The top lot of the week was a magnificent pair of famille rose ‘butterfly’ double-gourd vases, which sold for £14,725,000 at Christie’s King Street saleroom on May 9. This is the very first time that a pair of these Qianlong vases has been offered; only four other single vases of this type have been sold at auction to date. This important pair of 18th century vases were made for the court of the Qianlong Emperor and his reign mark is painted on the bases.
A highlight of the South Kensington sale was a pair of exceptional and rare porcelain seals signed by the famous Republican porcelain painter He Xuren (1882-1940). The seals realised a price of £221,000 (HK$2,207,127) against an estimate of £30,000-50,000.