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Chinese vase "discovered" in Shropshire is expected to fetch £500,000 at auction in London
A Large Doucai 'Lotus & Bat' Jar and Cover Qianlong Seal Mark & Period. Photo: Sotheby's.


LONDON.- When valuer Jeremy Rye was invited to a house in Shropshire to look at an English Dessert Service, little did he know that he would spot a Chinese Vase and cover worth £500,000! The vase, which measures almost 50cm high, had spent most of the last 30 years unrecognised on the floor of a dining room by a window.

The extraordinary large and elegant Doucai ‘Lotus and Bats’ baluster-shaped jar and cover, dating from the Qianlong Period (1736-95) is one of the most expensive lots in Sotheby’s auction of Fine Chinese Ceramic s and Works of Art on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at New Bond Street, London. Its large body is magnificently decorated with an ornate composition of bats in mid-flight and lotus scrolls in rich doucai enamels.

As Fine Art Agent Jeremy, who is based near Welshpool, said: “I had been called to appraise a an English Dessert Service, but my eye was immediately drawn to the 18-inch vase that was sitting on the floor. The owners had no idea of its value, and I suspect that they would have parted with it for a few hundred pounds! Unfortunately the owners do now know the exact story of the vase, but their ancestors traded in the Far East and were collectors, so presumably that is how it was acquired.

“These imperial-quality wares have always been sought after but in the last 10 years, with the rise of the Chinese economy, their values have risen enormously. This vase also bears the reign mark of Qianlong which helps it enormously. Much Chinese porcelain is spuriously marked or as the Chinese potters claim, marked in the honour of the potting skills of their ancestors!

He continues: “The term doucai or ‘dovetailing colours’ is applied to a small group of top-quality porcelain, which was first produced for a short period during the Ming dynasty at the end of the 15th century, the style was revived in the Qing dynasty during the reign of Quianlong’s predecessor Kangxi.”

Jeremy Rye worked for Sotheby’s for 20 years from the late 1970s and has for the last 11 years run a Fine Art Agency ‘Jeremy Rye Ltd.’ from his Estate near Welshpool advising clients internationally. His clients include National Museums and the National Trust, on whose Welsh Committee he was for many years. He first became aware of these exquisite Chinese imperial taste wares at the first house sale he was involved in for Sotheby’s at Prawles in East Sussex. The largest collection of Imperial taste wares that Mr Rye has handled was the Toms Collection, which came from Chateau de Coisins near Lausanne (Switzerland) and was sold at Sotheby’s, London in 1995.





Today's News

November 1, 2011

Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay on view at the National Museum of Singapore

A ritual bath (Miqve) dating to the Second Temple Period was discovered near Kibbutz Zor'a

Chinese vase "discovered" in Shropshire is expected to fetch £500,000 at auction in London

Museum's paleontologists discover new dinosaur species above the Arctic in far north Alaska

Tate Britain announces Picasso and Modern British Art exhibition for February 2012

Michael Schwartz: Exhibiting four centuries of top-quality European art from Rembrandt to Picasso

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago names new Senior Curator: Dieter Roelstraete

Phillips de Pury & Company announces the highlights from its New York Contemporary art sales

Sotheby's to offer Art Deco masterpieces in its 20th century decorative arts & design sale

Fall prints auction at Bonhams a success with top lots from Frankenthaler and Warhol

The Museo del Prado is increasing its activities by opening every day of the week

Sotheby's Geneva to auction a superb suite of imperial jewels in Magnificent Jewels sale

Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Lalique, Daum, Galle, Tiffany, headline Rare Art Glass at Heritage Auctions

Great start into autumn auction season in Munich

Yona Friedman: Architecture without building at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest

'Nan Goldin: Scopophilia' exhibition at Matthew Marks

Alternative to Artissima: Art event to be held in a former prison, each gallery to show work in a cell!

National Portrait Gallery presents Private Eye: Photographs by Lewis Morley

An early solution to piracy on the high seas, the Blunderbuss, for sale at Bonhams in London

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