GUERNSEY’S Martel Maides and Byrne’s of Saltney, Chester have become the latest UK regional auctioneers to benefit from the insatiable demand for Chinese mark and period works of art. Both achieved house records last week.
On November 26, Martel Maides of St Peter Port sold three Yongzheng period (1723-1735) famille rose bowls consigned by a Channel Islands family who have owned them for at least 80 years.
Catalogued by former Sotheby's specialist Julian Thompson, they found many admirers when on view in London during Asian Art in London.
A pair of 4 3/4in (12cm) bowls, each with a six-character mark to the base, shared their rare gourd decoration with a single bowl, formerly in the Robert Chang Collection, that sold at Christie's Hong Kong in November 2006 for a premium-inclusive HK$5,496,000 (then $710,188).
After competition between 14 telephone lines and three active buyers in the room, they sold at £1.02m (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium) to a Far Eastern buyer.
There was also a single 4in (10cm) bowl superbly enamelled with Shou Lao, the Daoist god of longevity, riding a stag accompanied by Lan Caihe, one of the Eight Immortals, a subject more often found on late Kangxi wares.
Against a £10,000-15,000 estimate that reflected a hair crack, it sold at £280,000 to the same buyer.
Byrne's had received a Qianlong (1735-1795) mark and period gilt-bronze and cloisonné champion cup from a local lady at a valuation day.
She had been offered £350 for it by a dealer and was pleased to learn the auctioneers thought it worth £800-1200.
The name 'champion' cup is a pun on the words ying (falcon) and xiong (bear), the mythical creatures that unite the two conjoined cloisonné cylinders. Together they form the word yingxiong or 'champion'.
This example, standing 5in (13cm) high on a carved hardwood stand, sold to London dealer Eskenazi at £190,000 (plus 20 per cent buyer's premium).