Bonhams vase LOT 185

During a week when the Euro zone was in total disarray………………………

& news channels were reporting dire situations direct from Athens, Rome, Berlin & Paris…………..

In London they were investing……….Big Time………… Chinese Heritage Ceramics & Carvings.

£8.000.000 hammer for an antique Chinese ceramic vase auctioned at Bonhams Bond Street. …………….

As Collectors invested in Heritage Chinese Porcelain & Carvings……………

A spectacular week for Bonhams, Christies & Sothebys the leading London Auction houses as each held their marathon day long Chinese ceramics auctions commencing 8th November.

Estimates consistently beaten for the driving iconic pieces as they reached stratospherique amounts for sensational period Chinese ceramics. & exquisitely carved, in the distinctive rich amber/maroon tint, rhinoceros horn libation cups. Intricately carved ivory sculptures. & highly sought after carved ivory brush pots. Sensously carved jades- jades of every hue from white to grey to celadon, or jade. Carvings of animals or boxes with lids, pendants, etc, where pieces of mixed tones of Jade were carved to ultimum effect.

Surreal atmosphere as the 4 & 5 strong teams of collectors from the Far East competed with the battery of long distance phone bidders.

The Collector whose apartments in Paris & London I have decorated, reminds me of the symbolism of the motifs that have special significance for the Chinese collector as compared to the taste of the American or European Collector.

Pomegranates and frogs. Youths & many dragons…………..

Felicity, Health & Wealth……………..

We have selected a few of the beautiful pieces that sold well over estimate to give a feel of the rythymn of the sales.

Bonhams auction rooms were full to overflowing on thursday morning, november 10th, as lot 185 went under the hammer.

£8.000.000. hammer. A truly remarkable price for a magnificent famille rose vase, pale turquoise enamelled sgraffiato ground ,decorated with alternating exquisitely detailed pink & grey chrysanthemum & coral quatrelobed flowers, amidst dense green foliate scrolls.. Vase.19.3/4.ins hi. Tall neck flanked by a pair of horned mythical beast-head coral & gilt loop handles. Qianlong seal mark.1736-1795.

As Bonhams catalogue continues, “The Qianlong period was the zenith of the Qing dynasty technical ingenuity & creativity”.

A provenance that mentions the famous Jardine Matheson connection. And it is suspected that this vase would have come from the Imperial Palace which might explain the ultimate price paid by a buyer said to be from mainland China.

Lot 79 Christies King Street. Flamboyant 15ins wide 19th century coral carving. Hammer £120.000

Lots 97 & 98.Christies King Street, a 10 inch hi sq-sectionned parfumier & cover – & a small 7.1/2 inch hi “lotus” vase & cover.

Both in highly sought after white jade. Hammer price respectively £120.000 & £130.000.

Christies King St.lot 115. tiny 5.3/4 ins superb pr of white jade shallow bowls. Qianlong period. 1736-1795. Hammer £400.000.

Lot 187. Christies King St.A pale green & cream jadeite model recumbent buffalo. Hammer £92.000

Lots 220. 221.Christies King St.for 8ins & 9ins 19th century carved Jadeite vases & covers. Hammer £60.000, & £62.000.

Lot 319. Christies King St. Small 7.1/4.ins hi blue & white Yongzhen period (1723-1735) double gourd vase.Apparently An emperor famous in Chinese folklore which would explain a hammer price of £250.000.

Christies King St. Some chinese furniture was offered in different woods in order of preference for the Chinese,

Huanghuali, Zitan, Nanmu, Hongmu, Jichimu..

Qianlong period (17361795) Lot 285 Christies King St. Large 44.7/8 ins.hi pr. of “Zitan” wood framed dble-gourd embelished Lacquer panels. The fact that Zitan wood was used for the frames could indicate that these were items made for the Imperial family. Hammer £220.000.

My personal secret sleeper of the Christies King Street auction was Lot 406. Famille rose moulded candlestick. 17.7/8 ins.hi.

Yongzheng period. (1723-1735)

SOLD FOR A BREATHTAKING Hammer £1.150.000. (as against estimate £40-60.000)

As the week drew to a close @ Christies South Ken, late in the afternoon we were all taken by surprise as Lot 1366 an underglaze blue & iron-red-decorated small stem bowl 6.1/2.ins in diam. 18th century, estimated £4 – 6000 sold hammer £480.000.

Amongst the splendid pieces offered for auction by Sothebys we could mention lot 73, the pair of tiny 3.5/8.ins ruby-glazed cups Yongzhen marks & period. est £60 – £80.000. Hammer £320.000.

The Sothebys catalogue mentions that “according to S.J.Vainker in Chinese Pottery and Porcelain,New York,1991, pink enamel of this type was developed in China in the final years of Kangxi`s reign and was applied by `blowing it through a bamboo tube covered with a fine silk gauze at one end.”

Sothebys lot 365 had an estimate of £50- £70.000.

Hammer price was a stunning £620.000.

Early Ming dynasty “Jun” type flower pot 6.1/2.ins hi, a rich & mottled lavender blue glaze thinning to pale olive green at the angles, on a silver inlaid wood stand.


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