Auction Reports


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The £13m Asian art boon for London as Silk Road begins to run dry

05 June 2017

“It was one of those eureka moments,” said Rosemary Scott, Chinese ceramics specialist at Christie’s. “My colleague Jeremy Morgan was on a perfectly normal valuation visit when he walked into the drawing room and there, on the mantelpiece, he saw these vases. He couldn’t believe his eyes.”

Asian art hammer highlights at regional sales

05 June 2017

A selection of stand-out results from auctions around the UK.

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Asian art textiles: the uncut market for court dress

05 June 2017

For the most important ceremonies and rituals, high-ranking Chinese officials along with the royal family would don the chao fu or full court dress. At the Qing court a whole range of garments and paraphernalia were associated with the chao fu – a hat, collar, necklace, girdle and boots – but the most important were the chao pao and jifu, the court robes. Their use was restricted to high-ranking officials and persons.

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Asian art Jades: any colour as long as it’s white

05 June 2017

By definition ruyi sceptres are highly auspicious objects, favoured for their shape and ornamentation which together represent the propitious expression ‘as you wish’.

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Asian art Japanese: Tomatada shines in Katchen collection

05 June 2017

The centrepiece of Bonhams’ Japanese offering on May 11 was the second part of the extraordinary collection of netsuke formed by US concert pianist Julius Katchen (1926-69) and his wife Arlette.

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Ceramics buyers show selective taste

30 May 2017

Major dealers remain confident about the market for top-level English 18th century ceramics. At lower levels, however, the disappearance of so many dedicated collectors continues to take its toll.

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Pack proves to be the big deal at Stamford auction

30 May 2017

Coming up trumps at Stamford auctioneers Batemans (20% buyer’s premium) on May 6 was a full pack of 52 Georgian playing cards.

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Krater makes impact on Macclesfield auction

30 May 2017

An age away from the controversy, skulduggery and sky-high prices that have too often characterised the antiquities market of late, the world of the quiet academic’s study came to the Macclesfield rooms of Adam Partridge (15% buyer’s premium) on April 6-7.

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Dutch bidder pushes pram price to £1000

30 May 2017

One of the surprises at Peter Wilson’s April 26- 27 sale was a tinplate clockwork pram pushed by a woman stamped Burnett Limited, London, Made in England.

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Amber light means go for it at North Yorkshire sale

30 May 2017

‘Group lots should be viewed’ was the wise recommendation in the catalogue description of this mixed bag offered at Tennants’ (18.5% buyer’s premium) sale of vintage costume, textiles and dolls at Leyburn on May 13.

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Positive signs as provincial auctions deliver good results

30 May 2017

Such are the positive reports coming in from the provinces that one begins to fear what the finger-crossing superstitious call the curse of the commentator and the more rational know as the reversion to the mean.

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Top marks: the trade is head of the glass for once

30 May 2017

Two small private collections of glass, Art Nouveau and contemporary, were clear areas of interest at Cheffins’ (22.5% buyer’s premium) Art & Design from 1860 sale at Cambridge on May 11.

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Auction trio reflects an overall buoyancy to the antiques market

22 May 2017

Three substantial sales from Edinburgh to Exeter via Doncaster last month confirmed the promise of early spring with the staple areas of furniture, silver and ceramics holding up and, for named or specialist-interest material, doing well. The figures underline the overall buoyancy.

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Crucifix link to now demolished Swiss covered bridge

22 May 2017

The big surprise at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood'’s April 11-12 sale at Exeter was this 17th-18th century Tyrolean wood and gilt crucifix.

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Storr inkstand makes its mark

22 May 2017

Made by Paul Storr, highly decorative and from the family collection of the late Sir Nicholas Harington, this 1836 piece of silver had the name, the look and the provenance to overcome the somewhat unfashionable nature of inkstands.

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Nine phone lines compete for outstanding card tables

08 May 2017

Latest in a number of outstanding pieces of English furniture to surface and succeed at provincial auctions was this pair of satinwood inlaid demi-lune card tables, above, offered at Stride & Son (20% buyer’s premium including VAT) at Chichester on March 31.

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Salmon cast reeled in at Mitchells

08 May 2017

Catch of the day at Cockermouth auctioneers Mitchells’ (20% buyer’s premium) sporting sale on April 8 was a cast of a salmon. The 48lb fish, cast by Mallochs of Perth, was estimated at £1800-2000 but was reeled in by a Scottish enthusiast at £5200.

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Cranes fly high at Edinburgh sale

08 May 2017

Symbols of good fortune and longevity in both China and Japan, cranes cast in bronze with incised decoration were simply catalogued as oriental at the April 10 sale held by Edinburgh auction house Thomson Roddick (16% buyer’s premium).

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Royal rarity lifts Doulton figure price

08 May 2017

Not so much in demand as they once were, Royal Doulton figurines still have their devoted following, particularly when they are rarities such as the Lady Jester (HN1222) piece offered at Michael J Bowman (17.5% buyer’s premium) sale at Chudleigh on March 25.

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Studio ceramics in starring role at auction

08 May 2017

Overshadowed by the boom in Chinese works and contemporary art they may have been, but the rise in demand for British studio ceramics has been the talk of the market these last few years.

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