Asian Art - stately calm and radiance

Lempertz will once again offer the two-day Asian Art auction in two catalogues with notable consignments and private collections from all over Europe.

The highlight of the Chinese art and of the auction, a Buddha Shakyamuni, embodies the heart of the sculpture offer with its monumental calm and radiance. The impressive bronze has been consigned from a Swiss private collection (lot 109, € 100/150,000). Imposing – and impressive simply because of its size – is a large and fine lidded box made of carved red lacquer (lot 245, € 10/15,000).

Collectors of precious small artworks can look forward to a very fine model of an elephant made of various materials. At a height of only 13.3 cm, the work combines pearls, enamel, gold painting, coral and glass to form a gem of auspicious meaning and a symbol of “peaceful times” (Chinese: taiping youxiang) (lot 126, € 50/60,000).

One focus of the first day is the collection of Tibetan sculptures and thangka from the Strasser collection. Born in Regensburg in 1919, Leopold Strasser studied electrical engineering and later worked as a communications technician. His passion for East Asian, mainly Tibetan art and culture served as a balance to his occupation. In his spare time, he enthusiastically studied the pantheon of gods of Tibetan Buddhism, assembling a fine collection of Tibetan artworks up until the 1990s. The works offered came exclusively from the German art trade (lots 68 - 80, € 2-10,000).

A special offer comes in the form of a selection of Chinese paintings from the collection of Jerg Haas. With the Chinese name Xia Hansi 夏漢思, Haas was born in Offenburg in 1940 and was interested in Chinese painting already as a child. At the age of 25, he was in China at the time of the Cultural Revolution teaching German, modern German history and economic geography at the Foreign Language University in Shanghai (Shanghai waiguoyu xueyuan 上海外國語學院). During this time he complied a collection of Chinese paintings by artists of the 19th and 20th centuries he had acquired between 1965 and 1967 from the state art trade in Peking and Shanghai, stamping them with his collector’s seal “Xia 夏”. Following his return to Germany from China mid-1967, he expanded his collection of Chinese paintings with further remarkable pictures.

He exhibited his by now extensive collection in the autumn of 1974 in Berlin, for example, with 57 hanging scrolls on display, and the catalogue preface written by the then director of the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Beatrix von Ragué. Haas stopped collecting at the beginning of the 1980s – a collection which had grown to 350 pictures (lots 199 – 214).

The second auction day – and the second catalogue – is dedicated to Japanese art

Out of the diverse offer of Buddhist sculpture strides a large figure of Miroku Bosatsu (18th century or earlier). Acquired in Kobe between 1966 and 1974, the sculpture has an estimate of € 20/30,000 (lot 505).

Equally “sculptural”, even though considerably smaller, is a rare Satsuma figure group of Fudo Myo. The work is part of a fine assortment of Satsuma ceramics knowledgeably collected primarily in England, and now consigned from a Rhenish private collection (lots 538 – 547). A private collection of Edo-period No masks is also worth noting, featuring a broad figural palette of fine quality, partly inlaid with metal and colouring (lots 511 – 520).

The section of decorative artsis led by a fine Nanban cabinet from the 17th century with an estimate of € 15/20,000 (lot 559). In keeping with Lempertz’ jubilee year is the offer of armour and sword decoration; the range of sword guards (tsuba) in particular can be considered the most extensive in decades. Drawn from three private collections from Italy, Belgium and Germany, they are offered with extensive documentation (lots 624 – 755).

Following the great success of the sale of the Netsuke from the Brockhaus Collection in June, the auction will conclude with a comprehensive offer of around 150 netsuke. In addition to a private collection from Belgium, numerous pieces from England are offered as well as consignments from Italy and Denmark.


Auction 1166  - 15./16. Dec. 2020, Cologne
Preview - 9. to 14. Dec. 2020, Cologne