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On May 10, Bonhams New Bond Street will offer the second instalment of netsuke assembled by the late American pianist Julius Katchen and his wife Arlette.

The couple first came across netsuke on a concert tour of Japan in 1953, making their first purchase, a late 18th century ivory wild boar with young, in Kyoto. Buying through dealers and at auction, they amassed a vast collection with an emphasis on the Kyoto masters of the late 18th century and early 19th century, and the later works of Kaigyokusai of Osaka.

Highlights from part two include a diminutive puppy by Kaigyokusai, who was active during Japan’s opening-up to global trade in the later 19th century.

Estimated at £20,000-30,000, the netsuke was a favourite of Julius Katchen, who paid a record price of £945 for it at an English country auction in 1964.


A Qianlong period gilt bronze and cloisonné enamel square vessel and cover is part of a large Chinese art collection consigned to Wiltshire auction house Semley on May 13.

Gordon Fryers and his wife Rosemary were both medical doctors based in Singapore. Together they formed a collection in the mid 20th century, buying mainly from auction houses and dealers in London.

This 4in (10cm) high cloisonné piece was purchased from Sotheby’s in 1967, and bears the inscription Brought by Major General C Gordon CB from Summer Palace - Pekin & given to Colonel Jenkins.

Estimate £4000-6000.


For the first time, Chiswick Auctions will hold a dedicated sale of Chinese paintings alongside its regular Asian sales.

Department head Lazarus Halstead says the auction house wants to capitalise on what he argues is a dearth of dedicated Chinese paintings sales in the capital.

Leading the 111-lot sale in London on May 15 is a 3ft 4in x 13in (1.02m x 33cm) ink and colour on paper of bees and chrysanthemums painted in 1951 by leading Chinese artist, Qi Baishi (1864-1957).

The work comes from the collection of David Chipp (1864-1957), the first Western journalist to be posted in New China. Chipp worked in Beijing between 1956-60 as Reuter’s correspondent, the news agency for which he later became editor-in-chief.

Estimate £20,000-30,000.


A 16in (40cm) high decorated porcelain figure believed to date from the Qianlong/Jiaqing period (c.1736-1820) will be offered at Grand Auctions in Folkestone on May 8.

The auctioneers have estimated the figure at £7000-10,000 and said it was an unusual work to see outside of the major salerooms.

The statue was previously part of the collection of the late Lt Col JE Armstrong, a member of a cavalry regiment which was sent to India in 1923, eventually becoming secretary to the Viceroy of India. He finally returned to Britain in 1947 and the Buddha later passed by family descent to the vendor at the Folkestone sale.