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The 80% success rate of the 56 lots of Japanese art offered at Chiswick Auctions (22% buyer’s premium) on February 28 was, said Asian department head, Lazarus Halstead, “an encouraging sign and one that follows Yasuko Kido joining us as a Japanese specialist”.

Topping the section was a wooden screen comprising two 6ft 3in x 2ft 7in (1.90m x 79cm) panels decorated in high relief with ivory, bone, mother-of-pearl and lacquer.

Illustrated one side featured flowers and the reverse with sparrows and flowering plum trees. Against a £400-500 estimate the screen sold at £3600.

The sale got off to a good start when three lots of ivory okimono took a hammer total of £4600 against hopes of £1300-2000 and also doubling expectations was the 19th century bronze koro. The 18in (45cm) incense burner in the form of a mythical kirin beast carried hopes of £1000-1200 but sold at £1900.