The Yamanaka reticulated vase to be offered at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 3.

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The so-called Yamanaka reticulated vase takes its name from the firm of Yamanaka & Co, founded by Yamanaka Sadajiro (1865-1936), that sourced objects in China for sale in London and the US.

The vase was included in the 1905 Yamanaka exhibition in New York and was later acquired by a private Japanese collector in 1924. It has not been offered for sale since.

These 16in (41cm) high dou ble-walled vessels with yang cai enamels were among the most complex pieces of porcelain ever conceived by Tang Ying, the celebrated superintendent of imperial porcelain manufac ture at Jingdezhen, for the emperor Qianlong (1736-95).

The Yamanaka and Bain bridge vases appear to be almost identical.

Carved and painted with roundels of four pairs of fish below rococo-inspired motifs on a yellow graviata ground, an inner blue and white vase can be glimpsed through the open work lattice.

The guide for the Yamanaka vase, to be sold on October 3, has been set at HK$50-70m (£5m-7m), although Sotheby’s is expecting it “to fetch multi ples of the estimate”.

The so-called Bainbridge vase – offered by auctioneer Peter Bainbridge in Ruislip at the height of the Chinese buying boom on the evening of November 11, 2010 – posted the highest price ever recorded for Chinese art at auction when it was hammered down at £43m.

However, with securing pay ments from Chinese bidders a widespread problem, the trans action was never completed.

A private treaty deal bro kered by Bonhams was agreed in 2013 at a price thought to be in the region of between £20m-25m.


The so-called ‘Bainbridge vase’ hammered down at £43m in 2010 but later the subject of a private sale.