Asian Art & Non-European Cultures

Paintings, sculptures, historical relics and more Asian Art & Non-European Cultures

Covering the artistic heritages of thousands of years of Asian and other non-European cultures, this is where you can find art and antiquities from all over the world.

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"In the spirit of the classical Chinese literati who visually wandered through the natural world through their paintings, art collectors can experience a captivating journey into the world of Asian art with Auctionata."

Dr. Arne Sildatke, Head of Asian Art Department

The leading online auction house for art and luxury collectibles

About the Asian Art & Non-European Cultures Department

To customers of our Department of Asian Art, we offer a comprehensive and professional art consultancy and auction service. We conduct professional and accurate appraisal throughout the entire range of Asian art, supported by an international external network of experts. Amongst our strengths is a precise knowledge of the international art market dynamic.

We act globally, cooperating with our customers worldwide and building a close, trusting relationship. We can also serve the US market in particular through our extremely productive cooperation with the New York Asian Art department of Auctionata. Our auctions reflect the exciting variety of Asian art and regularly achieve maximum prices.

Dedicated to cultural heritage

Asian Art constitutes thousands of years of tradition, which is still very much alive today. The magic and beauty of religious artworks have drawn people under their spell since time immemorial, alongside the elegance and exquisite aesthetics of perfectly-crafted porcelain, jade, bronzes and enamels. Among the most valued artworks are paintings from China, Tibet and Japan, as well as works from India and Southeast Asia whose vibrancy and craftsmanship shine, whether in a blaze of brilliant color, or simple monochrome. The portfolio of our auctions encompasses all the fascinating variety and unique power of rare and precious artifacts from throughout the various regions of the Asian continent.

Defining Asian Art

The term Asian art combines different art forms from different Asian countries. It can be subdivided into a number of different divisions, including Buddhist art, Thai art, Japanese art, Chinese art, Korean art, Indian art and Tibetan art.

One major focus of the Asian Art department in Auctionata is art from China. Art from the Ming Dynasty in particular, including Chinese furniture, antiques, porcelain and paintings, is regularly represented in our Asian auctions. Chinese painting is one of the most important aspects of Chinese art and culture, which is characterized by the respective dynasties and the personal style of its painter. Modern Chinese painting is typified in particular by Qi Baishi, one of the most important Chinese painters, whose works regularly achieve record prices at auction. His painting is in the tradition of Chinese scholarly painting, but Baishi developed his own expressive style. He began as a painter of portraits and popular representations and later undertook a journey through his homeland to paint famous landscapes in the different regions of China.

Snuff Bottles

In particular demand on the European market are snuff bottles which are regularly featured in Asian art auctions. Snuff bottles were used mainly in the Qing Dynasty by Chinese and Mongols for stylishly storing snuff. During the Qing dynasty, smoking tobacco was forbidden, so the Chinese kept the tobacco as a powder, stored in a small vial alongside their other medicines. Snuff bottles were made from a variety of different materials, such as porcelain, jade, ivory, wood, tortoiseshell, metal, glass or ceramic. Bottles featuring carvings or paintings are especially popular today, and can have a significant effect on the value. Motifs and symbols have always played an important part in Chinese art, conveying messages and information about contents. The peak of high art is considered to be painting the interior of the bottle, done often with only a single-hair brush.

A further focus of the Asian auctions is on Japanese art. Among other skills, Japanese art is known for ink paintings on silk and paper, and sculptures made of wood, which are regularly auctioned alongside Japanese drawings, vases and woodcuts. Emerging in the 18th century, the woodcut art of ukiyo-e reached perfection thanks to the new technology of color printing. The motifs of the woodcuts are informed by realism, featuring scenes of everyday life, of enjoyment and luxury.

Life of the Buddha

Another unique feature of Asian art is the proliferation of representations of the Buddha. Buddhas can be found from all over the Asian world, in particular from China, Tibet, Thailand, India and Japan. There are regional differences between all these depictions of Buddha. Chinese buddhas tend to portray a laughing or smiling figure, Japanese buddhas show a blend of Indian, Hellenistic, Chinese and Korean artistic influences, while Thai buddhas tend to be gilded and enriched with inlays.

Prayer wheels are also popular objects of Asian art. Prayer wheels are decorated with printed prayers or mantras, and often contain within them a long strip of rolled-up paper bearing printed or inscribed mantras.