Asian Art - Colourful blackness

For the first time, Kunsthaus Lempertz will hold an online auction of Asian art alongside its main auction. And so, around 400 lots of art from India, South East Asia, Tibet, China and Japan will be offered for sale – the virtual hammer will be knocked down on 15 December. The main auction on 11 December (an ‘on site’ rather than online auction), comprises the traditionally broad field of Asian art.

The highlight of the main auction on 11 December is a spectacular Coromandel coffer from the Kangxi period (11611772). Of unique size on the market, the coffer is a prime example for the sgraffito-style art of the kuancai technique (kuancai literally means ‘score/carve’ – carved and coloured). Fine, individually hollowed out pictorial fields combined with the use of coloured inlays create detailed and striking images. The front shows a palace with terrace and entrance gate, with Guo Ziyi sitting in the main hall and receiving visiting sons, whilst on the lid is a no less impressive representation of Xiwangmu, the Queen Mother of the West. Having previously been attributed as an English work from the 18th century, extensive research by the experts in our Asian Art department has redefined the coffer as a Chinese piece from the Kangxi period. Correspondingly dated comparative examples from the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig or the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam are much smaller in size. The spectacular coffer comes from a Hessian private collection and has an estimate of € 70,000–90,000 (lot 114).

A further top lot is the striking and radiant Medicine Buddha (Bhaishajyaguru) in the Chinese Han style; from a Frankfurt private collection, it has been valued at € 60,000–80,000 (lot 57a). The same estimate has been attributed to a fire gilt Tibetan-Chinese figure of Avalokiteshvara Ekadashamukha from the 18th century. At over 50cm high, the bodhisattva with eleven crowned heads and thousand arms is from a Belgian private collection (lot 40).

Of special interest are the selection of bronze incense burners from the 17th19th centuries from the collection of Alexander Plath (19392020). Originally from the collection of the founder of the Wingho Auto sports car company, the pieces have now found their way to Cologne (lots 62–72).

Following the very successful Lempertz auctions of porcelains from the Renate and Tono Dreßen Collection, the Asian red lacquer carvings from the couple are now offered for sale. The small selection is led by a relatively late, but exceptionally finely worked lidded box, and, due to its proximity to the classical motifs of porcelain painting, forms a sound addition to the Dreßen Collection (lots 98–103).

In line with tradition, a large selection of netsuke will go under the hammer. The highlight takes the form of an ivory tiger, the over-emphasised paws, furrowed eyebrows and powerfully and deeply carved underside of which inevitably suggest the circle of Tomotada, with Okatomo, a carver from the master’s circle, a likely attribute for the reasons mentioned. From a North German private collection, the piece has an estimate of € 8,000–10,000 (lot 360).

Auction Dates

Auction 1190 - Asian Art - China, Tibet/Nepal, Japan

Asian Art
Saturday 11. 12. 2021, 11:00 am
Lot 1 - 398
Auction 1190
Saturday, Dezember 11
11 am, Lot 1 - 398

Visitors are required to show the Covid pass.
The auction room is kept free of germs and viruses by a UVC filter system.

The auction will be streamed live at

Kunsthaus Lempertz
Neumarkt 3
50667 Cologne
Cologne, Neumarkt 3
Saturday 4 Dez: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday 5 Dez: 11 am – 4 pm
Monday 6 Dez – Thursday 9 Dez:
10 am – 5:30 pm
Friday 10 Dez: 10 am - 2 pm

Visitors are required to show the Covid pass.

Auction 1191 - Asian Art online

Thursday 25. 11. 2021 - Wednesday 15. 12. 2021
The Auction 1191 - Asian Art online runs as an Online Only Auction from 25.11. to 15.12.

During this time, you can bid on the auction lots via the internet.

Register now to participate in the auction!
Please note that a separate registration is required for our online auctions.

Please also note that due to the new Money Laundering Act, we are obliged to carry out an identity check on our customers. You can easily and securely upload the necessary documents on our website.
You will find the link to this on the right.
Preview of single works on request.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 0221/92 57 29–30

Edgar Abs
Press and public relations
Cologne, November 2021