Jade Dish Achieves £62K at Mallams' 4 & 5 May Asian & Islamic Art Sale

  • Lot 327 - Chinese jade flower shaped shallow dish Image

    Lot 327 - Chinese jade flower shaped shallow dish

  • Lot 331 - Wooden seated figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin Image

    Lot 331 - Wooden seated figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin

  • Lot 159a - Blue and white porcelain bowl Image

    Lot 159a - Blue and white porcelain bowl

  • Lot 120 - Chinese blue and white vase Image

    Lot 120 - Chinese blue and white vase

  • Lot 255 - Chinese Famille Verte dish Image

    Lot 255 - Chinese Famille Verte dish

  • Lot 438 - Chinese embroidered blue silk robe Image

    Lot 438 - Chinese embroidered blue silk robe

Mallams' highly anticipated Asian & Islamic Art Sale proved popular, with many of its 711 lots achieving prices well above expectations and a substantial number of online and telephone bidders. Robin Fisher, Mallams Asian Art and Ceramics specialist, said “We were very careful to ensure our lots were from private sources with low reserves and tempting estimates.”

Total sales were almost £377,000, more than 32% above the top estimate.

A small Chinese jade dish carved with an encircling dragon and dating from the Tang period or later (lot 327) really piqued interest.  Previously part of a French diplomatic collection and estimated at £2000-£3000, a number of resolute telephone bidders took the price well beyond the estimate to a final, winning bid of £62,000. Robin Fisher said “The final price achieved was certainly well beyond my earlier expectations when cataloguing, but we had some very serious interest during the viewings due to the age, scarcity, and colour, and as the final price showed, some equally determined bidders.’’

Lot 331 in the sale was a 13th/14th century Chinese wooden figure of Guanyin, the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion. Standing at 33.5cm high, and with carved decoration, it was originally purchased in New York from Edith Frankel at her gallery on Madison Avenue in the late 1980s.  When it came under the hammer last week, it was another highly contested lot, achieving £14,000 against a conservative £500-£800 estimate.

Blue and white porcelain, or Qinghua (blue flowers), is the most famous and most widely recognised Chinese porcelain, having been produced for over 1000 years. Two lots featuring this type of porcelain performed particularly well in the sale – lot 159a, a bowl with a Daoguang mark and featuring five clawed dragons, which sold for £12,500 (estimate: £400-£600) and lot 120 a 17th century blue and white vase with a band of incised decoration at the neck and foot, which went for £5600, towards the top of its £4000-£6000 estimate.

Another type of porcelain that featured in the sale was ‘famille verte’, renowned for its unique iridescence. Lot 255, a Chinese, famille verte dish decorated with a deity figure and attendant, aroused interest amongst bidders. Dating from the Kangxi period and with an artemisia leaf mark on the back, it was estimated at £600-£800 but achieved a final, winning bid of £5800.

A large selection of Chinese textiles from the late Professor R M Hicks and other private collectors was featured in the sale and lot 438, a late 19th/early 20th century embroidered blue silk robe adorned with polychrome butterflies, proved irresistible, with bids quickly surpassing the £400-£600 estimate and the hammer finally falling at £5800.

Mallams is now accepting entries for its next Asian & Islamic Art Sale on 26 October 2022. If you would like an informal valuation please contact Robin Fisher at robin@mallams.co.uk or William Fisher at william.fisher@mallams.co.uk

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 

Published: 11th May 2022
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