From East to West, Highlights from the Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection

Works from the Tang dynasty to the contemporary moment, on offer this fall

Property from the distinguished collection of Jeffrey M. Kaplan has already received enthusiastic reception in past sales at Freeman’s. In several auctions this fall—including Asian Arts, Design, Modern and Contemporary Art, and American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists—buyers will have the opportunity to collect more works from the wide-reaching Kaplan Collection.

10/07/2022     News and Film, American Art, 20th Century and Contemporary Design, Asian Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art



chinese dragon court robe

Lot 133 I A Chinese Embroidered Brown Silk "Dragon" Court Robe I Estimate: $3,000-5,000


In 2017, Freeman’s presented 1,000 Years of Collecting: The Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection. The aptly-named sale assembled the astonishing array of work—with media that spanned 1,000 years—assembled by Mr. Kaplan over a lifetime of careful and enthusiastic collecting.

This fall auction season, Freeman’s brings additional work from the collection of Mr. Kaplan to market, with works spanning from Tang dynasty China to the United States at the turn of the 21st century. From works on paper to Chinese textiles, design objects to contemporary sculpture, the property from Jeffrey M. Kaplan’s collection on offer at Freeman’s this season has something for collectors of all stripes.

Mr. Kaplan’s deep, studied interest in Asian arts is well documented; 1,000 Years of Collecting featured a wide range of periods, materials, and origins, united by a strong focus on form, color, and decoration. Freeman’s October 18 Asian Arts auction offers three distinguished lots from the Kaplan collection, including a Chinese embroidered brown silk “Dragon” court robe (Lot 133; estimate: $3,000-5,000). Across time periods, the symbolism of such garments was paramount: in this robe, the presence of five-clawed dragons, bats, cranes, and flaming jewels was enormously auspicious, lending deeper meaning to the visually striking embroidery work.

Mr. Kaplan was deliberate and painstaking in his collecting; not only did he search far and wide for the art and objects that ignited his aesthetic and academic passions, he also cultivated meaningful, ongoing relationships with dealers, advisors, and gallerists, adding layers of provenance to the collection’s contemporary works. One such piece—Winged Figures II, a 1975 bronze by the esteemed British sculptor Lynn Chadwick—is on offer in Freeman’s October 25 Modern and Contemporary Art auction (Lot 34; estimate: $60,000-80,000). Acquired directly from the Beaux Arts Gallery in London in 1999, the work has been in Kaplan’s collection ever since.


chadwick sculpture

Lot 34 I Lynn Chadwick, Winged Figures II I Estimate: $60,000-80,000


A true renaissance man, Mr. Kaplan curated and maintained a collection unfettered by restrictions of genre, time period, or medium. Alongside centuries-old Asian art and objects, as well as important American art, are three works by the distinguished American sculptor Albert Paley on offer in Freeman’s October 26 Design auction.

Paley is perhaps best known for his 1974 Portal Gates, a monumental work in metal created for the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. The works by Paley on offer in Design present the opportunity to collect the masterful metalworker’s output at a smaller scale, from a pair of whimsical, undulating “Calyx” candlesticks (estimate: $3,000-5,000) to a wrought-iron menorah (estimate: $6,000-8,000). The larger furniture piece in the sale, a 1997 rectilinear coffee table (estimate: $8,000-12,000) represents a rare chance to collect a Paley coffee table; the artist has made only around 50 to date.


paley table

Lot 42 I Albert Paley, Rectilinear Coffee Table I Estimate: $8,000-12,000 


Additional highlights from the collection include an untitled watercolor by Charles Burchfield (estimate: $30,000-50,000) in Freeman’s December 4 American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists sale; and a Chinese painted and parcel-gilt pottery figure of a caparisoned horse (Lot 4; estimate: $1,500-2,000) and a Chinese red-painted grey pottery figure of a horse with lowered head (Lot 6; estimate: $500-700), both in Asian Arts.



View the rest of our October 18 Asian Arts, October 25
Modern and Contemporary Art, and October 26 Design auctions. 


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Design departments to request a complimentary auction estimate.