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Strong results for the Lumsden Collection at Bonhams' Asian art sale
Two mid-20th century painted yixing snuff bottles (Lot 82) fetched AU$6,710 off an estimate of $300–$500. Photo: Bonhams.

SYDNEY.- Bonhams has realised some spectacular results for one of Australia’s biggest collections of snuff bottles, with several lots far outstripping pre-sale estimates under intense bidding from local and international collectors.

With several bidders flying in to Sydney for the March 22 sale, and plenty more bidding by phone and online, the Lumsden family collection of Chinese snuff bottles brought $189,685.60 including buyer’s premium, with 94% sold by lot and 98% by value.

The top lot (163), a delightful Chinese inside-painted landscape dated 1910, sold for AU$9,760, almost 20 times its low estimate, while two mid-20th century painted yixing snuff bottles (Lot 82) fetched AU$6,710 off an estimate of $300–$500.

Bonhams’ Asian Art specialist Yvett Klein said there was strong interest across several genres, from 19th-century traditional pieces to Mao-era works and bottles from the 1980s and ‘90s.

“Many of the modern snuff bottles achieved prices comparable to the older, more traditional works, in line with the global trend for this genre,” she said.

The 236-lot Asian Art sale, which immediately followed the Lumsden Collection, also turned up several thrilling surprises, with a Chinese celadon-glazed ‘scrolling lotus’ vase with cover making an astonishing $97,600 off a pre-sale estimate of $2000–$3000.

Top 5 results – Asian Art

Lot 355 – A Chinese celadon-glazed moulded 'scrolling lotus' cylindrical vase with cover, AU$97,600 inc. premium

Lot 386 – A Chinese carved rhinoceros horn 'magnolia' libation cup, 17th/18th century, AU$67,100 inc. premium

Lot 394 – A Chinese teadust-glaze vase, Qianlong six-character seal mark to the base, AU$51,240 inc. premium

Lot 400 – A gilt bronze figure of Amitayus, Tibet, 16th to 17th century, AU$46,360 inc. premium

Lot 327A – A Chinese famille-rose 'butterfly' vase, Guangxu six-character iron-red mark, late Qing to Republic period, AU$26,840 inc. premium

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