JUST as Asian Art in London got underway, a surprise regional highlight emerged in Devon. A pair of 18th century Chinese Export pheasants were consigned for sale at Plymouth Auction Rooms by a local vendor, whose family had owned the birds for at least three generations.
The glazed famille rose enamel birds had suffered some damage,
with one beak rebuilt and one tail broken, but were a striking
model, vibrantly decorated and a good size at 15in (39cm) high.
Estimated at a mere £800-1000 at the sale on November 4, they
attracted interest from specialists in Belgium, Paris, Portugal and
They were won at £170,000 (plus 18 per cent buyer's premium) by
a Continental collector, who was underbid by Cohen & Cohen. The
price was a house record for the auctioneers - their previous high
was £32,000 for a George III gold pattern two pence coin, sold in