Auction house Dreweatts and Bloomsbury posted total, premium inclusive, sales of £810,000 for their Asian sale timed to coincide with Asian Art in London.
The runaway success of the sale was indubitably a very large Sino-Tibetan thangka which sold, premium inclusive, for £522,000. It was their highest price ever achieved in the Asian art market and, to a large extent, reflected the research into the item which accompanied the catalogue entry and which was compiled by their in-house expert, Dr Benedetta Mottino, who was engaged by the company last year.
The thangka measured 1.27×0.86m. and was thought to be 18th century. It depicts the 12th century yogi Milarepa, flanked by students in a mountainous landscape setting of waterfalls and clouds. It came from a private European collection.
The style is one in which Chinese stylistic convention were carefully woven into Tibetan art and, in some ways, this work of art reflects the divisions which have typified the relationship of Tibet (today known as Xijang in China) and its neighbour China.
Dreweatts next Asian Sale is on December 2 at Donnington Priory, Newbury.