On Thursday, May 13, Bonhams held a Fine Chinese Art Sale in London. The auction was a tremendous success, again highlighting the continuing strength of the Chinese art market.
In particular, the appetite for fine jade at the sale was phenomenal. Of the £6.6m sales total, £2.3m went towards buying a jade collection of 35 pieces.
Some of the highlights included:
A rare and fine white jade vase and cover from the 18th century with almost flawless stone, featuring a relief of five bats in flight: estimated at £30,000-40,000, sold for £580,000.
A rare white jade and hardstone-inset 'magpie' box and cover from the Qianlong period, embellished with jadeite, garnet and rose quartz stones: estimated at £10,000-14,000 sold for £300,000.
A fine and rare white jade carving of a recumbent doe, from the Qianlong era, estimated to sell for £40,000-60,000, sold for £264,000.
A very fine and rare yellow and brown jade vase group and cover, of the Qianlong period, carved in the form of recumbent hounds. Estimated at £18,000-22,000, it sold for £228,000. Yellow jade was highly prized throughout the Qing Dynasty and was greatly treasured by the Qianlong Emperor in particular.
A rare large grey and brown jade 'duck' brushwasher from the 17th/18th century; this unusual and charming waterpot was expected to make £4,000-6,000, but sold for £156,000.
Colin Sheaf, International Head of Asian Art at Bonhams, and the sale's auctioneer, commented, "It is very unusual to have such a large jade collection of the highest quality all at one time for sale.
"These are pieces which are comparable or identical to pieces that are housed in the Palace museum Beijing. They represent a once in a lifetime opportunity for jade enthusiasts to buy the very best of their kind, hence the excitement and enthusiasm we saw in the auction room today."