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– one of about 100 lots offered from the estate of Scottish poet and novelist Lady Naomi Mitchison of Carradale House. Despite damage to the spout, it was bought for £23,000 plus 15 per cent premium by a London dealer on the telephone who successfully fended off room bidders and three other telephone buyers.
Contrary to its amusing paper label which read: “made by a Chinese monk in Indian Persia”, the ewer was most probably made by a Chinese potter specifically for export to the Middle East where it was adorned with gilt metal mounts.
Although Wanli porcelain ewers are not that rare, its star-shaped mouth rim and Middle Eastern mounts are unusual features. But more importantly, there is a huge demand for Chinese Middle Eastern export porcelain and a handful of trade and private buyers regularly pay high prices for unusual pieces. Overall the sale totalled £620,000.