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Sotheby's Hong Kong Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Autumn Sale series totals $79 million
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Auction scene. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Autumn Sale Series 2012 - comprising single-owner sales of Exquisite Qing Porcelain From The Collection of Dr. Alice Cheng, Qing Imperial Monochromes From The J.M. Hu Collection, The Meiyintang Collection, Part IV – An Important Selection of Imperial Chinese Porcelains, and a various-owner sale - concludes with a combined total of HK$618 million / US$79 million (Est. in excess of HK$500 million / US$64 million).

At the Fine Chinese Ceramics And Works Of Art Various-Owner Sale this afternoon, intense bidding for a Pair Of Yellow Ground Famille-Rose Double-Gourd Vases Seal Marks And Period Of Qianlong saw it sell for an astounding HK$107 million / US$13.7 million, almost doubling pre-sale high estimate (Est. HK$40 – 60 million / US$5.1 – 7.7 million). Vigorous bidding started at HK$24 million with three contestants for the lot. Several bidders in the room attempted in vain to enter the contest as the price soared briskly with great momentum, leaving a phone bidder and a rival in the room to contest fiercely for the lot from HK$42 million onwards, bringing the hammer price to an astounding HK$95 million (ie HK$107 million including buyer’s premium) after 27 bids before the phone bidder won.

This pair of superbly enameled vases appears to be unique and no other similar vases exist in collections around the world. These vases, with their fine potting as well as splendid and auspicious decoration, would have been a perfect birthday or wedding gift for the emperor or one of his family members. The vases are from the collection of Mrs Christian Holmes (1871-1941).

This morning, all 12 lots of Qing Imperial Monochromes From The J.M. Hu Collection were 100% sold, achieving a total of HK$84.5 million / US$10.8 million (Est. in excess of HK$56 million / US$7 million). J.M. Hu (Hu Jenmou, or Hu Huichun, 1911-1995), master of Zande Lou (Studio of Temporary Enjoyment), was one of China’s great connoisseur-collectors. His collection encompasses the finest of imperial ceramics, Chinese paintings and calligraphies and scholarly objects. A patron and benefactor, he was known for his generous donations of ceramics to institutions including the Shanghai Museum, as well as his support of publications, exhibitions and research. The present collection forms part of the grand legacy of a man who was passionate about Chinese porcelain and determined to share it with others.

Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s Asia Deputy Chairman and International Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, said: “Among the highlights of today’s sale were Qing Imperial Monochromes from the J. M. Hu Collection which were 100% sold, and a Superb Pair of Yellow-Ground Enamelled Double-Gourd Vases of the Qianlong period offered in our Various-Owner sale which saw keen competition and brought HK$107,060,000, twice the estimate of HK$40 – 60 million / US$5.1– 7.7 million. In addition, we are very pleased to be negotiating a private sale of all 17 portraits of bannermen commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor, which were scheduled to be offered at today’s auction.”

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