Chinese protest at Summer Palace lot
China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage has said it opposes and condemns the sale of a rare Western Zhou bronze, taken when the Summer Palace was sacked by British troops in 1860, that is being offered at Canterbury Auction Galleries on April 11.
The auction house confirmed the sale would go ahead but declined to comment further.
China’s State Administration often expresses its desire for items to be returned and said the bronze ying modelled with stylised tigers, estimated at £120,000-200,000, was an “illegally discharged cultural relic”.
Watch expert leaves Salisbury saleroom
Watch specialist Adrian Hailwood, who joined Woolley & Wallis in November after six years at Fellows, has left the Salisbury firm.
The auction house described it as “an amicable parting” but one that reflected “recognition at an early stage that our modus operandi didn’t coincide”.
Sales of wristwatches will continue to form part of W&W’s quarterly jewellery auctions, managed by a department led by Marielle Whiting.
Hailwood, who was working for W&W part-time, will continue to be based in Worcestershire.
Plea to find stolen gramophone
A dealer of gramophones and phonographs has called on the trade to help find a gramophone which was taken from a lock-up garage in Paddington, north-west London, in the past month.
Dealer Mike Child sold the gramophone to a Japanese dealer who was storing it in London before shipping it home. Child said it is easily recognisable due to the serial number – EMG Mark 9 no 1553. It is valued at around £2800.
Anyone with information should contact the police quoting reference number 6515903/18.
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Smashed The Who guitar up for sale
The remains of a 1964 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster guitar destroyed by The Who guitarist Pete Townshend at the band’s December 1, 1967, concert at Long Island Arena in Commack, NY, will be offered at US saleroom Heritage Auctions.
It carries a pre-auction estimate of at least $20,000 in the Entertainment & Music Memorabilia sale on April 15 in Dallas, Texas.
Chinese trio at eight figures each
Sotheby’s spring Hong Kong series included a trio of eight-figure Chinese imperial works of art sold on April 3.
The so-called Lost Wisdom Sutra, a historical relic of the Xuande period, came for sale from a Swiss private collection. It comprises 10 albums of the Prajnaparamita Sutra inscribed by the emperor’s appointed monk Huijin.
The winning bid was HK$210m (£19.1m), the sum also paid for a puce-enamel falangcai bowl with yuzhi mark made for the personal use of the Kangxi emperor.
The 5¾in (14.5cm) diameter bowl, once owned by the collector Henry M Knight, came from the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo and was last on the market in 1986.
The longest bidding contest of the series was reserved for a handscroll by the court painter Qian Weicheng, which re-emerged from a private European collection after a century. The artist was among Qianlong’s favourite and the Ten Auspicious Landscapes of Taishan is inscribed with 10 poems written in appreciation by the emperor.
Originally kept in the Ningshou Gong of the Forbidden City, it was given by the last Emperor Puyi to his younger brother Pujie in the early 1920s. After a 40-minute battle and more than 100 bids, it took HK$128.5m (£11.7m).
African headrest impresses in Edinburgh
An African headrest soared past its upper estimate to take £65,000 at Lyon & Turnbull’s African & Oceanic sale on March 21.
The 10.5in (27cm) long headrest is carved from wood, evoking the shape of an animal, and was made in Durban or the surrounding hinterlands. It came from a private Scottish collection.
Estimated at £3000-5000, it was knocked down to a phone bidder from the Continent.
Capacity for exhibitors at this year’s Masterpiece London, up from 153. The event runs from June 28-July 4 and features 24 new exhibitors. Masterpiece London has been slightly enlarged overall, allowing for a new cruciform layout with an extra central aisle running east to west. Running at a right angle to the existing main aisle, the new aisle aims to improve the flow of visitors.