Asian artists in the limelight: Aguttes Paris' Art Auction to take place in June

As a European precursor on the market of artists from Asia, Aguttes will organize, from May 23 to June 2, 2023 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, its second edition of Asian Weeks of the year. The Asian Arts auction will take place on June 1, 2023 while Asian Painters, Major Works will take place the following day, June 2, after 10 days of exhibition.

"Our main concern is to defend the interests of sellers, private collectors. Our Asian Weeks are designed to allow them to have access to an ultra-professional service for the sale of their goods, and to obtain high prices, while enjoying the comfort and security of a sale close to home.

Thanks to our experience in this sector, international bidders benefit from access to works of art adapted to their requirements and according to the timing that suits them. They have confidence in our work and the world records we set in Paris attest to the quality of this service.

— Charlotte Aguttes-Reynier, expert, Aguttes

From May 23 to June 2, 2023, Aguttes offers its second edition of the Asian Weeks of the year. As the only auction house in the world so specialized in the market of painters who received this double Asian and Western education at the beginning of the 20th century, Aguttes contributes once again to the highlighting of the artists of the Indochina School of Fine Arts.

This 38th opus of Asian Painters, Major Works will honor the first classes trained in Hanoi by Inguimberty, Jonchère, Alix Aymé, under the direction of Victor Tardieu, such as Lê Phổ, Mai Trung Thứ or even Vũ Cao Đàm.

Asian Painters, Major Works on 2 June 2023

A work from the first pictorial period of Lê Phổ

Created in a pivotal period between the 1931 World's Fair and his final move to France in 1937, Woman on the Balcony is part of Lê Phổ' first pictorial period.

Lê Phổ (1907-2001) | Woman on the balcony, Ink and colors on silk, signed upper left
Created circa 1935
29.5 x 22.8 cm

  • Private collection of a Frenchman holding an important position in Indochina (acquired from the artist in Hanoi in the early 1930s)
  • Then by descent, France

The woman, young and elegant, already inspires the artist. The palette underlines the Far Eastern influences: made of dark tones, it is subtly enhanced by discreet touches of blue and red. Already mastering his brush, the balcony illustrates his technique of perspective while the scarf shows his mastery of movement. This artist, who graduated from the same class at the Indochina School of Fine Arts as another great name Mai Trung Thứ, arouses a real craze at each sale. He blends to perfection, by virtue of his training, Eastern and Western artistic traditions.

Mai Trung Thứ, the artist celebrating women

Mai Trung Thứ decided to settle in France in the late 1930s. The 37 previous auctions organised by Aguttes have brought her work, which had long remained confidential, back into the limelight, and the artist is now attracting a real craze among international collectors. Whether of young girls, mothers or landscapes, Mai Trung Thứ pays tribute to the beauty of the women of her native country by making them one of her favourite themes.

Mai Trung Thứ (1906-1980) | Motherhood with fruit, Ink and colours on silk, signed and dated lower left
Created in 1942
32.2 x 22.7 cm

Having abandoned the oil painting of his beginnings, Mai Trung Thứ explored painting on silk, of which he quickly mastered the technique. He applies the colour which he then softens by successive washes. In his works, the painter describes femininity through several somewhat nostalgic perspectives of an idealized past.
Vũ Cao Đàm, emblematic artist of the 1st promotion of the Indochina School of Fine Arts

A key artist of the Ist graduating class of the Indochina School of Fine Arts, Vũ Cao Đàm made oil on canvas his favorite medium from the late 1950s. Several themes inspired him, among them a young man in meditation. While the painter represents this deity in several works, the palette varies from one painting to another.

Vũ Cao Đàm (1908-2000) | Divinity, Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, titled on back
Created in 1981
73.5 x 60 cm
  • Wally Findlay Galleries, New York
  • Private collection, France

In Divinity made in 1981, her outfit features a subtle cameo of yellow contrasting with the red tones of the background. A great colorist, Vũ Cao Đàm carefully works his composition displaying a brushwork of great modernity.

Alix Aymé, only woman professor at the Indochina School of Fine Arts

Alix Aymé has lived in Asia for more than 25 years and has worked with many artists trained during this period. She sketches her daily life in Indochina, and her notebooks will allow her to recreate the atmosphere of the protectorate years after her departure.


Alix Aymé | The snack, Ink, watercolor and gouache on silk, signed lower right and titled on the back
Created circa 1940
50 x 75.5 cm

  • Private collection, South-East of France

In The Snack, the artist relies on various elements typical of his work. The curtains and this window identify her studio, while the little sleeping cat and the bouquet of flowers are recurring elements. The realization of the frame with gold powder shows a particular attention for this work on silk.

Asian Arts on 1 June 2023

A major discovery : A very rare and important pair blue and white bellflower shaped dragon cup, Qianlong mark and period (1735-1796)

A pair of museum-quality imperial bowls in private hands, comparable to a porcelain in the Mnaag (Paris) and never published before.

A pair of blue-white porcelain campanulate bowls
China, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong mark and period (1735-1796)
Height: 9.4 cm | Diameter: 13.3 cm

  • Collection of an important French aristocratic family

Bought in the 1960s-1970s in New York, this pair of bowls remained in the same French family. To date, there is only one identical reference piece: it is a bowl kept at the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet, in the collection of Ernest Grandidier (inventory number G 3528).

The bowl from the Musée Guimet collection, never published since its purchase by Ernest Grandidier at the end of the 19th century, will therefore be presented in reference to the two bowls discovered by Aguttes, in the catalogue of the "Arts d'Asie" sale, and thus published for the first time. The two pieces, presented at the Aguttes auction on 1 June 2023, represent a major rediscovery of a rare imperial porcelain model.

The connoisseur will appreciate the lightness of the porcelain, the nuance of the blues and the workmanship of the line, and the slightly bluish glaze. Of museum quality, this pair is being auctioned for the first time, and to date, no similar model has been listed at auction. It has an unusual shape for the 18th century and offers a reinterpretation of the 16th century Ming.

It is a testimony to the finest porcelain of the 18th century and to the history of the collection, and bears the label of Frank Caro as the successor to Ching Tsai. Loo. Based in New York, London and Paris, the dealer Ching Tsai Loo has left his mark on the history of the art market. La Pagode (Paris, 8th arrondissement) hosted the personal collections of this expert in Far Eastern art from 1922 onwards, thus contributing to the reputation of this key figure in the international art market.

Auction Details:

Auction House: Aguttes France

  • ASIAN ARTS | 1 June 2023 (Thu), 2:30pm (France Local Time)
  • ASIAN PAINTERS, MAJOR WORKS | 2 June 2023 (Fri), 2:30pm (France Local Time)

Location: Aguttes Neuilly-sur-Seine Auction Room | 164 Bis Avenue Charles de Gaulle

Asian Painters Expert: Charlotte Aguttes-Reynier | +33 1 41 92 06 49 |
Responsible for Asian arts: Clémentine Guyot | +33 1 47 45 91 54 |

Aguttes, first auction house in Europe on the market of 20th century Asian painters

The Asian Painters department headed by expert Charlotte Aguttes-Reynier has been working for the past decade to bring back to light the little-known Asian artists of the 20th century. Aguttes has thus presented several dozen paintings by Lê Phổ, Mai Trung Thứ or Vu Cao Dam, and has regularly obtained new world records. These efforts have enabled the auction house to take the leading position in Europe in the Asian painters' market, to the satisfaction of buyers from all over the world.

Among the signatures sought after by Asian collectors, and which Aguttes defends with passion, let us mention among others Lê Phổ, Nam Son, Alix Aymé, Le Thy, Vu Cao Dàm, Mai Trung Thứ, Inguimberty, Nguyen Phan Chánh, Nguyen Tien Chung, Tran Phuc Duyen, Le Thi Luu... Raden Saleh... And also Sanyu, Lin Fengmian, Pan Yuliang... as well as all the artists coming from the Fine Arts schools of these regions of Asia.

Sales are organized on a quarterly basis at carefully chosen dates, in connection with the market news on the most important international markets.

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