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While Islamic-style blue and white Chinese vessels appear at auction from time to time (where good examples are keenly contested), Tibetan-style works are much less common. Specialist Ingrid Collingridge said: “I don’t remember offering anything similar here for some time.”

Although the vases were not identical, they were both painted in horizontal layers with Tibetan characters and three moulded bands encircled their necks. One was marked to the base with an underglaze blue Tibetan seal and the other had metal mounts and a Chinese four-character mark reading Splendid Hall of Growing Prosperity.

They were in good condition, with minor fritting to the finial of one, and some light surface wear and scattered firing spots to both. Estimated at £500-700, they were taken to £2600 by a private American buyer.

A number of modestly estimated ex-Spink & Son Asian stock entries were scattered throughout the sale, but it was an entry from a different vendor that stole the second top slot: a Meiji period cloisonné enamel koro, signed by the renowned Japanese craftsman Namikawa, 51/2in (13.9cm) high.

With pierced foliate cover, it was decorated in gold wire on a mushroom ground. The scene depicted a stream meandering through a rocky mountainous landscape. It was well finished with applied shakudo to the rim and base and although the enamel was extensively damaged, it still exceeded expectations at £2300.
Overall, the sale was 75 per cent sold by lot and bagged a hammer total of £76,370.