Georgina Adam’s Financial Times column follows the strong Hong Kong sales for Christie’s–where the auction house “decided to let the market tell us where things are today,”said Ingrid Dudek, a specialist–with this item:
Eastern and western tastes in Chinese art collided in Britain’s rural Wiltshire recently, when a jade water buffalo came up for sale at Woolley & Wallis. The Qing period (18th century) spinach-jade beast ticked all the boxes, which included an aristocratic owner (the fifth earl of Yarborough), years spent hidden in a bank vault and a provenance going back to 1938. The icing on the cake was its gilt-bronze stand, bearing an Imperial Qianlong (1736-95) mark – something that Chinese collectors find irresistible – and the saleroom was packed with Chinese bidders. The £500,000 estimate was easily shattered and the jade sold for a stunning £4.12m to the renowned London dealer Eskenazi.
The Art Market: Art Deco Ashtrays (Financial Times)