The large Kangxi famille verte rouleau vase from the collection of HM Knight.

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I certainly felt this on turning to page 48 of ATG No 2296 to read your preview of Asian sales in Europe.

There you reported on a fine and large Kangxi famille verte rouleau vase from the collection of HM Knight, on sale at Lempertz in Brussels estimated at €70,000- 100,000 [ATG: it sold on June 18 for €99,200 including premium].

But I was most surprised to read that Knight had “presumably tired of the vase” in 1955. Far from it.

The vase had pride of place in the article that the fine Dutch orientalist Jan Fontein published in Apollo magazine in 1964, Chinese Porcelain in the HM Knight Collection.

Knight certainly kept the vase until the end of his life and I believe it was among the pieces inherited by his somewhat wayward nephew, Frederick Knight.

I recall the vase in my early years with Bluett & Sons (which traded from 1884 to 1992) in 1980, when it was displayed in prime position in the gallery.

I also recall standing nearby and talking to the ‘box man’, an eccentric elderly Londoner who supplied the firm with cardboard boxes, as he quite unconcernedly leaned over and tapped his cigarette ash into the precious vase.

Dominic Jellinek