Auction - Sotheby's to sell rare Qing Imperial porcelains on Oct 7

Sotheby’s Hong Kong will hold an unprecedented sale of Qing Imperial porcelain sale on Oct 7 in Hong Kong. The 13 lots from the collection of the J.T. Tai Foundation are expected to bring in excess of $22 million and feature eight vases made during the peak period of imperial porcelain production under the Qianlong Emperor. Tai Jun Tsei, or J. T. Tai (1910-1992) was one of the top Chinese art dealers in the 1960s and 1970s. He made it his business to seek out collectors who had both the enthusiasm and the resources to create sensational collections. The two with whom he worked most closely were Avery Brundage, whose remarkable collection forms the core of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and Arthur Sackler whose collection is substantially housed in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum in Washington. In 1982 Mr Tai set up The J. T. Tai & Co. Foundation, Inc., which under his direction began by sponsoring medical students before spreading its grants to include medical research, the American Red Cross and many other charities. The highlight is an exceptional pair of floral medallion vases enamelled in the Imperial workshops, which are offered in two separate lots. Their floral scenes are reminiscent of Beijing-enamelled glass, the scrollwork on the neck of Beijing-enamelled copper, which would have been executed in the same workshops, by the same painters. Porcelains painted in Beijing are generally unique, pairs are not identical but complementary, so both vases show the same flowers but in different compositions. The second part of the collection will be offered at Sotheby’s New York during its Asia Week in March, 2011.