Chiswick Auctions has announced that it recently held its best ever sale. Their Asian Art sale on in mid-May saw global buyers bidding across all categories, resulting in an 75% sold rate and top prices paid, with many exceeding their pre-sale estimates.
A Chinese blue and white sleeve vase from the Transitional Period, (transitional meaning between the Ming and Qing Dynasties), came to Chiswick Auctions covered in thick dust and dirt and having been mounted as a lamp (pictured above). A London family had inherited the piece and it had been left forgotten in their home until a clear out, when they had considered throwing it away. It was in fact, underneath the dirt, a beautiful slender cylindrical vase painted with a scene of figures in a landscape and of huge historical importance. Conservatively estimated at £200-£300 it realised £5,040 (including buyer’s premium).
Among other blue and white porcelain pieces that performed well from the same period, was a stunning pair of elongated cylindrical Chinese blue and white sleeve vases, painted with garden scenes and featuring officials and their attendants. The tops of the vases are delicately formed as a band of pendent leaves. The pair sold for £26,400 with buyer’s premium.
Lazarus Halstead, Head of Chiswick Auctions Asian Art Department, said: “The sale proves the continued strength of the current market for Chinese, Japanese and South East Asian art. Strong results were achieved across all categories and it was encouraging to see the diversity within the buyers for the sale.”
The Chinese Soapstone carvings section saw just as many good results, with Chiswick Auctions now establishing exceptional prices for this category. Lazarus said: “Soapstone carvings have traditionally been the Cinderella of Chinese art; the strong prices achieved in this category reflects the enlightened view of collectors who naturally respond to the virtuoso skill of Fujian master craftsmen of the 17th and 18th Centuries.” One of the highlights of the sale, a Chinese soapstone carving of Pindola with a lion, (above), sold for £10,800, including buyer’s premium.
The Buddhist and Japanese sections of the sale also performed well indicating an upturn in the marketplace. A pair of gilded figures on lions, with stands achieved £10,800 and a set of three Japanese pillar paintings by Utamoro realised £2,640.
The photography section saw four rare photographic albums, each showing a different perspective of the European experiences within China during the first three decades of the 20th Century were estimated to fetch a combined total of between £800-1,200, but sold for almost £16,000. Lazarus said, “The popularity of these photography albums reflects the rare and personal insights they provide, into a unique time of transitional between Imperial China and the modern era.”
The outstanding private collection of John Marriott, which comprised of a total of 82 lots, achieved £84,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-75,000.