How to Collect Asian Arts: Your Guide to Upcoming Highlights

Buddhist figurines, jade sculptures, and wearable pieces

Learn about some of the upcoming highlights in our October 14 Asian Arts auction.

10/05/2021     News and Film, Asian Arts

Whether you’re a new collector seeking an affordable entry point or a seasoned expert looking for a fresh addition to your collection, Freeman’s auctions offer a range of option. With focused insight from our specialists, our Collector’s Guides help you navigate the market to find the perfect piece. Here, Freeman’s Asian Arts specialists weigh in on highlights from its upcoming auction.


Devotion on Display

Serious collectors of Buddhist art and artifacts will find a pantheon of figurines in Freeman’s October 14 Asian Arts auction. Crafted in China, India, and Nepal—and rendered in a wide array of material, from bronze and porcelain to soapstone and bamboo—these Buddhist figures are a testament to centuries of spiritual practice.



Lot 171 | A Nepalese gilt copper alloy figure of Vasudhara, $12,000-15,000


An auction highlight, a Nepalese gilt copper alloy figure of Vasudhara, features the crowned, six-armed female deity seated on an ebonized wood stand (Lot 171; estimate: $12,000-15,000). The goddess of wealth and prosperity, this rendering of Vasudhara dates back as late as the 12th century. Two additional figures, also both crafted of gilt copper alloy, include a Nepalese figure of Amoghapasha, the eight-armed god of happiness and enlightenment (Lot 172; estimate: $6,000-8,000) and a tranquil, seated Buddha Akshobhya brought to auction from a private Bucks County collection (Lot 253; estimate: $8,000-12,000).



Lot 253 | A Himalayan gilt copper alloy figure of Buddha Akshobhya,  $8,000-12,000


Shades of Jade

Alongside the showstopping “Emperor Emeritus” celadon-white jade seal—a highlight of the upcoming auction—Asian Arts also features a wide array of accessibly priced jade works from a range of time periods in China.


Snuff Bottle

Lot 108 | A finely-carved Chinese white jade snuff bottle, $6,000-8,000


Snuff bottles such as Lot 108, a finely-carved Chinese white jade piece from the 18th/19th century (estimate: $6,000-8,000), are hollowed, as they were originally used to store tobacco. At only three inches long, this bottle is miniscule but packs a punch with its creamy white tone and glossy polish, as well as eye-catching coral stopper button. Another elegant jade work—with provenance in a private European collection—is a Chinese celadon jade archaistic “Duck” water coupe and carved wood stand (Lot 123; estimate: $6,000-8,000); a deeper, rich green tone is on display in Lot 134, a large Chinese spinach jade recumbent water buffalo, also from a private European collection (estimate: $6,000-8,000).


Water Buffalo

Lot 134 | A large Chinese spinach jade recumbent water buffalo, $6,000-8,000


Wearable Works of Art

Though Asian Arts features a wide array of sculptures, furniture, and design work, it’s also punctuated by fine examples of textile art from across China. From the Washington, D.C. Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection comes an unusual Chinese embroidered gauze work (Lot 66; estimate: $4,000-6,000), a brightly colored and intricately designed woman’s vest. Featuring complex imagery bursting with dragons, bats, birds, waves, and clouds, the vest would’ve been worn by Han ladies and appended with badges that corresponded to her husband’s rank as a civil official.


Embroidered Vest

Lot 66 | An unusual Chinese embroidered gauze woman's vest, Xiapei, $4,000-6,000


Also from the Jeffrey M. Kaplan Collection, a Chinese embroidered silk robe is a must-have addition to collections of Chinese robes (Lot 67; $3,000-5,000). The robe is rendered in cooler midnight-blue hues than the vest, but is no less technically complex, featuring a symmetrical array of orchids, peonies, and morning glories, among other floral accents. Another fine example of Chinese embroidery is Lot 248, a Chinese kesi tapestry dragon robe (estimate: $3,000-5,000), an elegant addition to Asian Arts from a private Bucks County collection that features long, tapered sleeves and complex, eye-catching patterns.


Embroidered Robe

Lot 67 | A Chinese embroidered silk lady's robe, $3,000-5,000





View the rest of our October 28 Fine Jewelry and Luxury Accessories auction.



Have something similar? Get in touch with our Asian Arts department to request a complimentary auction estimate.