Massive carved jade boulder an auction marvel
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 20th September, 2017
A giant two-coloured early to mid-20th century carved Chinese jade boulder weighing a massive 400 kilograms is the highlight of auctioneer Phil Caldwell’s forthcoming on site auction from 11am Sunday September 24 at 25 Gladstone Parade, Elsternwick.
Once owned by the late John St Alban – one of the biggest Australian collectors of Asian antiques and works of art and a major donor to the Golden Dragon Chinese Museum in Bendigo – the boulder is one of the largest and finest jade pieces on the international market and could bring up to $300,000 – although the auction estimate is a much more modest $30,000-$80,000.
Former Asian art and antiques expert at London’s Victorian Albert Museum Allan Myren believes the boulder, measuring 140cm by 120cm, is one of the best he has seen.
“It represents in Daoist Immortals in paradise where they dwell with birds and animals in a celestial landscape,” he said. “The exceptional artist has placed the figures in the composition to give them a harmonious relationship in the heart of surrounding nature, expressing the relationship between Heaven, Earth and ‘Man’.”
Mr Myren said the black and white jade boulder was particularly rare and auspicious and had been exploited by the artist to resemble the most familiar and important elements of Daoist processes.
The auction is being held at the home of the late Dr David Simmons who with his wife lived there for more than 60 years and built up a substantial collection of antiques.
There are several worthwhile paintings by leading Australian artists in the sale including David Boyd’s Children Cockatoo and Spirit, Pro Hart’s The Bush Picnics and Ernest Buckmaster’s Sydney Coastal Scene.
Other works of note include Chris Canning’s Still Life, John Coburn’s Abstract and Howard Arkley’s Suburban House.
Clocks are another auction highlight including a 20th century multiple chiming grandfather clock from Harrods and several 19th century French and English carriage, mantel and bracket clocks.
An important Chinese Tang Dynasty (616-906 A.D.) ex-Hong Kong market pottery camel and Sogdian rider with vibrant pigment decoration – accompanied by a University of Wollongong thermoluminescence test certificate – is bound to attract plenty of buyer attention.
A magnificent and rare pair of large antique ivory tusks, painted and carved in the form of a regal lady and gent complete with inset red coral maker plaques is bound to intrigue auction goers.
Jewellery is another strong attraction with a rare and important Ulyssse Nardin 18-carat gold automatic marine chronometer wristwatch one of the major drawcards.
Also appealing is a large and impressive 18-carat yellow gold mounted approximately 35-carat opal and an 18-carat yellow and white gold pink sapphire butterfly brooch.
Among the furniture is a French antique salon cabinet and makers Royal Worcester, Meissen, Dresden, Moore Bros and Japanese Satsuma are included in the major porcelain pieces on offer.