Estimated at just £200-300, a set of four early 20th century Chinese famille rose porcelain plaques depicting the four seasons in mountainous settings were bought by a phone bidder from Shanghai for £420,000 at Charterhouse of Sherborne in Dorset.
The 2ft 8in high by 8in (80 x 19cm) wide panels housed in
typical hardwood frames were found by valuer Richard Bromell in a
modest chalet bungalow.
One panel was hung on a wall behind a door, another on the
landing with the remaining two in bubble wrap under the bed.
They had been bought by the father of the vendor when he visited
Hong Kong more than 50 years ago.
The panels, particularly desirable as a set annotated by poems,
are almost certainly by one of the Eight Friends of Zhushan - the
key group of Republic period decorators instrumental in
revitalising the Chinese porcelain industry after the fall of the
The key landscape painters in the group were Wang Dacang
(1899-1953) and Wang Yeting (1884-1942) - whose red seal appears
next to the poems on all four of these plaques.
Huge multi-estimate prices have been paid in recent months for
the best Republic period porcelain plaques by the Zhushan Friends:
at Cheffins of Cambridge a figural panel by Wang Qi (1888-1934)
took £230,000 in October, while Christie's South Kensington sold a
landscape panel by Wang Dacang in November for £300,000.
The sale of the set of Wang Yeting panels at £420,000 on
February 14 came exactly a year to the day after Charterhouse achieved
their house record of £460,000 for a maiolica istoriato charger
c.1540 decorated with The Feast of Herod.
"I never thought I would get close again," Mr Bromell told
The buyer's premium was 19.5%.
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