Although there no sensationally high prices at Bonhams Edinburgh on March 26, many interesting lots achieved results way in excess of expectations. Lot 268, a large famille rose punch bowl, estimated pre-sale at £500-700, achieved £3,800 hammer despite two pronounced cracks. It was, indeed, very pretty and was almost certainly 18th century. One of our favourites (Lot 142) was a banded agate bowl, thinly carved and containing natural whorls. There was no other information on it, estimated at £100-200, but it leapt away, on account of its prettiness, to £1,000.
A jade-mounted hand mirror catalogued as ’19th century but using earlier jade’ was also remarkably attractive and it easily made £4,000 as against its £500-800 estimate.
Jade mounted hand mirror
Another, this time early 19th century, punchbowl, slightly unusual in having been produced for the Near Eastern market as opposed to the Western one, took £4,000. At 39.5cm. diameter it was quite large and in very good condition.
Export punchbowl for the near Eastern market
One of the highest prices in the sale was for a majestic pair of Cantonese export floor vases, ca. 1850, which were, indeed, impressive, each standing to 104cm. including wooden stand. A hammer price of £8,200 for the pair seemed quite modest.
An impressive pair of floor vases
One lot illustrated just how prices can vary dramatically from sale to sale. A very pretty huanghuali table top display stand (most probably 20th century) which very recently ground to a halt at just under £2,000 at another auction house, achieved a very respectable £4,200. The vendor must have been rather pleased . . . we were, also, as we chose it as our Object of Desire, the first time it was exposed.
A huanghuali table top display stand