1. Nabeshima dish
Nabeshima porcelain takes its name from the clan that controlled the Saga domain in the Edo period. The region included the kilns at Okawachi, near Arita where an unusually high-quality porcelain was made in the 17th century, much of it for use by the family. Unlike many of the pieces made in Arita that were exported, the Nabeshima designs drew on Japanese rather than Chinese traditions (especially those of textile design) and are often marked by a free use of empty space.
This c.1680 dish decorated in iron red, blue, yellow and green with hydrangea blooms on a comb pattern comes for sale as part of the James and Christine Heusinger collection at Neue Auctions on September 30. Bought from the London dealership Grace Tsumugi Fine Art, it has a guide of $5000-$8000.
The Heusingers collected Japanese art for many years and in 2022 donated a comprehensive collection of works by the Kyoto studio of Seifu Yohei to the Cleveland Museum of Art. A total of 326 lots come for sale at Neue Auctions including lacquerware, porcelain, bronze, silver, enamel, netsuke, inro, sculpture, paintings and works on paper.
2. Indonesian hair combs
Massive ornamental hair combs such as this are associated with the East Sumbanese people of modern Indonesia. Known as a hai kara jangga and made of a single piece of sea turtle shell, these diadems were typically made for aristocratic women to be worn during special events and festivals. Both the material used and the animals depicted were associated with power, fertility and status.
The combs were considered precious heirlooms and were stored in the rafters of the clan house for safe keeping when not in use. This trio of 19th century hai kara jangga come for sale as part of an offering of ethnographic, ancient, Asian art and textiles, at Material Culture on September 28. Estimate $1000-$2000.
3. Anthony Caro sculpture
Modernism from Northwest collections at MBA Seattle Auctions on September 29 includes two works by the British abstract sculptor Anthony Caro (1924-2013). Both come from the estate of Anne Johnson, Seattle who was the co-owner of the Erica Williams and Anne Johnson Gallery that operated in Seattle from 1975-87. According to family records, they were purchased in New York, likely at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, in the 1970s.
Caro encountered modernism when working as an assistant to Henry Moore in the 1950s and abandoned figurative work altogether after meeting with American sculptor David Smith in the early 1960s. Both the pieces in the sale date from the 1970s. Pictured here is Story Book, a welded steel and stoneware sculpture standing 16in high estimated at $15,000-$25,000. The larger scale Ready (Table Piece) in welded and painted steel measuring 2ft 9in high and 20in across is guided at $20,000-$30,000.
4. Avocado Salad picture
Avocado Salad is on the menu at Hindman’s September 28 auction of Post War & Contemporary Art. The 116-lot sale includes a classic Pop Art painting by Wayne Thiebaud that comes for sale from the estate of Kansas City collectors Morton and Estelle Sosland.
Morton Sosland (1925 2019) had long and successful career in foodstuffs so it’s fitting the sale includes one of American culinary favourites.
Wayne Thiebaud's still life of an Avocado Salad from 1962 was acquired by the Soslands from the Allan Stone Galleries, New York in around 1968. Typical of the artist’s colourful output that focused on the commonplace objects found in America’s diners and cafeterias, it is estimated at $1.2m-$1.8m.
Estelle Sosland was the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s first woman trustee. The couple donated one of the nation’s finest private collections of American Indian art to the gallery and in 1994 commissioned the museum’s Shuttlecocks, the sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen that graces its lawn.
5. Chinese tureens
Over the course of four decades, medical stenographer Angela Gross Folk and her husband amassed an impressive collection of Chinese porcelain. The Fine & Decorative Asian Art sale at Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on September 20 includes more than 30 pieces from the Folk estate including this pair of early 19th century export rose medallion tureens, covers and liners painted with beauties and boys in blooming courtyard settings (estimate $1,200-$1,600).
The two crests are for the family of Clerke and the motto suggests these were made to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Spurs in 1513 in which Sir John Clerke had played a key role.