14th-century Yuan Dynasty jar tops $1.3M at I.M. Chait March 17 Asia Week sale

March 21st, 2013 by

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Records were shattered on March 17th at I.M. Chait’s Beverly Hills gallery as the family-owned company known for its expertise in Asian art auctioned the most expensive antique and achieved the highest gross in its 44-year history. The sale of Chinese ceramics and Asian works of art exceeded $3.4 million and was led by a highly important 14th-century Yuan Dynasty porcelain jar that sold for a breathtaking $1,342,000 (inclusive of 22% buyer’s premium). A prominent American collector placed the winning bid over the phone.

14th-century Yuan Dynasty blue and white ovoid porcelain jar

Magnificent and highly important 14th-century Yuan Dynasty blue and white ovoid porcelain jar with narrative scene from the Yuan zaju drama ‘The Savior Yuchi Gong.’ Sold for $1,324,000. I.M. Chait image.

I.M. Chait’s director of operations, Josh Chait, described a tense battle that pitted the ultimate winner against an Internet and absentee bidder, as approximately 100 guests in the gallery looked on.

“It was the same feeling as watching a high-stakes gambling event. There’s no way of knowing who will come out on top. Also, whenever there’s a phone or Internet bidder involved, you can never be sure what their limit is,” Chait said.

Beyond the million-dollar threshold, bids on the precious Chinese artifact increased in $10,000 increments. When bidding ceased at $1.1 million, presiding auctioneer and company founder Isadore M. Chait called out, “Going once – going twice – sold!” and brought down the hammer to thunderous applause.


“There was tremendous excitement,” Josh Chait said, describing the scene that followed. “Some 20 people swarmed around the glass display case to take pictures and video the jar for Chinese Facebook and Twitter – and for posterity. Shortly afterward, the Southern California affiliate for NBC called us. It didn’t take long for the story to get out.”

In spectacular condition, the 14-inch blue and white ovoid jar is a revered historical icon from China’s Yuan Dynasty period. Its decorative motif narrates a scene from the Yuan zaju drama “The Savior Yuchi Gong” and describes how General Yuchi Gong saved the Tang Emperor Taizong from assassination. Isadore Chait had correctly predicted the vessel would reach or exceed one million dollars at auction.


Several bronze, jade and furniture lots brought stellar prices, as well. Lot 224, a 7 7/8in spinach jade brushpot with a continuous landscape scene of sages in a courtyard, came to auction with provenance from the Cleveland Museum of Art Collection. Estimated at $35,000-$45,000, it rose to $122,000.

Lot 186, a highly important early 15th-century Ming Dynasty gilt bronze Bodhisattva of Manjushri with six-character Yongle mark under its base finished well within estimate at $274,500. A Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze shrine with jeweled borders and eight elaborately chased repousse Buddhist emblems, entered as Lot 101, was bid to $36,600 against an estimate of $6,500-$8,000. The 295-lot auction’s closer, a pair of Chinese huanghuali wood armchairs, settled at $43,750, more than six times the high estimate.

According to I.M. Chait’s records, most of the bidders taking part in the March 17 auction were either American or Chinese. Some had stopped over in Los Angeles specifically to attend the auction en route to Asia Week New York.

“Holding our annual Asia Week auction at the Beverly Hills gallery was something new for us,” said Isadore Chait. “For the past seven years we had held our sale in Manhattan, and it had developed a strong following with Asia Week’s visitors. Unfortunately, this year we weren’t able to secure a suitable auction space in Manhattan, so we decided to conduct our Asia Week sale right here at our West Coast gallery. Some thought it was a bold move.”


Chait admits that he initially had concerns about the change of venue and feared that not being right in the thick of Asia Week New York might have a negative impact on his company’s March 17 sale.

“In fact, it turned out to be just the opposite. It ended up being the highest-grossing sale in our entire 44-year history,” Chait said. “It’s very encouraging to see that collectors will flock to a sale – no matter where it is held – and spend their hard-earned money if world-class and one of a kind items are offered.”

To contact I.M. Chait Gallery & Auctioneers, call 1-800-775-5020 or 310-285-0182; or e-mail joey@chait.com. Visit the company online at www.chait.com.

“Meissen Blue Onion,” Cherished by Collectors Since 18 Century

November 8th, 2012 by

Blue Onion is a Chinese pattern originally manufactured by Meissen since the 18th century, copied by other companies since the late 19th century and is still in production today.

The “Blue Onion,” pattern was originally named “bulb” pattern according to historians. While modeled closely after a pattern first produced by the Chinese, the plates and bowls styled in the Meissen factory in 1740 adopted a feel that was distinctly their own. One of the earliest examples is the blue and white porcelains of the early Ming Dynasty in 1420. The flowers and fruits pictured on the original Chinese pattern were unknown to the Meissen painters; they created hybrids that resembled more familiar to Europeans. The so-called “onions” are not onions at all, but according to historians, are most likely mutations of the peaches and pomegranates modeled on the original Chinese pattern. The whole design is an ingeniously conceived grouping of several floral motifs with stylized peonies and asters in the pattern’s center, the stems of which wind in flowing curves around a bamboo stalk.

Collectors beware …the second quality work are those with the “strike lines,” and later ones NO LONGER CARRY the BLUE CROSS SWORDS and carry the work Meissen in a oval in blue.

This and others can be seen at;


Legend of the Nymphenburg “Kings Service”

September 28th, 2012 by

Legend of the Nymphenburg Porcelains Works starts with the designs of Dominikus Auliczek. He was born in East Bohemia on August 1, 1734. Following an apprenticeship in Litomyšl, Auliczek travelled to Vienna, Paris, London and Rome to refine his skills as a sculptor. He was awarded first prize of the Accademia di San Luca for his modelling work by Pope Clemens XII. Auliczek came to Munich in 1762, as one of the best in his field.

It was in 1763, he commenced work for Porcelain Works-Studio Nymphenburg as the successor to Franz Anton Bustelli. In 1772, he advanced to become royal sculptor to the Bavarian electoral court. He created around 100 figures as the model maker during this period. From 1773 to 1797, he headed manufacture as inspector and subsequently as the artistic director (until his death in 1804).

Initially, still strongly influenced by the late-baroque buildings and structures he encountered on his travels in Italy, he created statuesque figures of the gods and a monumental table piece. The most pioneering design by Dominikus Auliczek is the PEARL service held in the Louis-Seize style, which was initially created at the porcelain manufactory for Elector Carl Theodor of Bavaria (around 1793).

These works has been produced for over the past 100 years plus, this service was reserved exclusively for the court of the Wittelsbach family. The name of PEARL is derived from the fragile bar of pearl that lines each individual object. For the first time in the history of porcelain in Europe, Auliczek based his service on the shape of a dodecagon.

Lovingly artisans applied with 792 different sepia veduta and lavish blue-gold decorations, the service was produced in 1918 for the golden wedding anniversary of King Ludwig III and Archduchess Marie Therese as a gift from their children and has, since this time, been known as the “Royal Bavarian Service”.

The painted decoration consists of small oval and round landscape reserves in grey or sepia (tone-in-tone painting) with a few trees in the foreground, sometimes with a building as a “view ” and in some cases adorned with  small figures of people in the spirit of Jacques Callot’s etched scenes . Even today these works are highly sought after as so many of the fine works of the Nymphenbury Porcelains factory in different variations based on original layouts dating from the 18th century.

The Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory (in German: Porzellanmanufaktur Nymphenburg), manufacturer of Nymphenburg porcelain, is situated in the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, capital of Bavaria, and since the mid-eighteenth century has been manufacturing porcelain of high artistic value.

After his accession in 1745 Maximilian III Joseph, Prince-Elector of Bavaria, commanded the establishment of manufacturing companies in order to bail out the state finances. From 1747 attempts were made to manufacture porcelain and at the end of that year the former Neudeck Castle in the area now the Munich suburb of Au-Haidhausen was made available for that purpose. Up to 1754 the experiments were a miserable failure and lost considerable amounts of money, but in that year the efforts to manufacture porcelain finally began to succeed. In 1755 the factory received its first commission from the Bavarian court and in 1756 came the first success in painting the porcelain in color. The management of the jurist and entrepreneur Count Sigmund von Haimhausen from 1758 ensured that the factory was placed on a sound commercial footing. By 1761 it had moved to the Nymphenburg Palace, where it still is today.

Among the great artists who followed Bustelli were Dominikus Auliczek the elder (1734—1804) and Johann Peter Melchior. A great promoter of the works was Ludwig I who gave them many commissions. Particular favorites were dinner services with copies of famous paintings or with Bavarian landscapes in an antique style.

In 1822 Friedrich von Garner, the fashionable architect, was appointed artistic director of the factory. In the middle of the 19th century, its financial position deteriorated to the extent that in 1856 all artistic production was halted and it was decide to privatize the factory. It was leased out for the first time in 1862 and its focus shifted to the production of technical, medical and sanitary porcelain goods.

In 1887 Albert Bäuml (1855—1929) took a lease of the factory. His aim was to regain the previous high artistic level of the factory’s products: it was Bäuml, for example, who “rediscovered” Bustelli. This aim was realized at around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and besides historical copies, elegant Jugendstil ceramics were developed.

Works of the Nymphenberg Porcelains work can be seen and appreciated at;


James Stow & Anthony Yau

Candlewood Yankee Fine Arts

Wedgwood Jasper Ware Lost Art & A Great Opportunity for Collectors

September 26th, 2012 by

Since the 5 of January 2009, Wedgwood, Waterford and Royal Doulton has been sold K P S Capital Partners had purchased The English Manufacture works. Except for special orders and smaller ware in Jasper ware, Wedgwood jasper ware is NO LONGER produced in any volume .

Most ware are now manufactured outside of the UK by other locations  in the Foreign  Companies owned by the WWD ( Waterford-Wedgwood-Royal Daulton ) producing other wares and not the noted Jasper ware .

The more outstanding items, Larger Plaques, Portland Vases, tricolor works are still produced in the United Kingdom.  The sweet dishes, small plates, small vases that we see by the thousands are what has flooded the market and still can be found in the secondary auctions. These you find in so many auctions houses, on-line Auctions by the hundreds.

Special and outstanding ones can still be found on the Better Auction Houses and by dedicated Smaller Antique dealers.  The older vintage works can be purchased for far less than the new ones produced and available from the Wedgwood site in the United Kingdom.

“What a Shame, that the “Father of British Pottery” was a victim of the global financial crisis.”

Josiah Wedgwood (July 12, 1730 – January 3, 1795, born Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent) was an English potter, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. He was a member of the Darwin — Wedgwood family, most famously including his grandson, Charles Darwin.

Born the thirteenth and youngest child of Thomas Wedgwood III and Mary Wedgwood (born Stringer; d. 1766), Josiah was raised within a family of English Dissenters. He survived a childhood bout of smallpox to serve as an apprentice potter under his eldest brother Thomas Wedgwood IV. Smallpox left Josiah with a permanently weakened knee, which made him unable to work the foot pedal of a potter’s wheel. As a result, he concentrated from an early age on designing pottery rather than making it.

In his early twenties, Wedgwood began working with the most renowned English pottery-maker of his day, T. Whieldon. There he began experimenting with a wide variety of pottery techniques, an experimentation that coincided with the burgeoning early industrial city of Manchester, which was nearby. Inspired, Wedgwood leased the Ivy Works in his home town of Burslem and set to work. Over the course of the next decade, his experimentation (and a considerable injection of capital from his marriage to a richly endowed distant cousin, Sarah Wedgwood) transformed the sleepy artisan works into the first true pottery factory.

To better appreciate the beauty and hand craftsmanship of these works please visit the two sites here;

Part 1-    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy87Gd7kQpE

Part 2-    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9E_BJgc3kM

Vintage works in Jasper Ware from the Wedgwood Manufacture can be seen at;


James Stow & Anthony Yau

Candlewood-Yankee Fine Arts