Tiancheng International and the Seeds of Love

Hydrangeas by Lin Fengmian (1900 to 1991), valued at between HK$1 and HK$1.2 million. Sold for HK$1.18 million (US$137,000 or 105,000 euros) at Tiancheng International’s April 2013 auction. Photo: © Tiancheng International

Hydrangeas by Lin Fengmian (1900 to 1991), valued at between HK$1 and HK$1.2 million. Sold for HK$1.18 million (US$137,000 or 105,000 euros) at Tiancheng International’s April 2013 auction. Photo: © Tiancheng International

When it comes to art, the depiction of flowers in bloom is a favourite recurring theme. For instance, flower power was evident when art auction house Tiancheng International held their “Spring Fine Chinese Paintings” and “Modern and Contemporary Art” sale which was held in April 2013.

The paintings of flowers by two Chinese artists, Lin Fengmian (1900 to 1991) and Qi Gong (1912 to 2005), secured spots among the top lots sold in terms of their hammer prices.

Interestingly, both paintings are of hydrangeas, a genus of around 100 species of flowering plants native to Southern and Eastern Asia (from Japan to China, the Himalayas and Indonesia), and North and South America, as described on theflowerexpert.com.

Fengmian’s hydrangea painting (shown above) went under the hammer for HK$1.18 million (around US$152,000 or 117,000 euros) and was the ninth dearest lot sold. In fact, it topped the “Modern and Contemporary Art” sale, notes Tiancheng International.

Qi Gong’s hydrangea painting was sold for HK$1.06 million (US$137,000 or 105,000 euros) and at that sales price, was tied in tenth spot with two other paintings.

Established in January 2011, Tiancheng is headquartered in Hong Kong and has a branch office in Shanghai, China. Their spring auctions of “Fine Chinese Paintings” and “Modern and Contemporary Art” sales generated proceeds of HK$75.6 million (US$9.7 million or 7.5 million euros).

In the watch industry, flowers figure highly as well, notably for high jewellery timepieces.

In the 2013 collection for example, there is the Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Lotus quartz watch (below) which has a champlevé enamel dial set with diamonds. On the bezel of this stunning timepiece which is limited to 22 pieces are diamonds, sapphires and Paraíba tourmalines.

Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Lotus quartz watch, introduced in 2013, featuring the champlevé enamel dial with diamonds. The bezel is set with diamonds, sapphires and Paraíba tourmalines. Limited to 22 pieces. Photo: © Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Lotus quartz watch, introduced in 2013, featuring the champlevé enamel dial with diamonds. The bezel is set with diamonds, sapphires and Paraíba tourmalines. Limited to 22 pieces. Photo: © Van Cleef & Arpels

 

 

The indomtables de Cartier Frog (below) from its 2013 collection is another piece worth a second look aesthetically. It features a frog sitting on a floating lotus leaf. [The French word Indomtable means “indomitable” or “invincible” when translated to English.]

The time on this quartz watch is told by a sub-dial located between the one and two o’clock positions.

The lotus flowers are made of moonstone and are set with pink sapphires. The enamelled leaves are in 18K white gold and set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Somehow this piece tends to grow on you the more you look at it.

Les Indomtable de Cartier Frog features a frog sitting on a floating leaf among lotus flowers. The lotus flowers are made of moonstone and are set with pink sapphires. The timekeeping function is powered by a quartz movement. Limited to 40 pieces. Photo: © Cartier

Les Indomtable de Cartier Frog features a frog sitting on a floating leaf among lotus flowers. The lotus flowers are made of moonstone and are set with pink sapphires. The timekeeping function is powered by a quartz movement. Limited to 40 pieces. Photo: © Cartier

Why are flowers a recurring and enjoyable theme? In addition to their aesthetic beauty, flowers are endearing for us because it is inextricably linked to romance, among other things. After all, it doesn’t take much to understand why a lady has received a bouquet of flowers from a suitor or her partner.

Now, it is not difficult to identify a flower but let us take a step back and ask ourselves whether we know what a flower is. Well, a flower is the seed-bearing part of a plant, as defined by the trusted Oxford English Dictionary.

Therefore, perhaps it isn’t wrong to conclude that flowers will always be in demand simply because they are the “seeds of love”.

Apart from their beauty, flowers are also linked to the “birds and the bees”. The bees, with one in full flight, are having a field day with the lotus flower. Photo: © Timmy Tan / TANG Portfolio. Photo taken with a Leica D-Lux 5

Apart from their beauty, flowers are also linked to the “birds and the bees”. The bees, with one in full flight, are having a field day with the lotus flower. Photo: © Timmy Tan / TANG Portfolio. Photo taken with a Leica D-Lux 5