Chinese Blue and White Glazed Porcelain Vase from the Qianlong Period Achieves $662,500

Sale Totals Over $2.5 Million Amid Strong International Competition

Doyle New York's Asian Works of Art auction on September 14, 2009 attracted strong competition from an international audience of buyers. Highlighting the sale was Chinese molded white glazed porcelain vase with the Jiaqing seal mark and of the Period that sold to a Chinese buyer for $710,500 – a world auction record for a single vase of this period.

The overwhelmingly Asian audience in the salesroom offered strong competition against absentee bidders, Internet bidders and telephone bidders from a number of countries. In all, the sale totaled a stunning $2,519,945 – well over the pre-sale estimate of $521,300-763,000 – with a strong 80% sold by lot and 97% by value.

March 2010

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the March 2010 Asian Works of Art auction, please contact: Marley Rabstenek, 212-427-4141, ext. 299,

Subscriptions Department, 212-427-4141, ext. 257,
View the September 14 catalogue

Louis LeB. Webre, Vice President, Marketing and Media, 212-427-4141, ext 232,
Images and interviews are available upon request.

The Hon. Hugh J. Grant (1858-1910)

Born to an Irish immigrant who became a successful real estate entrepreneur, Hugh J. Grant was orphaned at an early age. He was educated at Manhattan College then spent a year in Berlin. Back in New York, he studied at St. Francis Xavier College, then Columbia Law School, after which he went into private practice. In 1882 he entered public service and was elected to two terms as Alderman, then one term as Sheriff of New York County. With the backing of Tammany Hall, he was elected Mayor of New York at the age of 31, the youngest in the city’s history. He served two two-year terms as Mayor from 1889-1892, during which the city undertook a number of great public works projects, including the transfer of the city’s electrical cables underground. Grant would be the first mayor to appoint a “rapid Transit commission” in 1890 to develop a subway system. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor once more in 1894, after which he retired almost entirely from politics. He managed his sizable real estate interests from his West Side office, building a considerable fortune, and indulged in a favorite pastime, driving trotters in Central Park. In 1895 he married Julia Murphy, the daughter of U.S. Senator Edward Murphy, Jr.

Julia Murphy Grant (d. 1944)

Julia Murphy was one of nine children of Senator Edward Murphy, Jr. (1834-1911), the son of an Irish immigrant who established a successful brewery in Troy, New York. Educated at St. John’s College (Fordham University), Senator Murphy was active in local and state Democratic politics and was elected to the United States Senate from New York in 1893. During the Murphy family’s years in Washington, Julia was a popular debutante, receiving numerous invitations from the capital’s prominent hostesses, including Mrs. Grover Cleveland for events at the White House. It was in the Murphy’s grand home in Washington that she was wed to New York’s former Mayor Hugh J. Grant, who presented her with a diamond tiara and a country estate in Oradel, New Jersey. The Grants made their New York home in a stately 20-room townhouse at 20 East 72nd Street, where they raised their three children, Julia, Edna and Hugh J. Grant. The home was decorated with a marvelous collection of furniture and art, much of which is being offered in the May 6 auction. A devout Catholic, Mrs. Grant hired the Boston architecture firm of Maginnis & Walsh, who had worked on New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to install a private chapel in the home, with decorations by Tiffany Studios. After the death of Mayor Grant, Mrs. Grant generously provided the means for the establishment of Regis High School, a free Jesuit high school for the gifted and the less privileged. The Grant family continued anonymously supporting the school for many decades. .

Hugh J. Grant (1904-1981)

Hugh J. Grant grew up in affluence and privilege. Childhood photographs depict him with his two older sisters amid the luxurious trappings of the American Gilded Age elite. However, by all accounts, he was a man of simple pleasures and infinite generosity. He was educated at Fordham University and Columbia University School of Law. He served in World War II, then returned to the family home at 20 East 72nd Street, where he lived quietly with his two sisters, engaging in religious devotion, charitable works, and the practice of law. Among his numerous philanthropies were Regis High School, the Society of Jesus, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Manhattanville College, and the Archbishopric of New York, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other institutions. His quiet life changed in 1972, however, when he married the lively and popular Lucie Mackey.

Lucie Mackey Grant (1908-2007)

Lucie Mackey and her sisters Emmeline and Adele – nicknamed the Three Graces – led very social lives, enjoying summers in Maine, vacations in Florida, and voyages to Europe. Born to Mr. and Mrs. David C. Mackey of Plainfield, New Jersey, Lucie was educated at Hartridge School followed by Smith College. In 1934 she married the charming and handsome Reginald H. Rollinson, and they moved to New York, where Reggie worked in advertising. A popular and attractive couple, the Rollinsons enjoyed a wide circle of friends in New York and the Hamptons. Unfortunately, their happiness came to an untimely end with the sudden death of Mr. Rollinson in 1959. Beginning a new life for herself, Lucie enrolled in the New York School of Interior Design and later established the decorating firm of Rollinson and Lawhorn with her friend Lee Lawhorn.   In 1972 Lucie married Hugh J. Grant, who was still living in the Grant family home. Daunted by the thought of living in such a formal home with a staff of five servants, she prevailed upon Hugh to begin their life together in a spacious apartment only two blocks away at 141 East 72nd Street. Using many of the elegant pieces in the Grant family collection, Lucie transformed the ten-room apartment into a stylish mis en scène for the many lively gatherings and parties the couple would host. With the historic Grant family home now vacant, Hugh made the decision to donate it to the Archbishopric of New York in 1975. Hugh passed away in 1981, providing generously in his will for numerous charities. Lucie continued that legacy of philanthropy until she died on December 18, 2007, just short of her 100th birthday.

Lot 139
Chinese Molded White Glazed Porcelain Vase  
Jiaqing seal mark and of the Period
Crisply molded with a central band of bats and confronting dragons between a lappet border at the foot and squared scroll and cloud color bands at the shoulder, the neck with foliate scrolling between two stylized dragon handles.
Height 11 1/2 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from China for $710,500
A world auction record for a single vase of this period

Lot 174
Chinese Blue and White Glazed Porcelain Vase  
Qianlong seal mark and of the Period
Of shouldered form tapering to the foot, painted in inky blue with a square scrolling dragon band on the neck above flying bats on the shoulder, the body with dense phoenix and floral roundels above a lotus petal lappet band slightly raised at the foot, base with Qianlong seal mark.
Height 12 3/4 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from Hong Kong for $662,500

Lot 214
Chinese Blue and White Glazed Porcelain Deep Bowl  
Qianlong seal mark and of the Period
The exterior painted with dragons striding and clouds above a turbulent sea, base with Qianlong seal mark.
Height 5 3/4 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the United Kingdom for $86,500

Lot 81
Chinese Blue and White Glazed Porcelain Vase  
Kangxi Period
Of tapering form, boldly painted with deer before a pine tree and rockwork below insect and songbird cartouches at the neck.
Height 17 1/2 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the United Kingdom for $68,500

Lot 45
Chinese Peachbloom Glazed Porcelain Vase  
19th Century
The body of ovoid form rising to a tall neck, overall mauve glaze.
Height 17 1/2 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the Hong Kong for $45,000

Lot 216
Chinese Blue and White Glazed Moon Flask  
19th Century
Decorated on one side with fruiting finger citron, the reverse with pomegranates, the sides painted with bats and clouds, the bulbous neck flanked by two strap handles.
Height 13 inches.
For a comparable shape see Christie's, New York, September 19, 2007, lot 289
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the New York for $43,750

Lot 32
Chinese Blue and White Glazed Porcelain Vase  
Kangxi Period
The body of globular form, set on a high foot, worked with figures in interior and garden settings.
Height 13 3/4 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the New York for $31,250

Lot 68
Chinese Jade Rhyton  
18th Century
The celadon stone with brown tones carved with a dragon handle and a band of scrolling in low relief, set on a gilt-bronze European base.
Height 5 inches.
The Collection of Hugh J. Grant and Lucie Mackey Grant
Sold to a buyer from the New York for $20,000


Lot 20
Japanese Model of a Pagoda at Nara  
Possibly a model of the five story pagoda at Kofukuji Temple, Meiji Period, completed in 1898
The five story structure constructed of bronze, silver and gold. Height 50 inches, width 23 inches, depth 23 inches.
Gift of Estate of Mrs. E.H. Harriman 1934 34.45, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Property of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Sold to a buyer from New York for $62,500

The pagoda begun by Kijo Koyano and completed by his son Masami Koyano in 1898. Descended from sculptors and architects, the Koyano family trade was metalwork. After years of difficulty and struggle in the spring of the twenty-second year of Meiji (1889) the Koyano family isolated themselves so as to wholly devote their attentions and energy to the completion of the pagoda. Finally nine years later, in the autumn of the thirty-first year of the Meiji Era (1898), the project was completed. In Masami Koyano's words the pagoda was " immortal work worthy of the family." Koyano was determined not to sell the work but to leave it to his offspring as a family treasure and as a model for future generations. It was Mr. E.H. Harriman, a patron of the arts, that persuaded Masami to sell, convincing him that by selling the pagoda "it would have chances of being appreciated by art lovers and that my labors would be richly rewarded by its introduction to the public". Masami then "surrendered it...for his good reasoning, not for the money he paid for it". Mr. Harriman lent the pagoda to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1905. An excerpt from a statement by Masami Koyano and translated for publication in the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I, p. 112, New York, November 1905, is available on request.

Lot 155
Chinese Architectural Model of a Palace Hall  
19th Century
Constructed in two sections, the rectangular form built of polychrome painted wood, the lower portion and lower roof supporting the upper roof, the ceiling of the ground level fitting into the structure, the exterior surrounded by a low fence flanking central steps.  
Length 37 3/4 inches, width 48 inches, depth 36 inches.
Gift of C.T. Loo and Company, 1945, 45.74, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York
Property of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Sold to a buyer from Hong Kong for $25,000

The interior of the hall houses four inscriptions referring to position, function and structure of the front four columns. Traditional Chinese buildings were built on a north south axis with the facade facing south. The enclosed inscriptions confirm that this is the case for this model. Research for the inscriptions is available upon request.

The lives of Madame Von Sung Yang (1903 – 2005) and her husband, Doctor Ho-Ching Yang (1900 – 1964) span a century of Chinese and American history. In 1925, upon graduating from the renowned Tongji Medical College in Shanghai, Dr. Yang and Von Sung Yang, nee Soong, were married -- he evidently smitten by her innate beauty and grace, and she by his strong intelligence, discipline, and integrity.

Following their wedding, Dr. Yang obtained a second Doctor of Medicine Degree, this time specializing in otolaryngology from Rostock University Medical College, Germany, graduating with highest honors. Returning to China, he was subsequently appointed President of the Municipal Hospitals of Suzhou and Director of Suzhou Hospital.

Comfortable circumstances allowed the couple to fully express what was to become a lifelong interest in collecting. The family home and gardens in Suzhou provided an ample setting for displaying all objects of scholarly and artistic interest.

In 1937, with open warfare engulfing China, Dr. Yang, Madame Yang and their six children were forced to flee China for London and to abandon their possessions, including a treasured art collection. Dr. Yang brought his family to the United States in 1939 and established residence in New York City, where the couple continued to pursue their interest in collecting Chinese objets d’art, and where, in time, they became naturalized citizens.

Dr.Yang earned a Master of Public Health degree in 1942 from Johns Hopkins University and worked on the research project to develop penicillin. He intended to bring penicillin and other modern medicines to China for the Chinese people. However, the subsequent Civil War in China prevented him from returning to China and realizing his plan.

By 1948, Dr. Yang again changed careers becoming a stockbroker at a prominent Wall Street brokerage firm. In 1963, he was designated Vice-President and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the firm. He was elected President of the Board of Trustees of China Institute in America in early 1964, shortly before his untimely death on November 17 of that year. In the ensuing years, Madame Yang furthered the couple’s joint commitment to helping others improve their lives. She continued to play an active role in Chinese-American affairs as a sustaining member on the Board of Trustees at the China Institute in America.

Lot 193
Chinese Enameled Porcelain Dish  
18th Century
Painted on the interior with a single white bird of prey perched on a rocky outcropping before a waterfall surrounded by grassy banks.
Diameter 7 7/8 inches.
The Estate of Madame Von Sung Yang
Sold to a buyer from Hong Kong for $40,625

Lot 185
Chinese Famille Verte and Iron Red Fish Bowl  
18th Century
Of rounded form, with flat rim enameled and gilded  on the exterior with floral sprays, set within lion head handles, interior designed with fish among algae;
Together with a Louis XIV Style Gilt-Wood Stand.
Height of bowl 15 inches, diameter 23 inches.
The Estate of Madame Von Sung Yang
Sold to a buyer from the United Kingdom for $31,250


Lot 109
Chinese Famille Rose Enameled Porcelain Jardiniere  
19th Century
Of deep ogee shape, the exterior painted with a multitude of butterflies on a yellow ground between gilt rims and base, a square scrolling band on the inner rim, liner, base fired with two pierced holes.
Height 9 inches, width 19 inches.
Sold to a buyer from the United Kingdom for $31,250

Lot 152
Chinese White Jade Brushwasher  
19th Century
Of circular form, supported by three bracket feet, on a carved hardwood stand.
Diameter 6 1/8 inches.
Sold to a buyer from California for $22,500