These regularly surface at auction, increasingly in dedicated sales.
Aguttes (25/23% buyer’s premium), one of the firms that has pioneered sales in this genre, offered its 35th catalogue on October 3 featuring works by high-profile artists such as Le Pho (1907-2001), Vu-Cao Dam (1908-2000) and Le Quoc Loc (1918-87).
Mai Trung Thu’s (1906-80) Jeunes filles aux cousins, from 1961, was one of the day’s top-sellers at a double-estimate €280,000 (£245,615).
The painting, in ink and colours on silk, depicts one girl holding a fan, another a letter and the third a flower and had been in the same Parisian collection since it was acquired in the 1960s.
Contained in the original frame made by the artist, the 7½in x 2ft 11in (19.5 x 89.5cm) work is signed and dated upper left and monogrammed, titled and dated on the reverse.
Five days later in Bordeaux in a sale of Old Master and Modern paintings and works of art held by Briscadieu (20.83% buyer’s premium), a picture by Le Pho proved to be the sale highlight.
Femme aux oeillets, painted in gouache on silk applied to card, sold for €440,000 (£385,965), five times the estimate. Depicting a woman with a pot of carnations holding a spray of the flowers in one hand, it was unpublished and had been in the same family since it was purchased in Casablanca in 1942.
The 2ft 1in x 17¾in (64 x 45cm) work is signed in Latin letters and Chinese characters and has the artist’s stamp upper right and is titled on the reverse.
£1 = €1.14