GUERNSEY’S Martel Maides and Byrne’s of Saltney, Chester have become the latest UK regional auctioneers to benefit from the insatiable demand for Chinese mark and period works of art. Both achieved house records last week.
On November 26, Martel Maides of St Peter Port
sold three Yongzheng period (1723-1735) famille rose bowls
consigned by a Channel Islands family who have owned them for at
least 80 years.
Catalogued by former Sotheby's specialist Julian Thompson, they
found many admirers when on view in London during Asian Art in
A pair of 4 3/4in (12cm) bowls, each with a six-character mark
to the base, shared their rare gourd decoration with a single bowl,
formerly in the Robert Chang Collection, that sold at Christie's
Hong Kong in November 2006 for a premium-inclusive HK$5,496,000
After competition between 14 telephone lines and three active
buyers in the room, they sold at £1.02m (plus 15 per cent buyer's
premium) to a Far Eastern buyer.
There was also a single 4in (10cm) bowl superbly enamelled with
Shou Lao, the Daoist god of longevity, riding a stag accompanied by
Lan Caihe, one of the Eight Immortals, a subject more often found
on late Kangxi wares.
Against a £10,000-15,000 estimate that reflected a hair crack,
it sold at £280,000 to the same buyer.
Byrne's had received a Qianlong (1735-1795)
mark and period gilt-bronze and cloisonné champion cup from a local
lady at a valuation day.
She had been offered £350 for it by a dealer and was pleased to
learn the auctioneers thought it worth £800-1200.
The name 'champion' cup is a pun on the words ying
(falcon) and xiong (bear), the mythical creatures that
unite the two conjoined cloisonné cylinders. Together they form the
word yingxiong or 'champion'.
This example, standing 5in (13cm) high on a carved hardwood
stand, sold to London dealer Eskenazi at £190,000 (plus 20 per cent