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Magazine    March 2002

Arts of Pacific Asia Show

One of a pair of circa 1780 crane screens by Kyuhaku III (Hisanobu)

The show must go on, and the Arts of Pacific Asia fair, New York’s oldest and largest exhibition of antiques from the Far East, was able to secure the Events Center (an Art Deco structure also known as the Hasbro Toy Building) for its show this year, from March 22 to 24. (The fair’s original location for many years was the 69th Regiment Armory, but in the wake of the World Trade Center tragedy the armory was reverted to military use.)

Textiles are an emphasis among the 83 international dealers displaying at this year’s Arts of Pacific Asia fair, though ceramics, stone and terra cotta figures, screens, baskets, scholar’s rocks and a variety of other decorative items also will be on view.

Markus Voigt, a dealer from Munich with a substantial collection of Ming Dynasty textiles, is featuring what he calls “one of the finest cashmere shawls in the world. I haven’t seen anything like it neither in a public or private collection.” Made between 1870 and 1880, when shawlmaking was an art form in China, the shawl (below) has 71 wool threads per millimeter. “It is in immaculate condition and the freshness of the colors is astonishing,” Voigt says. “It must have been preserved in a drawer for a hundred years.”

Another highlight at the fair: a pair of circa 1780 six-fold Kano School crane screens by Kyuhaku III (Hisanobu), on exhibit at the stand of Lesley Kehoe Galleries from Melbourne, Australia. The screens, which are a mirror image of each other, are $275,000 for the pair (one pictured above).

A rare set of Chinese chariot fittings (below), made of bronze with silver inlays, from the Eastern Han period (25 to 330 A.D.), is offered by Art & Antiques, Bachman and Eckenstein of Basel, Switzerland. The 18 pieces in the set, including finials, axle caps, large tubular fittings and handles, all came from a single chariot and display a unique artistic quality.

Many collectors are drawn to art and antiques with a unique provenance, and a 5-foot-by-6-foot Chinese painting on silk from the late Ming Period (17th century) certainly falls into that category. This work of art, offered by Robert Brandt of London, was owned by Violet Trefusis, daughter of the renowned Alice Keppel, mistress of King Edward VII of England, and herself lover of Vita Sackville-West. It doesn’t get much better than that, particularly with a price of $38,000.

Cashmere shawl, circa 1870-80 Chariot fittings from before the 4th century

The European Fine Art Fair

17th-century gates from Florence

One of a pair of ca. 1790 Russian girandoles

More than 200 dealers from the world over descend on Maastricht in the Netherlands for the European Fine Art Fair from March 8 to 17, bringing with them a panoply of surprises spanning several centuries:

·an opulent tortoiseshell-and-ivory table that Louis XIV ordered for Versailles

·a 17th-century Royal Door from Russia

·a van Gogh wheatfield

·an Art Deco necklace made for the Maharajah of Patiala

·seven chairs and tables by the 20th-century Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld, including a 1934 white-painted crate chair and a red-painted wood and laminate armchair from 1924

Among the singular decorative pieces at the fair are a pair of circa 1790 Russian girandoles (one shown below left) offered by Monte Carlo dealer Adriano Ribolzi, who specializes in 17th- and 18th-century French and European furniture, tapestries and Old Master paintings. The girandoles are dazzling, with strands of oval, round and lozenge cut crystals spilling from the top and hanging from stems and garlands decorating the amethyst glass shaft, which rests on an ormolu- and white-marble base.

Belgian dealer Jan Roelofs Antiquairs, which also maintains an Italian gallery offering 16th- and 17th-century furniture from Italy and Spain, is showing a pair of 17th-century gates (above left) from Giardini dei Boboli in Florence.

Blue chip fine art is amply displayed at the Maastricht fair, with dealers putting up works from as long ago as Rembrandt and as recent as the English-born David Hockney, whose 1990 The Red Mountain painting (below) represents a new phase in his art that has as its subject landscapes of the American West.

Also on exhibit at the fair, now in its 15th year, are Tang dynasty figures, 18th-century Italian and English silver, and rare objets d'art, such as a 17th-century turned ivory cup, the lid bordered by tortoiseshell and topped with a vase of flowers.

The Red Mountain by David Hockney, 1990

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Arts of Pacific Asia Show

March 22 to 24
Events Center
New York, NY

The European Fine Art Fair

March 8 to 17
Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre
The Netherlands
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