Bidders did not have long to wait for the most spectacular result of a 2700-lot series. Lot 51, the 5in (13cm) high early 18th century Imperial doucai wine pot and cover, came from a collection in the Rhineland. The owner bought it at Sotheby's in December 1984.
Doucai porcelain was very difficult to produce, as it required two firings, the first for the outline of the design at high temperature, the second for the overglaze coloured enamels at a lower temperature.
The Stuttgart wine pot was painted in delicate colours with the so-called Three Friends of Winter:bamboo, blossoming plum and pine trees. In Chinese iconography these are symbols of longevity and perseverance, as they flourish even in adverse conditions.
The successful bidder on May 8, an overseas collector, certainly showed signs of perseverance when he took on the mass competition in the room and on the phones. Bidding started at the lower estimate of €800,000.
The recent London and UK regional sales of Oriental works of art, that also included some outstanding results, will be reported in a future issue.
The buyer's premium at Nagel was 33%.