Asian Art in London opens November 1

It has been announced that Asian Art in London 2018 opens November 1 and will run until November 10. As yet, it is too early to know details of any of the planned events.

The gala party, which is the high spot for many attendees, took place rather late in the event last year (two days before it came to an end). This was a result of choosing to hold it in the then unopened new Joseph Hotung Gallery at the British Museum. Indubitably, the event was a great success. However, some are wondering it the party will revert to its normal position towards the beginning of AAL rather than at the end when some attendees have already departed for home.

Chiswick Auctions head for the high ground

West London-based auction house Chiswick have embarked upon a significant expansion of their activities, not least in the Asian Department.  In advance of their February 27 Asian Art Sale, Chiswick have revealed that they will hold a series of specialist sales within the category.

Their specialist Chinese paintings sales, launched last year, have, they say, been outstandingly successful. In November last year (their second such sale), they sold a Xu Naigu handscroll for a record breaking £267,600. The sale of this outstanding and important work secured for Chiswick a prestigious Asian Art in London award which was present to department head and Asian Art specialist Lazarus Halstead at a champagne gala evening held within the then unopened new Joseph Hutong Gallery at the British Museum.

20171109_201636 Asian Art in London, November 2017 and Lazarus Halstead receives the AAL auction award on behalf of Chiswick for their hand scroll by Xu Naigu, sold for £267,600  Photo by Paul Harris

Buoyed by this success, Chiswick announce a series of specialist Asian sales: Netsuke on February 27; Fine Chinese Paintings on May 14; Chinese Bronzes Song to Qing on May 24/5: and The Dragon in Chinese Art in November. These are in addition to the usual biannual Asian Art sales.

Chiswick recently appointed a Japanese specialist, Yasuko Kido, to supplement the efforts of Lazarus Halstead. Separately, other departments are being expanded: Beatrice Campi has been appointed Islamic and Indian Specialist and three book specialists formerly with Bloomsbury Auctions (now closed) have been taken on board. This is in addition to two fine art specialists who have come from the now closed Christies South Kensington (CSK).

Chiswick’s ambitions have, to some extent, been fed directly by the closure of CSK which is perceived by many to have left a distinct gap in the market for the sale of rather more modest pieces now abjured by the ‘big three’ (Sothebys, Christies & Bonhams). There will, however, be competitors in the market place: London-based Roseberys, Edinburgh & London based Lyon & Turnbull and Salisbury house Woolley & Wallis amongst them. Both regional competitors L&T and W&W now have London offices.


Interesting private collection of Republic period porcelain features in Chorley’s sale

HR Red crested crane brushpot (4)Red-crested crane brushpot from Chorley’s forthcoming sale     Pic. Chorleys

In recent years, relatively recently-produced Chinese porcelain has started to make waves in the auction rooms. Early 20th century pieces and many of those created right through the Republic period (1912-49) are now just as much in demand as rather earlier pieces.

Cotswold auctioneers Chorley’s forthcoming sale, on Tuesday 20 & Wednesday 21 March, offers an important private collection of Republican era porcelain.  The highlight will be a set of four rectangular porcelain plaques by Bi Botao (1885-1961) representing the four seasons.  Bi Botao was a member of the well-known group ‘The Eight Friends of Zhushan’.  The group comprised the best porcelain artists of the period and revitalised the Chinese porcelain industry after the political unrest in 19th Century China and the subsequent fall of the Qing dynasty.  The plaques, which are delicately painted with frogs, a spider, turtles and a snake respectively, estimate £18,000 – £22,000 They were acquired by avid collector Peter Wain.

The Wain provenance is particularly important as it was he who was among the first to bring Republican porcelain to the attention of the West. His great-grandfather was a potter in Stoke on Trent and Wain himself worked at the Royal Doulton factory during his holidays when he was a student.  During his army service he was based in Hong Kong from 1968-1971 and it was here that his love of history and of ceramics led him to his vocation.  This was the height of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and he was able to buy 20th century pieces including ceramics, paintings and posters at very reasonable prices.

On leaving the army he became a dealer in Oriental porcelain. He initially purchased Republican era wares cheaply on America’s west coast, where they were generally available owing to waves of emigration from China after the Japanese invasion.  The items purchased in America formed the basis of his first exhibition at Olympia in 1990.  The market was limited but enough people expressed an interest in them to persuade him that he should pursue this line.

Drawing on this encouragement, Wain began sourcing items for his 1993 exhibition ‘Heavenly Pieces’ and undertook his first buying trip to China.  ‘Heavenly Pieces’ turned out to be a huge success – it sold out.  The present sale includes items from this exhibition including a pair of Meiping vases, circa 1920, decorated prunus blossom in bold enamels in the Yongzheng Imperial style.  The inscribed poem refers to immortality ‘One Thousand Autumns’ supposedly conferred by peaches and linghzi, estimate £6,000-8,000.

HR Pair Meiping vases Pair of Meiping vases ca. 1920 in the forthcoming sale at Chorley’s  Pic Chorley’s

After the success of this exhibition numerous buying trips were made; with challenging economic circumstances in China it was possible to buy important pieces without difficulty.  Several such trips preceded the 1998 exhibition ‘Awaiting Spring’ which focused on Qianjiang art on Chinese porcelain. Several items from that exhibition are on offer in our March sale including a pair of square section vases by Zhang Yun (Zhang Ziying) dated 1898 and painted with coordinated landscapes, these are estimated at £800-1200.

HR Pair square vases A pair of square form vases in Chorley’s sale     Pic Chorley’s

Wain believed that the age of a piece or fashion should not impact on our appreciation of the best quality pots.   He acted as agent for the contemporaneous Chinese potter Zlai Xaio Xiang, who undertook porcelain painting demonstrations at his Olympia and NEC fair stands.  One such demonstration piece dating to 1997 is a decorated brush pot. The growth in the market for Republican porcelain was largely driven by Peter Wain and with the rise in prices even they have now begun to be copied – previously only a problem with much earlier Chinese porcelain.  This sale provides collectors with a rare opportunity to buy pieces sourced by Peter Wain and, therefore, of sound provenance.


The Year of the Dog beckons . . .

20180126_122126 Two thousand year-old dog! A Han Dynasty figure of a dog from a collection of funerary representations of creatures of the Zodiac. Courtesy

Sunday, February 18 sees the official beginning of The Year of the Dog, the eleventh of the zodiac creatures. So your are prepared for it, and especially what it means if you are a dog (!) here is what to expect in the coming year. Our thanks to  for the rundown!

According to popular myth, the Jade Emperor said the order of Zodiav animals would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. Monkey, Rooster and Dog were in another country, helping a god defeat evil spirits. After, they set off to the party together. Because they arrived at the same time, the Jade Emperor went by the order they met the god in the other country. Thus, Dog became eleventh.

The Dog is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) xū (戌), and the hours 7–9 in the evening. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Dog is yang.

In China, it is still popular to name dogs Wàng Cái (旺财). It means “prosperous wealth” and comes from dogs’ barking sounds (旺旺—wàng wàng).

Personality and characteristics

A Dog’s most defining characteristic is their loyalty. They will never abandon their friends, family or work.

Honest and just, they are popular in social circles. Everyone needs a Dog friend for advice and help. They are also good at helping others find and fix their bad habits.

Despite how they act, they are worried and anxious inside. However, they will not let this stop them. Once they decide on something, no one can persuade them against it.

Metal 1910, 1970 These Dogs are traditional and attractive. They have high self-esteem and don’t like receiving help. But they like helping others, though it sometimes causes problems for themselves. They will take over someone’s position and it’ll open up a smooth road to success.
Water 1922, 1982 These Dogs are calculative planners. They focus on building a strong foundation for their future. But when faced with difficulties, they can become very pessimistic. They work hard, but should create bigger goals in order to use their full potential.
Wood 1934, 1994 These Dogs are trustworthy and polite. If given help, they’ll do whatever they can to repay the kindness. They adhere strongly to their morals and ethics. Others can find it hard to understand. They do well in jobs that require patience and will keep fighting until they succeed.
Fire 1946, 2006 These Dogs are dream chasers. They generally have smaller dreams that are easy to fulfill, which motivates them to continue on. When friends have trouble, they’ll give advice but won’t set out immediately to help. Every step must be thought out carefully before they act.
Earth 1958, 2018 These Dogs are stubborn and never give up. They aren’t very connected with the world and society. Though stubborn, they respect other perspectives. They believe that as long as they work hard, they’ll make it.

Men born in the Dog year are straightforward and genuine. They are energetic, though they’re more pessimistic inside.

Very opinionated, they’re always ready to correct others and defend their stance. It’s not that they want to show off. They just feel it’s necessary to help others realize their mistakes.

These men care deeply for their family. Their stubbornness fades in the face of their loved ones. They work to understand and compromise, resulting in a harmonious family life.

Women born in the Dog year are very cautious. They are indifferent towards people they don’t like, and don’t trust easily. But once they do, it’s permanent. They are intensely protective of their friends and family.

They are genial and independent. They love outdoor activities and being in nature. However, they are also hard workers and don’t give up until they succeed. Security and a stable income are her requirements for a career.


Most compatible with Dog: RabbitTigerHorse

Dogs are the most compatible with Rabbits. They’re attracted to the Rabbit’s kindness, while the Rabbit supports Dogs in the background.

Dogs are often pessimistic and needs a Tiger’s reassurance. Tigers also need a Dog’s loyalty. With Horses, both understand and respect each other’s opinions.

Least compatible with Dog: DragonOxGoat

Dogs and Dragons clash strongly and are the least compatible. Neither trusts each other and they have intense arguments.

There’s a cold relationship with Oxen. They have different interests and can’t interact smoothly. Dogs and Goats are able to tolerate each other, but there’s not much else.

Lucky things for Dogs

  • Colors:green, red, purple
  • Numbers:3, 4, 9
  • Mineral:emerald
  • Directions of auspiciousness:north, northwest
  • Directions of wealth: southeast
  • Directions of love:south

Unlucky things

  • Colors: blue, brown
  • Numbers:1, 7, 8

Careers fit for Dogs

Dogs are loyal and obey all orders. They put in their biggest effort to accomplish any task given to them. Because they aren’t satisfied with being worse than others, a competitive job would suit them well.

They are also sensitive to details and have strong reasoning skills. They see the dangers of being in a position of high status. This is why they’re willing to stay in the background and support others. They’d do well in a behind-the-scenes type of job. Dogs are observant and have strong morals. They judge everyone before deciding if the person is trustworthy. This makes them a good candidate for careers such as referees, lawyers and interviewers.

Health and lifestyle

Dogs are healthy overall, but the status of their health often has drastic changes. Though they seem resilient, it actually hides the symptoms that they may have. The smallest colds can put them in bed for days. Be wary of influenza and other contagious diseases during summer and autumn seasons

They should pay attention to their digestive system during their youth. Their biggest enemy is their unhealthy diet.

Once in the workforce, Dogs will constantly be busy. The stress will lead to headaches and migraines. In extreme cases, it can even lead to hysteria.

To create a strong base, Dogs should begin the habit of exercising early on. Taking breaks as needed and relaxing activities such as yoga are recommended.

Dogs in the Year of the Dog (2018)

The year of one’s zodiac sign is their 本命年 (ben ming nian). It is traditionally the most unlucky year with trouble and danger lurking at every corner.

There will be unforeseeable problems in work. The financial situation is quite risky. Dogs will also find it difficult to communicate with loved ones too.

In order to not make things worse, Dogs should keep a low profile. Thinking before they speak and act is the key.


There are many obstacles and arguments in the workplace this year. Other than working quietly, Dogs must try to interact well with others. Remember to defend but not attack. Financial luck is also poor this year. It’s not a good time to be greedy or ambitious.

Successful months are: Lunar March (April 16-May 14), April (May 15-June 13), September (Oct 9-Nov 7) and December.

The months with most work obstacles are: Lunar February (March 17-April 15), May, August (Sept 30-Oct 8) and October (Nov 8-Dec 6).


It’s hard to concentrate on studies. Dogs will be distracted by other things and they’re grades will slip. They should also keep a low profile so they don’t attract bullies. Dogs should also be careful of safety during activities outside of class.


Nothing too drastic happens to Dogs’ health in 2018. They should rest well to prevent fatigue and exhaustion. Other than that, Dogs should be careful of sharp objects, especially in June. They should also take care of their family’s safety.

Healthy months are: Lunar March (April 16-May 14), June (July 13-August 10) and September (Oct 9-Nov 7).

Months where Dogs must be careful with their health are: Lunar January (Feb 16-March 16), April (May 15-June 13) and October (Nov 8-Dec 6).


The social life this year will be full of headaches. There are arguments both at home and outside. Dogs must communicate and resolve conflicts. Otherwise, they may find themselves alone by the end of the year.

The sweet months are: Lunar March (April 16-May 14), September (Oct 9-Nov 7) and December (Jan 6-Feb 4, 2019).

Months where relationship problems will easily occur are: Lunar February (March 17-April 15), June (July 13-August 10), July (August 11-Sept 9) and August (Sept 30-Oct 8).


The directions of fortune and wealth for Dogs this year are the southeast, southwest and north. It would be the best to put the bed, worktable and sofa in these positions of the room. To avoid bad luck, do not put important furniture in the south and east.

Lucky numbers that will open the road to wealth are 4 and 6.

The lucky colors in 2018 are yellow, red and orange. Decorating the home or wearing these colors will help greatly with changing luck for the better. Colors to avoid are green and gray.

Overall, this is a year that Dogs must get through.

It’s the Chinese tradition to wear red underwear every day during their zodiac year. Dogs can try this to ward off the bad luck.

Once past this year, Dogs can continue on their steady and quiet road to happiness!