Paul Harris Asia Arts launches new auction house in Scottish Borders

The Paul Harris Asia Arts group has just launched a new auction house in the Scottish Borders near to Berwick upon Tweed. The new business is called Coldingham Borders Auctions (CBA) and is added to a portfolio of interests which includes the online retail businesses chineseartinscotland.co.uk and vietnamart.co.uk; the consultancy business Coldingham Investments Ltd; this website chineseart.co.uk; and the gallery and warehouse complex The Coldingham Gallery.

CBA Paul, Sulee 3

Paul & Sulee Harris with some of the items from their upcoming auction on May 13

Coldingham Borders Auctions will host its first auction on Saturday May 13 at 11am in Coldingham Hall, a public venue just 50 yards from the auction house 300 sq m store and offices. It is a venue which was outfitted seven years ago at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds and contains state of the art facilities including electrically operated seating. CBA events will be live on the internet courtesy of EasyLiveauction.com and the catalogue for the first sale of 230 lots is already live on the EasyLive platform at https://www.easyliveauction.com/catalogue/142754615ff77000b97cc951635a5761/0af8d24542e81eb9357e7ef448a6646f/sale-of-art-antiques-collectables-including-asian/

Although there are around 50 Chinese and Asian lots in the sale, there is also an intriguing array of collectables: a first UK edition of Vladimir Nabakov’s novel Lolita (1959); the brass shell casing from a German battleship dated 1917 and converted into an ice bucket; an 1840s French ‘Gavre & Champet’ iron cannon; a bronze of two female lovers signed J M Lambeaux; and a selection of 19th century artists’ easels.

The front runner in the Chinese art category has to be an 18th century horseshoe backed huanghuali folding chair estimated at £2,500-5,000. The auctioneers think it will get rather more. . .

jpg.118 Huanghuali horseshoe backed folding chair

Auctions will be held every three months and the next is scheduled for September 30. The auctioneer will be Paul Harris assisted by his Chinese born wife, Sulee. The appearance of Coldingham Borders Auctions follows upon the closure of other auction houses in the Scottish and English Borders regions: The Berwick Auction House has been trned into a night club and long-established Jedburgh auctioneers Swan Turner has closed with the reitrement of Mr Turner after more than thirty years in the business.

jpg.127 jpg.107                A couple of other Chinese items in the sale: a bronze Buddha 18th century; and a very large scroll

Controversial artist Qi Baishi to feature in upcoming Chiswick Chinese sale

Chiswick Auctions have announced a sale on May 15 dedicated to Chinese paintings. Following recent successes in the field of Chinese paintings, including the Buckman Collection (total sales £55,000), the Aldrick Collection (total sales £31,000) and Pearson Collection (total sales £24,156) all with 100% sell through rates, they have just announced their inaugural specialist paintings sale with one by Qi Baishi heading up the event.

Qi Baishi, oft copied  Qi Baishi: prolific and controversial

Qi Baishi (1864-1957) is a controversial artist and assessment, and valuation, of his work isalmost always tricky, to put it mildly. Works ascribed to him can vary in price from just a few hundred pounds to a record US$65.4m. This extremely high figure was the hammer price in Beijing in May 2011 for ‘Eagle on a Pine Tree’. The vendor was the renowned taxi driver and handbag seller turned collector and gallerist from Shanghai, Mr Liu Yixian. Celebrations for the high price achieved were aborted after the purchaser read a critique by a well known authority of his new acquisition in the Beijing press alleging it to be a forgery. It was never paid for and, so far as we know, it still lurks in Yixian’s extensive collection.

Qi Baishi eagle $65.4m. unpaid Eagle in a Pine Tree

Attribution of works to Qi Baishi is rendered difficult both by the very large numbers of copies – actually forgeries – which abound and also the techniques employed in his own studio. As a result of the high demand which existed for his work towards the end of his life, virtually his entire (and very large) family worked in his studio adding features to his work. Exactly how much of a later picture is the work of the master is much confused by these well known studio practices.

Qi Baishi Bees & Chrysanthemums Bees and Chrysanthemums

It is difficult to pass an opinion on ‘Bees and Chrysanthemums’ which will be sold May 15 from the collection of David Chipp (1927-2008). It is an attractive enough picture and Chiswick have put a very modest estimate of just £20,000-30,000 on it. Effectively, they are allowing the market to decide and potential purchasers will doubtless be seeking out Qi Baishi experts. The painting was certainly done at the very end of the artist’s life: Chipp was recommended to buy it by his translator when he was working in China for Reuters news agency during the period 1956-60.

Clearly, the old adage applies, caveat emptor.

Paris shines in December Chinese art sales

_92977093_17860cda-dbdf-4052-a71e-6f4e0b1ad40f

The Qianlong Imperial seal which was sold this month in Paris for euro 17.5m. (pounds sterling £14.58 equivalent). Picture courtesy Pierre Berge & Associes.

There were two exceptionally high prices achieved in this month’s Paris Asian Sales, which traditionally follow the London Asian beanfeast during November. Highest prices was achieved by a Qianlong seal, formerly the personal property of the Emperor. The sale, to an unnamed Chinese collector, took place in Paris on December 14 after a heated bidding war, the Drouot auction house said.

The palm-sized seal (actually 4in. square) is made of red and white steatite, a type of mineral rock from Fujian province. It was one of hundreds owned by Emperor Qianlong, The previous world record set for an auctioned seal was €14m in 2011 and the latest seal sold was originally acquired by a young French naval doctor who visited China in the late 19th Century, and had remained in his family ever since.

Local Asian art expert Alice Jossaume told AFP news agency it had been expected to sell for between €800,000 and €1m. Emperor Qianlong, an avid art collector who ruled China for much of the 18th Century, was an artist himself who would use seals to sign his works, and commissioned some for their intricate craftsmanship.

The seal  in question features nine dragons which signify masculinity and the imperial authority. Drouot said more than 1,800 Qianlong seals were made, out of which 700 disappeared. Another 1,000 are kept by China’s Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

Christies held a euro 22.5 million Asian sale shortly afterwards. Of this total twelve million euros (pounds sterling ten million) was attributable to an 11th century gilt bronze figure of the Buddha Vairocana (see picture below).

buddha

Welcome to November and a UK Asian auction virtually every day!

opinion hl

Well, it’s November again and the great annual Asian art fest which launches itself against the background of Asian Art in London. Lectures, openings, book launches and world class exhibitions gather under the direct aegis of AAL. There is, however, an array of events which are rather more loosely associated but which are of massive interest to some collectors, and an awful lot of dealers.

There will be more Asian art auctions this month than in any other month of the year. We have listed no less than 29 on our Asian Auctions Nationwide page on this site. We have maybe missed a couple (just a few auctioneers inexplicably treat the details of their auctions as some sort of dark secret!), but it is clear that over the next 30 days there is virtually an auction of Asian Art in some part of the UK every day. Some days are rather busier than others.

On November 9 the London heavyweights Christie’s and Sotheby’s compete for bidders whilst Gorringes in Lewes and Halls in Shrewsbury have sales further ‘out of town’. The following days Bonhams in London fight it out with Ewbanks and Thomson Roddick, north of the Border. A really difficult day for the avowed enthusiast is November 15 with a Bonhams sale in London; Dreweatts & Bloomsbury at Castle Donnington and day one of Wolley & Wallis’s usual epic 2-day sale in Salisbury (really interesting things in all three sales).

How does a serious enthusuiast keep on top of such a plethora of offerings? Last May, we did a week of sales: Chiswick Auctions on the Monday; Dreweatts & Bloomsbury on the Tuesday; Woolley & Wallis on the Wednesday; and Dukes of Dorchester on the Friday. It was fun, but it was exhausting . . .  and expensive. Six days on the road with a thirsty 4WD diesel knocked up well over 1200 miles and six nights in hotels plus meals brought a total cost, without too much extravagance (well, just a little), of something under £2,000. We did completely fill a Chelsea tractor to the roof with all the seats down but it took a couple of days to recover.

This November we are doing it differently. We have increasingly, this year, bid online. I used to say I would never buy anything I had not handled but, in those days, we were buying porcelain in a market replete with dubious items. However, these days we are buying differently: furniture and decorative items feature higher on our priorities and condition reports from auctioneers are usually very reliable; similarly, they are usually happy to send excellent pictures.

So, this November, as an experiment, we shall stay in our gallery, and newly acquired 4,500 sq ft warehouse, and bid online. We shall be able to cover two or three auctions a day and home in on what we really want. Online buying tends to focus your mind with set budgets, rarely exceeded in the absence of the excitement of the rooms! I also have a sneaking suspicion that often we get things more cheaply when we are not in the rooms . . .

Of course, there is the cost of getting these highly anticipated objects back. But as we have saved a couple of thousand on tripping around the country there is a budget there. Those auctioneers who offer their own packing service are favoured by us (honourable mentions to two highly efficient and reliable firms in the form of Hannams and Eastbourne Auctions) as the ubiquitous Mailboxes, Etc can be pricey, dependent on the branch.

Of course, there are sometimes disappointments when these new treasures arrive not quite as they were fondly imagined. What do we do with them? Pack them up again and send them off to auction, of course. And, we do have a new warehouse to fill . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very special dragon jar features at Christies HK

One of the highlights of the Christies special  30 Years: The Sale  auction in Hong Kong on 30 May is a magnificent 15th-century 
guan. Here, say Christies, are 7 reasons why it excites collectors

1

  • With its four powerful five-clawed feet and its head turning backwards, the dragon on this 15th-century jar is depicted with terrific dynamism. It appears to be an early variation of the forward-facing dragon found on blue and white ceramics developed from the Yuan period (1271-1368). The inspiration for such an unusually portrayed dragon probably originated from Southern Song (1127-1279) paintings.
A magnificent very rare large blue and white ‘dragon’ jar, guan. Xuande four-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1426-1435). 19⅛ in. (48.5 cm.) high. Estimate HK$60,000,000-80,000,000  $7,764,834-10,353,112. This work is offered in 30 Years The Sale on 30 May at Christie’s Hong Kong
A magnificent very rare large blue and white ‘dragon’ jar, guan. Xuande four-character mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1426-1435). 19⅛ in. (48.5 cm.) high. Estimate: HK$60,000,000-80,000,000 / $7,764,834-10,353,112. This work is offered in 30 Years: The Sale on 30 May at Christie’s Hong Kong
2
  • The jar contains details that have not been seen before on porcelain of previous dynasties — short spiky bristles in front of tufts of long flowing hair at the elbows of the dragon, for example. These details do, however, appear on the dragons in paintings by Chen Rong (circa 1200-1266), which were widely admired and had provided inspiration since the Song and Yuan periods.
  • 3

In the long history of Chinese ceramics, the Xuande period (1426-1435) is generally regarded as the highpoint of blue and white porcelain production. This was due to a combination of enthusiastic imperial patronage, technical ingenuity and the finest levels of artistry. Xuande was the first Ming emperor to be a really serious patron of the arts. His three most celebrated areas of imperial patronage were court painting, building projects and the manufacture of fine porcelains.

 4

Xuande-period porcelains were low in calcium and high in potassium, which made them more translucent. The glaze was rich and lustrous, while the underglaze decoration demonstrated complete mastery of painting in cobalt on a porous porcelain body. The use of darker and lighter blue tones is more commonly seen on Xuande dishes or stem bowls painted with dragon-and-wave patterns. It is very unusual to see such subtle techniques employed on such a large jar — a feature that underlines its great rarity.

5

The three main motifs on this jar — dragon, monster masks and clouds — are all painted with varying tones of blue in bold and fluent brush strokes. This powerfully-depicted imperial dragon perfectly symbolises the authority of the emperor. Many connoisseurs consider the painting of dragons on Xuande imperial porcelain to be the finest in the history of Chinese porcelain, and this example has exceptional vitality.

 6

The porcelains of the Xuande reign frequently bore reign marks in regular script. The placement of reign marks on Xuande porcelains was variable — under the rim, inside the vessel, on the base, or on the shoulder, as on this vessel. More often, Xuande reign marks contained six characters, but this large jar belongs to one of two small groups of imperial vessels with four-character marks, which appear to have been made for special occasions. All the vessels in these groups are unusually large and all are decorated with powerful dragons among clouds and masks. In one group the dragons have five claws and backward turned heads, as on this jar, while in the other group the dragons have three claws and face forwards.

7

The massive size of this dragon jar suggests it was a very special commission. The decoration on it is identical to that on the pair of blue and white ‘dragon’ meiping  vases in the Nelson Atkins Museum, and it is possible that the three vessels formed a set, made for a special imperial occasion or ritual. This magnificent dragon jar, however, appears to be the only one of its type to have survived intact, although fragments of a similar jar have been found at the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen.

Busy, indeed, but no sensations . . . we look at an auction-packed week

Last week was one of the busiest weeks of the year in the UK Chinese art market calendar with major Asian auctions held at Chiswick Auctions, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury (Donnington Priory), Woolley & Wallis (Salisbury) and Duke’s in Dorchester. We attended all these auctions and, indeed, were buyers at all four and, further, visited Halls in Shrewsbury to collect purchases from the previous week’s Asian sale.

Prices held steady throughout all the auctions. There was no evidence of any collapse in the Chinese market. There were Chinese buyers evident at all the sales. There were not so many of them as in recent years but those who were evident on the ground were all serious buyers. Good things, generally speaking, sold well and although there were no sensations in terms of prices achieved, there were good solid results at all the houses.

May auctions (15)

Calm before the storm. Chiswick auction room before the sale. Picture by Paul Harris

In financial terms, the Chiswick sale was particularly good for the auction house and its vendors. A large number of lots estimated in the low hundreds climbing into the many thousands surprised those of us in the room. A pile of sundry books sold for £2,000 (one particular book being a sought after item). The sale started well with the first 69 lots coming from the collection of John Marriott and Count R L Sangorski. Purchased from major dealers like Spink and auction houses like Christies, these lots, many accompanied by the original invoices, sold spectacularly well, generally exceeding their estimates. Progress during the sale was painfully slow thanks to half a dozen telephone lines in almost constant use and the usual internet bidders. Around 50 lots per hour was achieved.

For Chiswick, this was their best sale ever seen in its 25 year history. It achieved an 85% sold rate with 82 lots from the Marriott collection bringing in £84,000 including premium. There were also strong results from Transitional period blue and white and photographic albums up for sale.May auctions (32)

Dreweatts sale at Donnington Priory  Photo by Paul Harris

At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury’s delightfully sited auction  room at Donnington Priory, near to Newbury, things were a little less frenetic despite there being several internet connections for bidders. The auctioneer welcomed the fact that there were around 40 active buyers in the room (approximately half Chinese) and commented on how unusual it was. Despite the many ways available to buy (half a dozen telephone lines, four Internet servers and room bidding), it was still possible to buy well, especially for those in the room. Chinese buyers ascribed their good luck to the presence in the room of a large ceramic statue of the Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung!

May auctions (26)

Mao Tse Tung presided over the Asian Sale at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury, Donnington Priory.  Photo by Paul Harris courtesy Chinese Art in Scotland

There were certainly a few ‘sleepers’. We think we found one in the form of a mid-to-late 19th century Chinese stick stand very well decorated with dragons and bearing the original label of the vendor, Charles Sleight of London’s Royal Arcade, which pinned down the date of sale to the 1880s.

Dreweatts stick stand (15)

Dragon decoration on a 19th century stick stand sold by Charles Sleight, London, around 1880. Photo by Paul Harris

At the same time as the Dreweatts sale there was day one of the Woolley & Wallis two day sale in Salisbury. The first day always tends to be the most expensive at Woolleys and this was no exception. There were many lots in five figures but no sensations. The sale was dominated by telephone internet with only a dozen or so people in the room. This number was considerably larger the following day, a reflection of the more modest, attainable prices. However, if you had wanted the catalogue raisonne of the ceramic works in the Imperial Palace Museum, Beijing, you would not have got it for a few hundred pounds . . .  it was knocked down after competitive bidding at £11,000! Stands also fared particularly well: one lot with half a dozen rather attractive stands got £3,800. There were few bargains to be had, all in all.

For those who needed a rest from the seemingly relentless circuit, Thursday was a day of rest, so to speak. We took the opportunity to view the Friday sale at Duke’s in Dorchester. Amongst the fine things seen was a large, black jade Buddha which would actually fail to sell! We spotted a number of things, however, which we were able to secure bidding on the Internet the following day.

113 dukes Sold at Duke’s

Famille rose box with relief moulded figures and Qianlong mark to base but probably later, £1170 inclusive of premium

 

Daoguang lotus vases reach over £100,000 at Halls

lot 121 halls

Daoguang very much seems to be the flavour of the month. Good Daoguang pieces are very much in demand these days. We wrote a couple of days ago about a couple of Daoguang bowls which are expected to do well at Woolley and Wallis next week (http://chineseart.co.uk/auctions/two-daoguang-bowls-and-their-owners/). Meantime, a very attractive pair of lotus vases and covers scored yesterday at Halls in Shrewsbury.

Described in the catalogue as, ‘An impressive pair of Chinese famille rose turquoise ground ‘lotus’ vases and covers, Daoguang seal marks and of the period, of ovoid form, the domed covers with cone finials, finely painted with lotus flowers, peaches, bats and scrolling foliage around gilt ‘double-happiness’ symbols, within ruyi and lappet borders, all against a turquoise ground, the interiors and bases with a pale sea-green glaze, 28cm high (restoration to one). Provenance: The property of Dr Wilfred Watkins-Pitchford (1868-1952), thence purchased by the vendor at auction in Shropshire during the 1950s. Watkins-Pitchford was a prominent physician, spending much time in South Africa, specialising in bacteriology and pathology before retiring in 1926 and returning to the UK where he settled in Shropshire.

‘Footnote: For a near identical single vase and cover of the same period, see Christies ‘Appreciating Elegance: Art from the Sui Yuan Zhai Collection’, 11 May 2015, lot 37. The use of enamel colour on a turquoise ground is thought to be inspired by cloisonne decoration and similar examples can be found in the National Palace Museum, Beijing. ‘

They were sold in the room at £85,000 hammer which means the buyer had to pay over £100,000 for the stunning pair. Internet or absentee bidding was not allowed.

 

Unusual ‘Kiangnan’ vase to come up at Dukes

pear shape kiangnan vase

An unusual type of Chinese vase, once popular with significant collectors, comes up at Dukes in Dorchester on Friday May 20. A so-called Kiangnan vase (Kiangnan, also known as Jiangnan, is the name given to the region around the Yangtse River delta in southern China) the genre is known for its creamy ‘ostrich egg’ glaze with fine crackles.

Dukescatalogue it as ‘Lot 125 A LARGE CHINESE KIANGNAN PEAR-SHAPED VASE with a long neck, covered in a creamy ‘ostrich egg’ glaze with fine crackles, one side with a subtle foliate pattern, Ming, 20.5″ (52cm) high

‘Provenance: Bluett & Sons, London 1940. J.C. Thomson Collection. Private collection, South Wales.

‘So-called Kiangnan Ting ‘ostrich egg’ glazed vases of this type were highly sought after by collectors in the mid-20th century. Sir William Burrell acquired a piece from Bluetts in 1943 which is now in the Glasgow collections. Lord Cunliffe also bought one from Bluetts for £75 in 1947 which was exhibited at the 1948 OCS Exhibition (no. 140). For published examples see A.L. Hetherington “The Early Ceramic Wares of China”, 1922 pl.22; and Hobson and Hetherington “The Art of the Chinese Potter”, 1923, pl.61.’

The vase is most reasonably estimated at £1,500-3,000. Given its established provenance, it will surely do much better than that

Two Imperial Daoguang bowls and their owners

351 woolley

Two particularly beautiful Daoguang (1821-50) bowls are coming up at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on May 17. They are delicately enamelled with four  roundels containing blossoming trees, divided by stylised lotus sprays and reserved on a pink sgraffito ground; the interiors are painted in underglaze blue with a central roundel containing a rabbit resting under a tree. They are each 14.8cm. in diameter.

Another pair of bowls of this design were shown at The Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibition The Wonders of the Painter’s Palette in 1984. There is an established provenance: they come from the collection of Colonel Geoffrey R Pridham CBE DSO (1872-1951) who was stationed in Peking around 1900. They have been sent for sale by the family and are estimated at £30,000-50,000.

And we just love this! Below is a very charming and telling photograph of the Colonel and his wife.

351 woolley photo

Colonel Geoffrey R Pridham (1872-1951) with his wife.

 

Northumberland auctioneer Railtons to sell Chinese treasure trove

21a

A small pretty jar with delicately enamelled decoration of a phoenix is coming up at Railtons on May 14

Northumberland auctioneer Jim Railton (www.jimrailton.com) has just posted more than 50 Chinese lots on the-saleroom.com for auction on Saturday May 14 (http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/railtons/catalogue-id-srra10012) in his quarterly antiques sale.

It is rather a mixed assemblage but there are a few distinctly interesting lots including an early Ming dish (possibly Yuan); a pretty little jar with Imperial ‘Heaven’ mark to the base; an unusual Hongxi mark dish; several doucai vases, and a striking Mongolian bowl. Auctioneer Jim Railton says they come from a couple of ‘good’ private collections in the Borders, from owners ‘fed up with being messed about by posh London auction houses’. It has been a common complaint of late levelled against certain ‘top’ auction houses that they take ages to reply to potential vendors and then hold on to items for an unconscionable length of time.

‘I think there are some rather worthwhile lots coming up. Let’s see what happens . . . ‘, said Jim yesterday. For those who think that a trip to the wilds of Northumberland is a bridge too far, the sale will be available live on the popular platform the-saleroom.com. Estimates vary widely – from £20 to £8,000. There seems to be adequate room for a few ‘sleepers’ here . . . There is a table screen which is labelled as having come from Carlton House in London, inlaid with semi-precious stones to one side and gilded on the other.

Meantime, we have selected a  few of what we think are amongst the most interesting lots. An early Ming blue and white dish boasts peony flowers to the cavetto, anhua dragons around the rim, and an unglazed base.

SONY DSC

Detail of an early Ming dish at Railtons May 14

15a Base of a colourful Hongxi dish at Railtons May 14

10 Blue & iron red bulbous flask with Xuande mark but later at Railtons May 14

11 Blue & iron red bowl also with Xuande mark, but later, at Railtons

12 Mongolian bowl at Railtons

Pair of massive vases from English country house back on the market

a-massive-pair-of-chinese-hexagonal-turquoise-ground-vases-and-covers-of-dayazhai-style-99-cm-tall-19th-c-1

A particularly striking, massive pair of hexagonal vases, originally from Hooton Pagnell House, near Doncaster, are to be sold by Rob Michiels Auctions, Bruges, Belgium on April 23. They were previously sold last year, December 1, by Bonhams in Knightsbridge.

At 99cm tall, they are truly massive and are mounted on their orginal wooden stands. They are described by the auctioneers as being Cantonese 19th century in Dayazhai style. They are supposed to have been acquired by the Warde Aldam family mid to late 19th century and have been incorporated into the furnishings of the house at that time. Bonhams described the vases in their catalogue in the following terms:

‘Each boldly enamelled to the neck and body with a sinuous dragon writhing amidst flowering chrysanthemum on a rich turquoise ground, the rim, shoulder and foot with decorative borders of scrolling prunus and floral medallions, key-fret and stiff archaistic lappets, the cover enamelled ensuite, the finial potted as a seated lady, wood stands. 99cm (39cm) high (without stands) (4). ‘

a-massive-pair-of-chinese-hexagonal-turquoise-ground-vases-and-covers-of-dayazhai-style-99-cm-tall-19th-c-3

Condition is described as being ‘very good’ with slight wear to the glaze surface. One cover has historically been broke into several pieces and has been restored. Decoration is strong and it will be interesting to see the degree of interest second time around. The estimate is euros 25,000-35,000. Bonhams achieved a price, including premium, of £19,750.

a-massive-pair-of-chinese-hexagonal-turquoise-ground-vases-and-covers-of-dayazhai-style-99-cm-tall-19th-c-6

The vases in situ at Hooton Pagnell Hall, Doncaster, England

Some interesting lots feature in Dreweatts 2-day sale

Over the next ten days, with the Asian sale season not yet upon us, four English auction houses have some very mixed sales with Chinese lots cropping up randomly. As we have a penchant here for the curious and the unusual, these general sales (often termed ‘Interiors’) seem to turn up intriguing items which have somehow not made it into the specialist Asian sales. For the buyer, that can be good news as occasionally it cuts down on the competition! H0442-L88863219 Lot 238 at Dreweatts Four large Chinese porcelain figures of Lenin, Stalin and Mao (43-67cm. high) probably dating from the late 1950s or the 1960s. Estimate £4-600. We wrote a couple of days ago about Duke’s upcoming sale on February 18 and 19 (http://chineseart.co.uk/auctions/some-interesting-lots-seen-at-viewing-of-dukes-sale/). Also Gorringes in Sussex (www.gorringes.co.uk) have an Interiors Sale on February 23 with many Chinese lots, and Dreweatts at Donnington Priory have an Interiors Sale on February 23 and 24 which boasts over 100 Chinese lots on the 23rd. On the 24th, they are selling the contents of Cherkley Court, the former home of newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook. Cherkley is a late Victorian mansion near Leatherhead in Surrey, bult in 1893 in the French chateau-style. It was bought by Lord Beaverbrook in 1911 and was filled with antiques and miscellanea. There are a few Chinese items and several lots feature ‘lamped’ vases and stands. One of these seems interesting to us. Lot 319 is a very large Chinese yellow ground baluster vase, probably early 20th century. Standing at nearly 54cm. high, the honeycomb ground encloses flower heads reserved with panels of Taotie masks and Buddhistic lion masks, the shoulders decorated with wufu and shou medallions. It is an imposing piece and is estimated at £600-900. Cheap, if it falls within that price range. 319 Lot 319 at Dreweatts  Large and imposing lamped vase.

We have just been made aware that Hannam’s (Selborne, Hampshire) also have a Fine Antiques & Collectables sale on February 18/19 which features a large number of Chinese items (www.hannamsauctioneers.com).