with illustrated footnotes


Link to Asia Week New York Website




Michael C Hughes LLC will be showing at the ground floor Shepherd Gallery at 58 East 79th Street between Park and Madison Aves. The show will primarily include Chinese and Korean material, with the emphasis on Chinese, but also comprising a few choice examples of Nepalese and Tibetan art.


One of the highlights of the exhibition is a superb and rare Nepalese partially-gilt bronze kneeling figure of a donor queen dating to the 16/17th century wearing delicate drapery and a benevolent smile. At 9 1/4 inches high it is an impressive figure. Two Tibetan items, a large Thankha of an unusual male deity on a steely blue ground with multi-colored subsidiary figures dating to the late 19th/early 20th century; and a pair of extremely large gilt-bronze figures of a pair 17th century mongooses, male and female, round of a nice group of items from the Himalayas.


The Korean material will be spear-headed by a rare Chosen painted gesso wood figure of a monk holding a bell; and a rare blue and white brushpot with painterly floral sprays.


The Chinese offerings incorporate a wide range of periods from as early as the Tang dynasty (618-907), which includes a superb pagoda-form bronze reliquary and a stunning large sancai-glazed horse; to as late as the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). An example being a delightful mid-size Jicimu-framed softwood (possibly nanmu) two-part cabinet with beautifully carved panels of children at play. At just 5 foot 7 inches tall, it is the perfect size for a city apartment or suburban dwelling. In addition is a wide range of works of art including a choice group of scholar’s table items including rare ink stones; paste boxes, seals and bamboo and inlaid hardwood brush pots; a large Qianlong cinnabar lacquer circular box and cover with figural garden scenes, a silver-inlaid bronze censer with Shishou mark, and an exceedingly rare Imperial stone stand with a Manchurian inscription dating it to 1772.


Amongst early wares are some iconic examples of the potters art. Especially distinctive is a superb small iron-brown decorated beige-toned vase freely rendered in loose brush strokes around its slender pear-shaped body with lapping waves produced at the Jizhou kiln sites in the late 13th century. A small Northern Song Yaozhou celadon meiping (960-1127), carved with leafy decoration; a Longquan 'arrow’ vase of a delicate and attractive kinuta-type green, and a superb small scholar’s desk ‘paste-box’ molded with a delicate scene of the founder of Chan (Zen) Buddhism floating across the Yangtze river on a bamboo spray, flush out the grouping.


Amongst Qing dynasty production are two attractive cloisonne enamel vessels, a handsome and imposing Qianlong moon flask with delicate gilt-bronze dragon handles and a turquoise-blue ground decorated with scrolling lotus and Buddhist symbols; and a much smaller though no less impressive circular box and cover with flowers rising from a Taihe rock and a poetic inscription on the very slightly domed cover.


Also exhibited will be some pieces of stunningly clear rock crystal. A figure of seated Buddha from the end of the Qing and an arresting vase and cover from the mid Qing carved in high relief with dragons writhing around the body.