While the Benjamin Edwards sale claimed a new auction high for a Chinese Export bowl – $170,000 (£95,500) plus premium for a punch bowl decorated with Hogarthian scenes – the Captains and Kilns auction was headed by this extraordinary crab tureen cover and stand. The characterful crustacean, brightly but realistically coloured and modelled and measuring 81/2in (22cm) wide, was produced in the Qianlong period and takes its inspiration from animal-form tureens made by European factories. It was pursued to no less than $240,000 (£134,830), six times the estimate, selling to a European private buyer.
Crab tureen cover makes £134,830 at Christies in New York
It wasn’t just top pieces of Americana and Old Master paintings that occupied the salerooms in New York last month, there was also a good selection of Chinese Export porcelain on offer. Christie’s were selling the third installment of the Benjamin Edwards III collection of Export Porcelain on January 20 plus an interesting mixed owner selection in their Captains and Kilns ceramics auction on the same day.