perfectly, sculpture and base ultimately unifying as a cohesive object. While working for Joseph Brummer, Inagaki made prestigious connections among key dealers, collectors, and avant-garde artists in early 20th century Paris and thereby gained his greatest commissions. Auguste Rodin, for example, put Inagaki in charge of creating bases for his entire collection of antiquities in 1912.






  • 31.03.2017 - 03.04.2017
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    Hong Kong Public Exhibition: 31 March  3 April | Auction: 4 April



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  • Curiosity III - Cover Image
    Curiosity III - Cover Image
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • A Magnificent and Extremely Rare Dry-Lacquer Hea…valokitesvara
    A Magnificent and Extremely Rare Dry-Lacquer Hea…valokitesvara
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • A Wax Anatomical Model of a Head and An Impres…osaurus Skull
    A Wax Anatomical Model of a Head and An Impres…osaurus Skull
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • A Hellenistic Marble Torso of Aphrodite and A Foss…ull (Lot 3026)
    A Hellenistic Marble Torso of Aphrodite and A Foss…ull (Lot 3026)
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 3023 A Gogotte
    Lot 3023 A Gogotte
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 3015 A Magnificent and Extremely Rare Dry-Lac…valokitesvara
    Lot 3015 A Magnificent and Extremely Rare Dry-Lac…valokitesvara
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Lot 3013 Liu Dan cropped
    Lot 3013 Liu Dan cropped
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus