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London Auctions – Autumn 2015

After a one-year hiatus in the main auctions of Chinese material at the Christie’s King Street salesroom during Asian Art in London, the department held two sales on 10 November. In the first, Status & Ritual: Chinese Archaic Bronzes from an Important Private European Collection, only eleven of the 24 lots sold. The top lot was a copper-inlaid bronze ritual stem bowl and cover (dou) of the Warring States Period, selling for £61,250 (lot 23; estimate £20/30,000). The Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale followed, also with less than 50 per cent of lots sold. There appears to be a general reluctance to spend money in this time of uncertainty, and many dealers and collectors from Asia were absent in London. The top lot of the sale was a Qianlong period white jade marriage bowl on a carved zitan stand. It went to a mainland Chinese collector, bidding against Hong Kong collector Robert Chang, for £782,500 (lot 88; estimate £100/150,000). The same buyer also picked up a yellow-ground famille-rose yuhuchun vase, with a Qianlong mark and of the period, for £338,500 (lot 305; estimate £300/500,000). The vase had been severely damaged and then repaired, but would have fetched multiples of this price if in perfect condition. It was acquired in China in the late 19th century by James Adams Ballard, the great-grandfather of the vendor.

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Jan/Feb 2016
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