The Association of Accredited Auctioneers (Triple-A), founded in 2012 by UK regional auctioneers to attract Chinese buyers, are to hold a second auction of Western antiques in China.
A consignment deadline of November 1
has been set for the sale in Beijing in December.
There will be some significant differences
between this event and
China's First Free Port Auction of Western Artworks held by the
association in Xiamen in Fujian province in April.
Key among these is the specialist
nature of the sale that will focus only on European silver,
electroplate and decorative French table clocks.
Silver, that has the advantage of
being relatively portable, proved the strong suit of the
ground-breaking sale in April when a much broader cross-section of
Western taste met with very mixed results. Formal dining in the
European style is increasingly popular in China and the benefits of
the English hallmarking system were not lost on an audience eager
for any form of consumer protection and the proof that the item
they buy is over 100 years old and hence devoid of tax.
There is, said Stephan Ludwig,
executive chairman of Dreweatts and Bloomsbury who has just
returned from Beijing, "a sensational appetite" for smoking- and
wine-related antiques and the association will also be taking
complete canteens and the standard tea and coffee wares that sold
so well in Fujian province.
In contrast to the glamour-free
surroundings of the Xiamen Freeport (1300 miles south of Beijing),
the venue for the December event will be a capital city hotel - the
precise venue to be decided shortly. Bringing items into the
People's Republic necessitates extra paperwork (and a bond will be
posted with authorities pending import duties), but it brings the
sale much closer to the antique-buying community.
Online bidding portal Epailive will
again promote the event (in Mandarin and English) to its 100,000
registered members, but the sale will be held with a new Chinese
partner - Infinity Auctions of Beijing, a subsidiary of a real
estate development company, who will conduct the sale.
Triple-A has issued an open invitation
to all of its 21 members to consign items to the sale in the hope
of meeting the target of 300-350 lots by November 1. The auction is
due to take place on December 22 with a press conference and VIP
opening on the 19th.
"This opportunity to offer the Chinese
market a selection of English antique silver has come about as a
direct consequence of the valuable experiences from our inaugural
auction in Xiamen last April," said association chairman Chris
Ewbank. "Triple-A is again making Chinese auction history with this
ground-breaking venture in China's political and cultural
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