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While these collections were generally well received and provided many of the bread-and-butter entries, the top lot was a large blue and white moonflask with bat handles, with a partially effaced six-character Qianlong mark (1736-1795) but probably of the period.

It was well-painted with a scene of a farmer cultivating a field with a buffalo, copying a 17th century woodblock design illustrating the Kangxi emperor’s (1662-1722) series of poems on tilling and weaving.

Although the vase had a glaze crack running around the junction of the foot and the body and a partially effaced Imperial reign mark, buyers were not unduly deterred and several were confident enough of its Imperial status to take bidding past its speculative £50,000- 80,000 estimate to the winning £200,000 offered by an Asian dealer.

The strength of the market for quality Qing dynasty mark and period porcelain was reflected by the £55,000 (£8000-12,000 estimate) tendered by a UK dealer for a pair of famille verte coral ground bowls, Jiaqing six-character mark and of the period (1796-1820).

They were painted with an unusual design of four groups of four boys playing in a garden but one bowl had been broken and repaired. Hitherto, the most sought-after pieces with this design have been Kangxi wares.

The auction market for Tang pottery remains quite flat as it is primarily driven by dealers buying directly from the Hong Kong trade and selling privately to European or American buyers.

Christie’s had the one Tang horse that did get away: a majestic beast standing 2ft 71/4in (77cm) high with an unusual dark blackish brown glaze. Ferghana horses were revered in the Tang dynasty for their strength and stamina and their presence of these in the tomb was indicative of the wealth and power of the deceased (Asian collectors tend not to buy funerary pottery as they view it as inauspicious).

This finely modelled horse was pursued to £100,000 by an anonymous (but probably private) buyer.

Also making a splash was a large 18th century 12-panel coromandel screen, each leaf 8ft 51/4in x 21in (2.51m x 53cm) crisply carved with a variety of birds paying tribute to a pair of phoenix, the kings of all feathered creatures. The reverse was carved and painted with an extensive garden scene.

More often than not, 18th century coromandel screens are missing some of their panels and this, coupled with the difficulties in placing such large decorative works in someone’s home, can make them difficult to estimate.

“We had a low estimate because large screens have been a bit erratic at auction,” said Christie’s specialist Desmond Healey.

The conservative £20,000-30,000 expectations probably helped generate interest in this finely executed example which sold to a private Asian buyer at £150,000.

Foremost in the 168-lot dispersal of Export porcelain – predominantly famille verte – from the collection of Mrs Nellie Ionides and consigned from the estate of her daughter, was a pair of famille verte recumbent horses, Kangxi period (1662-1722).

Although the market for Kangxi famille verte is dominated by Western buyers, this unusual entry also attracted Asian interest before selling to a UK dealer at £64,000.

Outside of the Ionides Collection, there was also Asian interest in a superbly painted and provenanced Kangxi famille verte rouleau vase depicting three moustachioed foreigners staring at a mythical beast. It was in good condition and a UK dealer had to go to a triple-estimate £70,000 to secure it.