Unusual Chinese art image 76 Kangxi monkey

Kangxi monkey

This strikes us as being a real curiosity! A Chinese famille verte biscuit monkey ewer of the Kangxi period, ca. 1700. Height 16.5cm. This is to be sold on April 23 in Bruges, Belgium, by Rob Michiels Auctions. Such pieces do crop up for sale from time to time, either in the former of ewers or wine pots.

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


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). ‘


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.


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

Unusual photo albums of China up for sale

Two photograph albums of unusual views, and people in China, around the turn of the 20th century come up for sale on March 28 at Rob Michiels Auctions in Bruges, Belgium (www.rm-auctions.com).
One album contains 132 photos of an interesting and extensive trip to China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tientsin, Canton, Macau, Nanking, Outchang, Wouhou, Chienkiang, and Mongolia,.
Based upon observations in the captions (which are in French), the album possibly was the property of a Belgian official working for the railroad development team of the Beijing-Hankou Railroad, negotiated by the “Belgian Mandarin” Paul Splingaerd, a Belgian official in the late Qing government.
One of the photos shown is a portrait of Liung Chang, with the caption (in French): Portrait of Liung Chang, vice king (Emperor) of China, with whom I’ve had diner on the 21st of May, 1897. Including many fresh albument prints of high quality, some hand-colored, including very graphic renderings of the everyday life in China at that time as well as portraits of important military officials, with hand-written captions in French.
Also included is a large tryptich of 82 x 20 cm with caption: Vue généralle de la ville d’Outchang sur le Yangtzé ou fleuve bleu de Chine. Another curious photograph is a self-portrait of the owner of the album, dressed as a Chinese and of the type favoured by travellers at the time (see below).
There are altogether 103 large albumen photograps of ca. 27 x 20,5 cm, 20 mid-sized photographs and 9 small size (ca. 14 x 10 cm)
Estimate: € 5000 – € 7000
The other album, which contains 250 photographs, is a little bit later in date probably around 1910 but contains some extraordinary images. In addition to the usual beheadings and punishments, which so intrigued European visitors, there is an interesting sequence of photographs of a train wreck, possibly as the result of the collapse of newly erected railway infrastructure. Military historians will be interested by photographs of soldiers and munitions, possibly related to civil insurrection in 1910. The album was evidently the property of a Danish person as the captions are in Danish. It is estimated at a more modest Euro 1,500-2,000.
railway accidentTrain wreck in China ca. 1910