Asian Art

Cowan's is an emerging leader in the sale of Asian Art. We hold two major sales of Asian Art annually, featuring prominent Collections with an emphasis on Chinese Decorative Arts.

Department Director

Graydon Sikes

Contact Information
Contact Graydon at 513.871.1670 (ext. 225)

Graydon Sikes is the current Director of Fine Art at Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, OH, and has held the position since May of 2006. His areas of expertise include 19th and 20th century American paintings, with an emphasis on artists of the American West. In addition, Sikes manages the department of Asian Art at Cowan's, which has averaged $1 million in sales over the last 5 years. He is certified in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, and is a licensed auctioneer in the states of Ohio and Kentucky.

Sikes has managed the sale of numerous important Collections of Western Art in the last 9 years, totaling over $10 million in sales.  He presides over 5 auctions annually in the categories of Fine Art and Asian Art. 

Sikes is a featured appraiser on the popular KET television series, Kentucky Collectibles, and well as PBS's Antiques Roadshow, beginning in 2015.  He is also a featured appraiser on Cash in the Attic, US edition. He has given numerous talks and conducted appraisal events at regional institutions.  




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Chinese Porcelain Bowl, Republic Period
Lot # 173 - Chinese Porcelain Bowl, Republic Period
Chinese, Republic period. A porcelain bowl with ruby red ground having sgraffito decoration of brocade patterns and scrolling, reserves of famille rose enamel of stylized flowers, with Yongzheng mark on base; dia. 5.75 in.
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Indian Miniatures of Mumtaz Mahal, Watercolor on Ivory
Lot # 1379 - Indian Miniatures of Mumtaz Mahal, Watercolor on Ivory
Indian, 19th century. A pair of painted miniatures on ivory depicting Mumtaz Mahal, the empress of India during the Mughal dynasty, unsigned with handwritten descriptive info on verso of one; 4.25 x 3 in.

Mumtaz Mahal, was the name given to the Persian princess Arjumand Banu Begum, the third wife of Shah Janan. A Shia Muslim, Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth in 1631. In memory of her, Shan Jahan built the Taj Mahal from 1632-1653 as a mausoleum for his beloved wife.
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Japanese Satsuma Vase with Samuri Battle
Lot # 733 - Japanese Satsuma Vase with Samuri Battle
Japanese, 19th century. A Satsuma vase with relief dragons, a dense enamel decoration showing a picturesque battle scene. Unmarked; ht. 7.25 in.
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Eight 20th Century Japanese Woodblocks Prints after Ando Hiroshige
Lot # 694 - Eight 20th Century Japanese Woodblocks Prints after Ando Hiroshige
Japanese, 20th century. Eight posthumous prints of woodblocks by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858). Inscriptions u.r.; 13.5 8.5 in. (sight; largest).
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Royal Bonn Vase with Cherubs
Lot # 153 - Royal Bonn Vase with Cherubs
Hand-painted vase with a 4-footed pedestal and handles with lion's heads, painted scene on one side depicting two cherubs, the other depicting a bird with a nest, marked on bottom and stamped, also inscribed 2892, 2/6, Du. 3938; Ht. 14 in.
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Chinese Rice Dishes
Lot # 39 - Chinese Rice Dishes
Late 19th/early 20th century.  Four pieces of rice decorated porcelain consisting of wine cups and covered teacups and stands, all with underglaze blue geometric decoration,all but dishes with four character marks; largest ht. 3 in.

Property of Conner Prairie Historical Site, Fishers, IN, sold to benefit the collections.

Collected by Eli Lilly (Indiana, 1885-1977), ca 1920s-1940s to furnish the "Chinese House" on the Conner Prairie Historic Park property.  

Eli Lilly's core Collection was gifted to the Indianapolis Museum of Art after his passing.  He had an intimate relationship with important dealer C.T. Loo (1880-1957) and it is possible that some of this material offered here was purchased from Loo.

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19th Century French Miniature on Ivory
Lot # 9 - 19th Century French Miniature on Ivory

France, 19th century. Housed in a gilded bronze frame, in the rococo style; dia. 2 in.

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Chinese Porcelain Compote
Lot # 100 - Chinese Porcelain Compote
Chinese, 20th century. A footed porcelain compote dish decorated with green, red, blue, and yellow floral motifs. Ht. 5.5 in.; dia. 10 in. 
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Chinese Jadeite Leaf Dish
Lot # 147 - Chinese Jadeite Leaf Dish
Chinese, 20th century.  A finely carved and pierced white jade with apple green and russet highlights carving in the shape of two leaves, unmarked; lg. 3.25 in. 
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Chinese Republic Period Brush Pots, Plus
Lot # 303 - Chinese Republic Period Brush Pots, Plus
Chinese.  Two painted, porcelain brush pots including a cylindrical brush pot with orange and green dragon motifs and calligraphic script, and a pierced, faceted brush pot with floral motifs and calligraphic script, each with a four-character Chinese mark on bottom. PLUS a two handled faceted vase with painted landscape scenes on two sides and calligraphic script, unmarked; tallest ht. 12.5 in.
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Lapis Snuff Bottle
Lot # 301 - Lapis Snuff Bottle
Chinese, 20th century. A lapis rectangular snuff bottle tapering toward the base with relief archaic scrollwork decorations. Ht. 2.25 in.
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Chinese Floor Vase
Lot # 1605 - Chinese Floor Vase
Chinese, a large floor vase with peacocks and flowers against a blue ground, unmarked, on a 20th century wooden stand; ht. 23.75 in.
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Chinese Jade Incense Tube
Lot # 285 - Chinese Jade Incense Tube
20th century. An incense tube of white to light celadon jade with reticulated dragon and foliage carving, double sided caps, each with small porcelain balls and silk strings attached; lg. of jade 5.5 in.
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Pair of Chinese Cinnabar Vases
Lot # 67 - Pair of Chinese Cinnabar Vases
Chinese, 19th century. A pair of carved cinnabar vases; ht. 5 in. (12.7 cm).
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Chinese Carved Ivory Buddha
Lot # 185 - Chinese Carved Ivory Buddha
Early 20th century. A carved ivory scene study of Mi Lo Fu playing with two children, well polished and on hardwood stand; ht. of ivory 12 in.
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Chinese Porcelain Green Dragon Dish
Lot # 92 - Chinese Porcelain Green Dragon Dish
Chinese, Qianlong period. A porcelain dish decorated with green dragons chasing celestial pearls, having a six-character Qianlong mark to underside; diameter 7.25 in.
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Five-Footed Kiln Stilt
Lot # 79 - Five-Footed Kiln Stilt
Thai, 14th-15th century. Unglazed brown pontil with five feet. Ht. 1 in.; dia. 2.75 in. 

Cowan’s is pleased to present a part of the collection of Dr. Konrad and Sarah Bekker. Sarah McInteer was born in Meade County, Kentucky in 1923. She eventually attended the University of Kentucky where she met Konrad Bekker, an instructor in economics and philosophy of music. She went on to become a social psychologist. Konrad joined the army and served overseas in Southeast Asia, which began his lifelong devotion to the study of Asian music. A shared love for travel and Eastern cultures led Sarah and Konrad to work for the Foreign Service in several parts of Asia. During this time, Sarah’s interest in Southeast Asian religions and social customs expanded to a passion for its visual culture. After returning to the United States, she became a lecturer on Asian art and worked for the Smithsonian, leading educational tours to Thailand and Burma. While Konrad passed away in 1981, Sarah continued her work, travelling and collecting. At the time of her death last year, she was considered an authority on Burmese Buddhism and its visual culture. Accumulating a large art collection through a lifetime of travel, the Bekkers were generous donors to many institutions but often favored university collections where they believed their objects would be studied and appreciated by those who shared their enthusiasm for Asian art. Objects from their collection are now in the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Walters Museum of Art and the museums of the University of Michigan, Northern Illinois University and Denison University, among others.
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Ivory House Shrine
Lot # 55 - Ivory House Shrine
Indian, 18th century. Ivory house shrine with Shiva holding Ganesha, with two attendants. 5 x 7.75 x 1.75 in. 
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Signed Chinese Brush Pot
Lot # 1701 - Signed Chinese Brush Pot
Chinese, late 19th century, a pierced ceramic brush pot with a male figure standing near a flowering tree, signed on bottom by the artist Wang Binrong (active during 1890s); ht. 6.25 in.
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Chinese Blue and White Vase
Lot # 1530 - Chinese Blue and White Vase
Chinese, a pair of blue and white vases with figures in a landscape, the side with six character mark, the base unmarked; ht. 16 in.
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