Beijing enamel famille rose yellow ground tripod censer – £720,000 at Christie’s.

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With ten auctions and scores of specialist dealer exhibitions shoehorned into this eight-day Asian extravaganza, buyers were presented with a huge diversity of material. The toast of the town amongst Chinese aficionados was unquestionably Christie's King Street (19.5/12% buyer's premium) sale of Chinese porcelains and enamels from the Alfred Morrison Collection, Fonthill House, on November 9.

The 59-lot sale represented the third and final tranche from the Morrison collection following earlier Christie's dispersals in 1965 and 1971.

The son of one of 19th century England's wealthiest commoners, Alfred Morrison (1821-1897) bought many of his Chinese imperial wares from Lord Loch of Drylaw, on the latter's return to Britain following the 1860 sack of the Chinese imperial summer palace.

The collection's most coveted entry was this exquisitely painted Beijing enamel famille rose yellow ground tripod censer, pictured right, with a Kangxi (1662-1722) yuzhi mark to its base. It was a must-have for Western and Asian dealers and collectors despite some minor cracks and losses. Buyers in the packed room barely got a look in as bidding developed into a three-way telephone battle, with the hammer falling at £720,000 to Christie's specialist Anthony Lin's anonymous telephone buyer. Overall the sale totalled £4,646,000 with a 96 per cent take-up by lot.