Yet while the term ‘global’ in other business sectors suggests uniformity and homogenisation, the Asian art world’s three major world centres – Hong Kong, London and New York – each have different attractions for buyers.
This annual supplement singles out London for its distinct role as a global hub for trading and learning.
Read on to discover how the city’s dealers, auctioneers and museums ensure an unrivalled mix of buying opportunities and depth of scholarship across the core Asian categories of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan art.
These qualities will be on show during the 21stedition of Asian Art in London (November 1-10), of which this paper is again a co-sponsor. The event sits alongside a packed autumn calendar of Asian art auctions.
Ivory trade ban
There are undeniable challenges to London’s role in the global flow of Asian art on the horizon, not least the forthcoming legal ban on the UK ivory trade that has few exemptions for antique ivory.
And, if proof were needed of the interconnected nature of the Asian art world, witness the reverberations in London, Paris and New York about a proposed 25% tax on Chinese art imports to the US. The tariff, the threat of which had receded as this supplement went to press, would have applied to Chinese art imports regardless of their port of origin.
We can expect the tenacity of Asian art buyers to overcome such challenges, however, travelling to the location where a desired object is being sold and sometimes even overlooking the condition it is in.
Picture the Japanese buyer who, in June this year, kept a taxi to Heathrow waiting as he went to North Yorkshire to view and purchase a damaged Ming porcelain dish at 100-times estimate, having spotted it on the internet.
This supplement is full of similar tales of discoveries and notes the subtle shifts in a market that despite the challenges outlined above, has settled down after the ‘gold rush’ years of 10 years ago.
Finally, our thanks to the advertisers who supported this publication and to the team at Antiques Trade Gazette, who enjoyed putting the Asian Art special together, in the hope you’ll find it useful, informative and entertaining.
Editor, Antiques Trade Gazette