Duke’s sale hosts some interesting curiosities

Dukes of Dorchester have a two day sale coming up next week (February 18-19) which is marked by a high standard of entries: An Important European Private Collection, Ceramics, Asian Art & Furniture. The private European Collection is the source of the first day’s entries. It is the second day of the sale which will be of most interest to the Asian art enthusiast with more than 440 Chinese, Korean and Japanese lotss although Lot 52 on the first day stands out as an item of some interest to collectors in the field of Chinese export art.

dukes 52

Lot 52 at Dukes  Estimated at £2,000 – £4,000

Lot 52 is a Chinese export lacquer model of a paddle steamer. It is beautifully and intricately crafted with a central red funnel flanked by twin-lidded compartments with gilt decoration of figues and buildings in landscapes, the lifting to reveal further compartments. The ship is on rotating paddles and decorated with stylised waves, 25 inches in length. It has some provenance – having been acquired from Mallett Antiques in London. It was probably made in the early 19th century and there is a similar model in The Peabody Essex Collection in the US, and there is some record of one formerly in the collection of the Earl of Perth. The present one for sale is estimated modestly at £2,000-4,000.

Dukes 699

Lot 699 at Dukes also estimated at £2,000-4,000

Our eye was also taken by Lot 699 which is said to emanate from ‘a West Dorset manor house’. It is a massive blue and white covered vase painted with creatures and trees and the lid sporting a biscuit lion finial. Quianlong and a massive 52.5 in in height, it  again appeared to be far too modestly estimated at £2,000-4,000. However magnificent it appears from the front when you first look at it, alas, there absolutely no back to the piece – half of it has simply disappeared in some terrible accident and, apparently, nobody thought to collect the pieces! Quelle domage!

Indeed, the Dukes estimates in the catalogue tend to be modest. There are some very beautiful small objects in the sale – in jade, hardstone and wood – which we predict will do very well indeed.

An Important European Private Collection, Ceramics, Asian Art & Furniture Dukes Auctioneers, Brewery Square, Dorchester DT1 1GA  Lots 1-511 on Thursday February 18; Lots 600-1247 on Friday February 19. www.dukes-auctions.com

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