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Christie’s and Sotheby’s each devote an entire sale to this genre on March 14 and 16 respectively with lots assembled from vendors around the globe.

A highlight of Christie’s 124-lot assemblage is the 14th century artist Ni Zan’s landscape above right, a gift to Ban Yun, in ink on paper dated xinchou year, corresponding to 1361. It is estimated at $150,000-300,000.

At 12 x 8¼in (40 x 21cm), this is a relatively small composition from the artist’s repertoire but has affinities with some of his masterworks.

It also bears two collectors’ seals for Dong Qichang and Zhi Wenjun.

The undoubted stand-out lot from Sotheby’s similar sized sale is Zhu Dha’s 12 leaf album Flowers Birds Fish and Fruit (below right), which is dated 1703, and painted towards the end of his life.

Not only is this a work by a master artist, but it also belonged at one time to Zhang Diqian, one of the best known artists of 20th century China, and carries three of his collectors’ seals.

The estimate is $2.5m -3.5m.