CHINESE works of art dominated this month's Asian sales series in London but among the most successful auctions last week was Bonhams' dispersal of the second part of the Edward Wrangham (1928-2009) collection.
The Northumberland estate farmer, instrumental in the creation
of Kielder Water, amassed one of the West's finest private
collections of Japanese sword fittings, inro and netsuke.
As at the equivalent event in November 2010, the top prices on
May 10 were for Meiji period inro from the workshop of Shibata
Zeshin (1868-1912), Wrangham's favourite artist.
The top lot was the two-case inro, pictured here, lacquered with
metalwork tools in gold, silver and black, with a folkloric deity
called Hotei lightly engraved behind the principal lacquer.
Exceeding its £10,000-15,000 estimate, it sold in the room at
Inro (literally meaning sealed case) were used to carry small
objects such as seals, tobacco and medicines and were worn
suspended from the obi, or kimono sash.