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Mr Janssens opens his gallery at 91c Jermyn Street, St James’s, SW1 (Tel: 020 7976 1888), with an exhibition, Treasures from China’s Golden Age: 500-1000AD, which runs from June 11 to 20.

The gallery, which was formerly occupied by Himalayan art specialists Rossi and Rossi, is on the second floor of a building which already houses a number of Asian art dealers.

This move into a permanent gallery is a logical move for the busy Ben Janssens, who for some years has been dealing privately from a West London address.

From 1981 to 1992 Mr Janssens was director of the Chinese and Japanese department at Spink, then housed in St James’s.

Then, in 1992, he was part of the team who founded The Oriental Art Gallery in Mayfair before setting up on his own in 1996. He also stands at and is on the board of two
major European fairs, TEFAF Maastricht and CULTURA Basel.

For the past couple of years Mr Janssens has also taken a stand at The Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, but has given it a miss this year to launch the new gallery.

Ben Janssens Oriental Art plans regular selling exhibitions and the inaugural one covers 500 years which can be termed ‘China’s Golden Age’, encompassing such periods of cultural eminence as the Eastern Wei, Tang and Liao dynasties.

The earliest work in the exhibition is a gilt bronze image of Bodhisattva from the Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550AD). Stylistically, the figure relates closely to the more common stone sculptures of the period.

Most items in the show date from the Tang dynasty (618-906), among them a most unusual pair of pottery ladies bathing, very much in the mode of the famous ‘fat ladies’ of the period but naked. Female nudes are not generally seen in Tang ceramics.

A small group of metalwork includes two rare Tang bronze mirrors while the last period in the show is the Liao dynasty (907-1125) and that is represented by a gilt copper funerary mask with remarkably lifelike features.

In his new venture Ben Janssens is joined by Joost van den Bergh who will take care of Indian and south-east Asian work.