London’s Asian auction scene will not get into full swing until next month when the capital’s main rooms field sales of mixed Asian or Export wares before the action moves across the Atlantic for the New York fairs and sales.
In the meantime Christie’s South Kensington had a small 276-lot mixed Asian offering earlier this month on February 10. As specialist Ingrid Collingridge explained, this was a mixed clear-out of trade and private consignments incorporating the final elements of properties the auctioneers had been selling throughout last year plus the odd re-offer.
Nevertheless, the sale was reasonably well viewed with plenty of requests for condition reports and produced what Mrs Collingridge felt was a satisfactory result, netting just over £90,000, with selling rates of 74 per cent by lot and 83 by value.
There were no surprises about the best performers – two of the more
eye-catching, privately entered and fresh-to- market lots with enough
decorative appeal to ensure they were contested beyond their estimates.
One was the pair of late 19th century
shibayama style lacquered wooden panels pictured right. These measured just under 3ft (89.5cm) high, were in good condition and were taken to £3500, over double estimate. The other was a massive 19th century Thai bronze temple bell on wooden stand, the bell measuring 2ft 8in (81.5cm) high and the stand 5ft 1in (1.6m). Estimated to fetch £800-1200, it was knocked down for £3200.
The weakest area of the sale was the standard blue and white Export wares, some of which struggled to find buyers even at modest levels.