Chinese Dragon censer is sale highlight

A heavy, bronze ‘Dragon’ censer and cover, dating from 18th-century China, has sold for £118,000 in a Cheltenham saleroom.A bronze ‘Dragon’ censer and cover, dating from 18th-century ChinaAuction house Mallams said that the auction was ‘buzzing with excitement’ when highly competitive bidding saw the lot eventually sell to an overseas telephone bidder.The censer’s interesting provenance was undoubtedly what contributed to the huge interest in this item, said the auction house. The censer had a large dent in the side and, although the vendor’s family have no idea how this happened, there was some (uncorroborated) talk that it may have been from a bullet.A bronze ‘Dragon’ censer and cover, dating from 18th-century ChinaThe item came to Mallams from a Herefordshire vendor whose family had lived, circa 1930, at the house known as Hazelwood – a large classical property in Shanghai (now on the site of the Radisson Xingguo Hotel), designed by Clough Williams-Ellis.The interior of Hazelwood House in Shangh-hai, circa 1930Mao Tse Tung is known to have used and stayed at the property, and the fact that this lot was sold together with catalogue images and some old images showing the item in situ, only added to its allure.