Sotheby's to sell collection of ancient Chinese treasures in Paris

Auction Man

Auction Man

2015-10-14 15:09:30

A major private collection of ancient Chinese treasures will be offered for sale at Sotheby's in Paris this December.

The collection of David David-Weill (1871-1952), is regarded as one of the most early Chinese Art collections to hit the market in recent years. Comprised of approximately 60 items, the collection spans centuries of Chinese history from the Neolithic to the early dynastic periods.

Born in San Francisco to a prominent banking family, David-Weill developed a passion for collecting which included old master paintings, sculpture, antiquities and 18th century French furniture.

His interest in Chinese art developed long before it became fashionable in the West, and his expertise and keen eye saw him donate numerous pieces to major museum exhibitions across Europe during the early 20th century.

Amongst the leading pieces from the collection is a bronze ritual vessel dating from the Late Shang Dynasty, ca. 1200 BC. The vessel would have originally been filled with offerings of food and wine, and placed in the burial chamber of a high-standing member of society.

Having been excavated near the site of the ancient Shang capital of Yinxu, the important ritual vessel is expected to sell for €150,000-€250,000.

One of the earliest lots on offer is an exceptionally large jade disc, dating from the Neolithic Period, ca. 2000 BC. These mysterious objects were often found within high-ranking tombs, marking their importance and value, and most known examples are today held in museums within China.

This rare privately-owned disc, carved from perhaps the most treasure material in Chinese culture, is estimated to fetch €80,000-€120,000.

Further highlights will include a rare bi-faced bronze finial from the Early Western Zhou dynasty, ca. 11th/10th century BC, estimated at €50,000-€70,000; a Bronze burial mask, also from the Early Western Zhou Dynasty, ca. 11th century BC, valued at €50,000-€70,000; and a carved and polished jade ceremonial blade, from the Neolithic Period, ca. 2000-1000 BC, estimated at €80,000-€120,000.

The David David-Weill collection will be sold as part of the Sotheby's Asian Art sale in Paris on December 16.

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