Friday, March 03, 2017
The Maria Theresa L. Virata Collection at Christie's
A highlight of Christie's upcoming Asian Art Week is The Maria Theresa L. Virata Collection of Asian Art: A Family Legacy sale, which will take place in New York on March 16. The Virata family collection, assembled over the last fifty years under the guidance of the family's late matriarch, Maria Theresa, is notable for its range of Asian art and ceramics. But perhaps the most significant part of the collection are the singular examples of Chinese furniture, something which makes this auction particularly noteworthy.
For Maria Theresa Virata, or Bebe, as she was also known, her passion for collecting Asian art developed alongside her interest in archaeology and the history of her native Philippines. Aiding Virata in her collecting was the late Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, the highly-regarded Asian art dealer. Ellsworth's Fifth Avenue apartment was unique in that he displayed his Asian art alongside English furniture and European decorative arts. It seems the apartment must have made an impression on Virata, who similarly lived with all three in her house in the Philippines.
Below, you'll see photos of the Virata family house, which is spectacular in its elegance and reserve. But equally as compelling are the sale's eighty-plus lots, which include a rare pair of seventeenth-century Huanghuali armchairs (see below) as well as Chinese porcelain. It should be noted that the sale's proceeds will benefit three charitable organizations: Child Protection Network; ICanServeFoundation, Inc.; and Cribs Foundation, Inc.
For more information on the sale, please visit the Christie's website.
Sunrise over Water
Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper
51 ¼ x 20 ⅝ in. (130.2 x 52.3 cm.)
Inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
Dedicated to Jinqing
A VERY RARE PAIR OF HUANGHUALI ARMCHAIRS, NANGUANMAOYI
39 in. (99 cm.) high; 24 1/2 in. (62.2 cm.) Wide; 20 1/4 in. (51.4 cm.) deep (each) (2)
Estimate: USD 600,000-800,000
QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER INCISED SEAL MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm.) high
29 1/4 in. (74.3 cm.) high; 87 in. (221 cm.) wide; 51 in. (129.5 cm) deep
Estimate: USD 2,000,000-3,000,000
Photo credits: Interior shots, @Visko Hatfield, 2017; all other images, Christie's Images, Ltd., 2017