The interational art market has migrated to New York for the next two weeks but that doesn’t mean all commerce ceases in other parts of the globe. London will hold its Asia Week sales next week. Sotheby’s put out this increasingly familiar tale of a lucky find to help draw attention to their Chinese ceramics sale on Nov. 9th. The star lot is this £500,000 estimate jar that was languishing in a collector’s home, its true value unknown to the owners:
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 [Rye], 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 18inch 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!