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Exceptional prices at Bonhams Hong Kong Chinese Art Sales show market still buoyant
An extremely rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase, Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (1723-1735), sold for an exceptional £1,500,000. Photo: Bonhams.

HONG KONG.- Bonhams three Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sales in Hong Kong last week made an impressive £6,400,000. The sales had been carefully curated to present collectors with select groups of high quality works sourced from important collections.

The top lot – from the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Sale – was an extremely rare Imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase, Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (1723-1735) which sold for an exceptional £1,500,000 against an estimate of £260,000-430,000. The vase is an outstanding example of the innovation and remarkable technical perfection achieved by craftsmen working at the Imperial kilns in Jingdezen during the Yongzheng period.

In the same sale, an exceptional finely-inlaid ‘hundred-deer’ zitan box and cover, Kangxi, estimated at £300,000-400,000 sold for a remarkable £730,000; a very rare Imperial guan-type ‘fish basket’ vessel, Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795), made £525,000; and a rare Imperial puce-enamelled blue and white ‘dragon’ moonflask, bianhu, Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795), tripled its estimate of £130,000-170,000 finally selling for £490,000.

Bonhams International Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Asaph Hyman said, “We were delighted with the exceptional prices achieved in our recent Hong Kong series of sales for many of the Chinese Imperial objects on offer, proving that objects of great rarity, quality and fresh to the market, continue to defy the challenging economic times. The curated sale allowed important buyers to focus on the remarkable ceramics and works of art, resulting in very strong prices for the finest objects, most notably the exceptionally rare imperial celadon-glazed olive-shaped vase, Yongzheng seal mark and period (1723-1735) and the very rare finely-inlaid ‘hundred-deer’ zitan box and cover, Kangxi.”

In the Exceptional Chinese Art from a European Private Collection Sale, a rare Imperial flambé-glazed ‘Eight Trigrams’ moonflask, bianhu, Yongzheng seal mark and of the period (1723-1735) sold for £375,000 It had been estimated at £300,000-430,000. A small, rare copper-red-glazed waterpot, taibo zun, Yongzheng six-character mark and of the period (1723-1735) made £145,000 against its estimate of £25,000-35,000 and a reserved-decorated blue-ground ‘floral’ dish Yongzheng six-character and of the period sold for £130,000.

The Imperial Splendour Sale also saw high prices for, in particular, a rare pair of Imperial champlevé openwork garden seats, Qianlong (1736-1795), which were bought for £170,000 against an estimate of £140,000-170,000 and a rare and large archaistic gilt-bronze and cloisonné enamel vase, zun, Qianlong (1736-1795), which exceeded its presale estimate of £80,000-105,000 to make £140,000.

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