Following the plaudits that greeted Christie's January 2007 sale of Chinese Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection, the Hodroffs have made a further selection of pieces for auction. This assemblage could be characterized as even higher quality than the last. Drawn largely from the collectors' Palm Beach penthouse, it includes a strong offering of birds, animals and figures, as well as of the armorial, European subject and 17th century offerings that proved so appealing to bidders a year ago.
The Hodroffs' Florida collection, beautifully displayed in a specially designed and lit gallery, has long been a favorite of visitors from abroad as well as from across America. Large-scale pieces in blue and white, armorial, famille verte and famille rose anchored careful arrangements of smaller rarities. Other pieces were scattered throughout the sunlit penthouse, offsetting fine Chinese lacquer furniture, paintings and screens.
Down the road in Palm Beach, at the Norton Museum, can be found a Hodroff gallery devoted to Chinese art. And by happy coincidence a special traveling exhibition of Hodroff porcelain is on view at Palm Beach's Society of the Four Arts just preceding the January Christie's sale. Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo & Doris Hodroff Collection, featured November 30th through January 6th, originated at The Winterthur Museum, Delaware, and is accompanied by a catalogue of the same name by Ronald W. Fuchs II. The exhibition presents highlights from the Hodroffs major gift to Winterthur - that institution's first ever traveling exhibition.
Other important pieces in this year's Christie's sale are drawn from the Hodroffs' Minneapolis home, where extensive windows command a view of the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden and the city beyond. The Chinese export collection is again displayed in custom-built, dedicated galleries, with larger pieces placed amid the 18th century French and English furniture that fills the gracious rooms. In Minneapolis, too, the Hodroffs have made important contributions to arts institutions, including a dedicated gallery outlining the history of Chinese export at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Again this year, the Hodroff selection reflects not only an unerring eye for quality but also a deep respect for the long tradition of Chinese export collecting. Pieces from such famed collections as Mottahedeh (both landmark sales), Angelo Caldas and Benjamin Edwards III (all three sales) are included. Viewers will also recognize favorites from David S. Howard's 1994 book on the Hodroff collection, The Choice of the Private Trader. For anyone intrigued by the fascinating range of porcelains made for export in 17th and 18th century China attendance at the Hodroff sale is a must.
AUCTION AT 2:00 PM