Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers (HBArt) presented a special auction in conjunction with Malaysia Day titled A Legacy: An Auction In Celebration of Malaysia Day which was held on Sunday, 21 September 2014 at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur. On offer were eclectic arrays of cultural artefacts and artworks ranging from Straits Chinese ceramics and the heritage arms, Keris a current representation of Malay sovereignty originated from the Nusantara archipelago to paintings in oil and watercolour by Malaysian and Asian artists as well as Chinese ink calligraphy and literati paintings. The launch of live online bidding also took place for the first time during the sale.
Featured at HBArt auction for the first time was a varied collection of well enamelled Famille Rose pink, green and turquoise ground porcelains from the late 19th century, decorated with phoenix and peonies symbolic of nuptial bliss, wealth and honour. Ranging from the lower estimates of RM600 to RM2,000, these beautifully enamelled ceramics consisting of bowls, saucers, cups, spoons, joss stick holder and kamcheng had spectacularly excited collectors of Nyonya ware with competitive bidding across the sale room from bidders who were present and absent globally. One of the most highly sought after item was the kamcheng (estimate RM2,000 – RM4,000) which achieved a staggering RM21,280.00.
“We are pleased to be the first and to have launched live online bidding today because collectors from far and wide were able to participate at the comfort of their home. We have reached untapped territories with this addition of bidding convenience”, remarked Mr. Lim Eng Chong, Director of Henry Butcher Art Auctioneers.
Another highlight at the auction was an ensemble of 20 historical Keris namely from the 12th to 13th century Modjopahit Java; 15th century (or earlier) Java; 15th century Bali; 14th to 15th century Madura, among others that went under the hammer at attractive lower estimates of RM800 to RM2,500. Finely handcrafted in wealth of materials such as ivory; chendana wood; and silver and bronze grit inlaid with precious stones are some of the artefacts on offer provided discerning collectors an opportunity to preserve a part of the region’s history. An undated Balinese keris achieved a whopping RM26,880 to a successful room bidder.
In the two-dimensional segment, over 140 artworks featuring pioneering Nanyang artists such as Khaw Sia; Kuo Ju Ping; Tan Choon Ghee; and the son of Father of Batik Art – Chuah Seow Keng inheriting Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng’s legacy - can be found alongside established names like AJ Rahman; Jehan Chan; Keng Seng Choo; and Lye Yau Fatt as well as underrated talents Johari Alias; Alex Leong; Rohaizat; Ong Wah Peng and more went under the hammer with the lowest estimate was at RM1,000.
Also on offer were the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy and ink painting with themes depicting misty landscape, flower-and-bird, folk art, animals representing prosperity, bamboo trees, blossom flowers and tropical nature are among the subject matters illustrated in ink on rice paper mounted on scroll. Well established Chinese ink painters and calligraphers such as Zhou Shao’ Ang which both pieces achieved RM67,200 (estimates RM60,000 to RM80,000); Luo Tuo’s 1980 Landscape was sold for RM44,800 (estimates RM6,000 to RM10,000); Malaysian Dato’ Chuk Mor’s collaborative calligraphy fetched RM8,400 (estimates RM5,000 to RM8,000) and many more were featured in this collection.
A gold mine for discerning collectors of antiques and fine paintings, A Legacy aimed to promote the heritage of collecting for the betterment of the generations to come in preserving historical artefacts and the conservation of history.