The 177 works of art were amassed by a collector over many decades. In the 1950s he taught himself Chinese and from the early 1970s, until his death in 2005, he purchased paintings in Europe, the US and China. In 1985, part of his collection was exhibited in the Berlin Museum of Asian Art.
Among his early acquisitions is the star lot of the auction, Qi Bashi’s 4ft 6in x 19in (1.37m x 49cm) hanging scroll Eagle on a Pine-Tree, signed by the artist. The inscription states that it was painted when the artist was 87, so in 1951.
It is not known how much the collector paid for this scroll in 1977; the expectations are now SFr350,000-500,000.