Annual events in their respective cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, Caskey and Lees’s shows are very selective. According to Caskey, “There’s a long waiting list of exhibitors who want to get into the show. It’s the largest and most important art show of this type in the world.”
One reason is reputation. Museum curators and collectors authenticate the art before doors open. Another reason is quality of exhibits. F. Suie One Co., a Chinese antique business founded in 1888, has exhibited here since 1995. Leslee Leong, the founder’s granddaughter, now runs the business. Her acquisitions include stunning gold-lacquered wood pieces dating to the Ming dynasty and carved jade sculptures and fine ceramic porcelains—some as old as 2000 B.C. According to Leong, some pieces came from the tombs of emperors, and some have also been shown at the Smithsonian.
Caskey Lees Inc.’s Asian art shows also typically feature high-end Chinese and Japanese prints, antique textiles, carpets, furniture, paintings and sculpture. New York’s fair is the most successful of the three, according to Caskey.
While the show is primarily focused on art antiques, 10% of the exhibits here are contemporary art, which is increasing in popularity. “China and India are very hot economies, and the art is also very hot,” says Caskey. Leong agrees: “China is leading the front of the contemporary art world with art that’s very refined, very sophisticated, very avant-garde.”
Pictured: Imperial white jade mountain, China, Qianlong (1736-95).Provenance: Important Private English Collection, Louis Joseph, London. Eisenbach-Erie Collection