October 27, 2011
This date marked the inaugural auction of Asian art at Walker’s Fine Art and Estate Auctioneers in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. With almost 200 lot offerings covering a wide range of decorative and fine Asian art, attendees were treated to an exciting evening. Preceeded by previews in both Toronto and Ottawa, clients had the opportunity to handle a variety of objects from Chinese export silver, to Indian bronzes, Japanese cloisonne and ivories, in addition to many fine Chinese jades and paintings, and Japanese prints. Some of the highlights from the sale included a bound, publisher-assembled album of 100 prints by Toyokuni III (Kunisada) 1786-1864, featuring images from kabuki plays; a rare Sino-Tibetan ivory ceremonial scabbard featuring tourmaline, turquoise, coral and lapis embellishments; and Qing dynasty white “mutton fat” (hetian) jade objects, such as the seated figure of a lohan, a lotus-form vase, and a white nephrite snuff bottle of flattened ovoid shape with pale orange skin. That evening, with Jeffrey Walker presiding as auctioneer, the auction space was full to capacity with eager buyers, many from the Ottawa area, keen to participate in this special occasion.
Walker’s Auctions was founded in 1937 by William Scott Walker, whose grandchildren, Jeffrey and Christine, continue to this day to run the respected family business. It has grown from humble beginnings to an auction house with an international scope renowned for its sales in Canadian, European and Inuit art.
This first sale of Asian art marks the next chapter for Walker’s as an auction house with global presence.
Susan Lahey, MA, ISA
President, Eastern Art Consultants Inc.