Presented here is the 2019 shortlist of entries. The six candidates shown were selected by the AAL judging panel from a longlist of the 10 most popular submissions that had been voted for by all the AAL members. The two award winners will be announced at the AAL Gala Party to be held on Tuesday, November 5.
An Edo period hanging scroll painted by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) in ink and colours on paper with a dragon above a great wave crashing over Mount Fuji (shown above).
It is signed Gakyo Rojin manji hitsu yowai hachijuichi (Brush of Manji, old man crazy to paint, aged 81) and sealed Katsushika. The painting, which measures 4ft 5in x 14½in (1.35m x 37cm), is mounted on silk and comes with a double wooden storage box, the inner box inscribed on the lid Noboriryu, Fuji no e (Picture of an ascending dragon and Mount Fuji).
SWORDERS, STANSTED MOUNTFITCHET
A 7½in (19cm) high Qianlong imperial inscribed famille rose wall vase, of pear shape with a flattened back applied with a pair of ruyi handles to the neck.
The vase has a yellow sgraffito ground body and is inscribed with an imperial poem appraising incense in a circular cartouche with a yuti mark followed by two iron-red seal marks reading Qianlong chen han (the Qianlong Emperor’s own mark) and Weijing weiyi (be precise, be undivided).
The poem is recorded in the Yuzhi leshantang quanji dingben [Definitive Edition of the Complete Works by His Majesty from the Hall of Pleasure in Goodness], Siku quanshu [The complete library in four sections] vol 30.
There are an exact pair of examples, but with different poems, in the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing. The estimate is £50,000-80,000.
A pair of Qianlong period double-gourd form Da Ji imperial plaques in carved lapis lazuli embellished with gilt bronze, kingfisher feathers, coloured stones, coral, rubies and stained ivory on a carved zitan stand inset with jade, gilt bronze and ivory.
The overall height of the plaques and stands is 19in (48cm). They have a 19th century provenance to the collection of Daniel Beale (1759-1842), a Scottish merchant in Mumbai, Guangdong and Macau, who acquired them in China, and have passed down by descent.
SIMON RAY, LONDON
A 10in (26cm) wide x 3¾in (10cm) high champlevé enamelled silver-gilt octagonal Mughal Indian tray dated to the early 18th century.
The tray, on eight short balustroid legs, is enamelled in a palette of dark emerald green, apple green, mango yellow, white and a distinctive purple and decorated with concentric rings of iris flowerheads and a central lotus bloom. The pattern and palette is identical to that on an early-18th century hookah base that is now in the Musée Guimet in Paris.
The tray was with Terence McInerney Fine Arts in New York and then in the collection of Florence and Herbert Irving.
JONATHAN TUCKER ANTONIA TOZER ASIAN ART, LONDON
A 2ft 4in (71cm) high Gandharan 2nd-3rd century AD statue of a moustached bodhisattva, possibly Maitreya the future Buddha, depicted wearing intricate jewellery and with long hair twisted into a top knot.
The grey schist sculpture, from a private English collection, is very similar to two carvings of bodhisattvas illustrated in Isao Kurita’s 2003 publication, Gandharan Art II: The Buddha’s Life Story, and was possibly created by the same sculptor or studio.
A 15¾in x 3ft 1in (40 x 90.5cm) oil on masonite board painting of two horses by the Indonesian artist Lee Man Fong (1913-88), signed and dated 1949.
In 1946 the artist was awarded the Malino scholarship to study in the Netherlands, where he lived until 1952.
The painting has a provenance to Justus Blank, an employee the Dutch East India Company who lived in Jakarta until returning to Holland in the late 1920s. He is thought to have acquired the picture at Lee Man Fong’s exhibition in The Hague in 1950 which has since passed down by descent.