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Three collections of bronzes, dating from the Song Dynasty (960-1127) to 19th century Qing, prompted Chiswick’s Oriental art expert Lazarus Halstead to mount a separate 134-lot devoted to them– the first such bronzes-only sale to be held in London, although others have been held in Hong Kong.

Until recently, bronzes have been at the affordable end of the Chinese market, and, by comparison, still are, although prices are rising.

The London auction house’s two-day event included a pair of  101/2in (27cm) tall Ming vases which sold on the top estimate at a hammer £8000 on May 24.

Overall, there was less enthusiasm for the 100 Chinese paintings offered on that afternoon with almost half failing to get away, but the sale had its moments.

The 4ft 10in x 2ft 9in (1.47m x 84cm) framed paintings of pheasants on silk, attributed to Ding Kuang came with a family provenance to a mid-19th century aide de camp of the governor of Hong Kong. Estimated at £5000-8000, it sold at £22,000.

Top lot

The major offerings at Chiswick (25% buyer’s premium) were sold on May 25 when a 19th century Qing celadon-glazed ‘dragon’ vase topped the day.

The 20in (51cm) tall tianqiuping (bottle-form) vase was finely decorated in high relief around the globular body and cylindrical neck with a dragon chasing a flaming pearl amid clouds and above waves.

Rather unusually, it had no ring mark to the base but it was a desirable piece in good condition and was estimated at £10,000-15,000.

Bidders thought even more highly of it and it went back to China at £95,000 hammer.

ATG (issue No 2344) rounded up the recent Asian art auctions in the UK