Adam’s of St Stephen’s Green has appointed Thibault Duval as head of their newly-formed Asian Art department.
The move is partly in response to Brexit, according to James O’Halloran of Adam’s – “as Asian art from Europe would normally have gone to the UK, but this is not the case anymore” – and partly because the French native was looking for a new adventure.
Duval’s first sale of over 500 lots which are consigned from a range of international collections will place on June 29th and 30th
With a master’s degree in art history from Ecole du Louvre in Paris, and a BA in law from the Sorbonne, Duval trained at leading museums including the Louvre, as well as renowned auction houses Artcurial and Drouot, where he headed the Asian Art department.
A member of the Société des Amis du Musée Guimet in Paris and the London Oriental Ceramic Society, he practices Chinese calligraphy as homage to his interest in all things oriental.
An exhibition of the sale ran last week in Paris, which is available to view on Adam’s Instagram feed, and worth a look as it showcases how well Asian art and ceramics work against the backdrop of a Parisian neo-classical apartment.
The catalogue also makes for interesting reading, particularly lots 362 to 398, which relate to a collection of samurai art from a French scholar, where provenance and detail reads like a museum companion.
Also of interest is the collection formerly owned by the Italian-born Argentinian industrialist Mauro Herlitzka and an Irish collection of fine netsuke and sagemono accompanied by nine books on the subject.
A collection of jade and stone carvings assembled by French astronomer and patron of the arts, Joseph Vallot, was known as the Jade Collection on the Roof of Europe when it last sold through Drouot in 1925.
Vallot, who climbed Mont Blanc more than 30 times, had established an observatory at 4,362m above sea level on the mountain (four times higher than Carrauntoohil). Here he installed a Salon Chinois where his collection of oriental works of art, piqued such curiosity that there was a never-ending troupe of visitors including Pope Pius XI.
From the collection of Argentine diplomat Juan Carlos Enrique Katzenstein, who served as ambassador to Beijing in the 1970s and later to the Holy See and Vatican, is a “major hound scroll painting inscribed with the apocryphal signature of Giuseppe Castiglione, also known as Lang Shining”.
Katzenstein spent months examining the painting, which comes with an abundance of documentation, as he believed it to be the work of Castiglione, the Italian Jesuit priest who served as artist to the imperial court of three emperors.
While the dogs have been identified as those belonging to Emperor Qianlong, as confirmed by the Album of the Ten Prized Dogs, an imperial-commissioned work by Castiglione, housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Adam’s describes the work, which is listed with a € 10,000–€ 12,000 estimate, as Chinese School.
It will be interesting to see, if the new Asian department in Adam’s will continue to attract collections and consignors from all over Europe, in response to Ireland’s new position as the only English-speaking country in the European Union. adams.ie