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Sotheby's: Record Set for a London Sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
An imperial Doucai altar garniture set.
LONDON.- Sotheby’s biannual sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art today brought the well-above estimate total of £20,798,725, surpassing pre-sale expectations of £11.5-16.2 million, setting a record for a London auction in this collecting category. The sale, which established sell-through rates of 72.3% by lot and 84.8% by value, witnessed rare and important works of art from private UK collections perform especially well.

Headlining the pieces in the auction that were sourced from private UK collections was the sale of a Rare Blue and White ‘Dragon’ Vase Qianlong Seal Mark and Period, which sold for the exceptional sum of £1,138,850/$1,864,867, more than 16 times pre-sale expectations (est: £50,000-70,000). The ‘Dragon’ Vase came to auction from a private Scottish collection and saw intense competition from several bidders, finally selling to an Asian buyer on the telephone.

Commenting on the extremely strong results of today’s auction, Robert Bradlow, Director and Head of Sotheby’s Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Department in London, said: “Overall, we are delighted with the results of today’s sale which achieved the well-above estimate total of £20.7 million - true testament to the strength of the Chinese Art market. In particular, we are thrilled with the prices achieved for the property sourced from UK collections which sold exceptionally well in the international selling centre of London . Fresh and highly sought after Qing Dynasty imperial ceramics, jades, and paintings were brought to the market from UK collections - as far north as Scotland and as far South as the ‘home counties’ such as Surrey and East Sussex – selling to Asian and international buyers, demonstrating the global nature of this field and appetite for works of art in this collecting category.”

Further works in today’s sale which were sourced from private collections in the UK include:

• A Rare Underglaze-Red ‘Magpie and Prunus’ Moonflask, Qianlong Seal Mark and Period, from a private UK collection, realised £1,049,250, twice its high estimate (est:£300,000-500,000).

• River Landscape, an ink and colour painting on paper by Lin Fengmian, which achieved £313,250, nearly four times its high estimate (est: £60,000-80,000), came from a private Scottish collection.

• Lady Holding a Flower by Lin Fengmian, which was consigned by a private UK collection based in Surrey, reached £373,250, four and a half times its high estimate(est: 60,000-80,000).

• Yihe Yuan Summer Palace, an 18th/19th Century Chinese School, ink and colour work on paper. This piece was acquired by a UK dealer from a regional auction house and was sold today at Sotheby’s London for £193,250, nearly four times its high estimate of £50,000.

• A Fine White Jade Double-Gourd Vase and Cover, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period, realised £217,250, almost five and a half times its high estimate of £40,000. The vase came from a Brighton-based UK collection.

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