A pair of imperial Qianlong mark and period vases that sold for £13m at Christie’s.

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Qianlong vases top London's Asian art auction series

Discovered by Christie’s South Kensington specialist Jeremy Morgan during a valuation in an English country house, this pair of imperial Qianlong mark and period vases sold for £13m (£14.7m including premium) to top the recent London Asia series.

The owner – from a noble family – said the 9in (22cm) double gourd ‘butterfly’ vases, had been bought by a relative in the 1930s.

The vases belong to a small number of Qianlong vases decorated in彩falangcai enamels with designs of butterflies and flowers on coloured ‘graviata’ grounds. Only four other single vases of this type have been recorded.

Historia acquires Auctionata rump

Berlin auctioneer Historia Auktionshaus has acquired the website and trademark of defunct German online firm Auctionata Paddle8 AG. Historia says it will be contacting consignors who still have items stored at Auctionata with an offer to sell on their behalf.

The insolvency administrator Christian Graf Brockdorff has approved the deal which, Historia says, will allow consignors to avoid the expense of shipping unsold items back to them.

eBay professionals pay VAT in August

Professional eBay sellers in the UK with turnover of more than £85,000 will be asked to pay VAT on their fees when the online marketplace restructures later this year.

Currently UK sellers pay fees to a Luxembourg subsidiary, but from August money will be processed through eBay’s UK business and will be subject to the 20% tax.

The company said the move reflected changes following its split from digital payment firm PayPal in 2015.

PAD in Geneva

Design fair PAD, which began in Paris and later launched in London, has agreed a tie-up with an art fair in Geneva.

The debut event will run from January 31-February 4, 2018, in convention centre Palexpo alongside artgenève.

The founders of the two events: artgenève’s Thomas Hug and Laura Meillet and PAD’s Patrick Perrin met in London in October 2016 and decided to join forces because the events “complement one another”.

PAD London in Berkeley Square will be held on October 2-8.

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Dobson goes to Ashmolean


The Group Portrait of Prince Rupert, Colonel William Legge and Colonel John Russell by William Dobson.

A painting by William Dobson revealing Oxford’s role in the English Civil War has been acquired by the Ashmolean Museum.

Commissioned by John Russell in the winter of 1645–46, Group Portrait of Prince Rupert, Colonel William Legge and Colonel John Russell shows a meeting between three Royalist commanders in Oxford, home to the royal court in exile.

It was acquired through the government’s acceptance in lieu tax incentive scheme at a price in the region of £875,000, from the collection of Richard and Patricia, Baron and Baroness Sandys.

The museum unveiled the painting as part of a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of its founder Elias Ashmole this month.

LAPADA appoints new chairman


Lord de Mauley, chairman of LAPADA.

Conservative peer and former environment minister Lord de Mauley is to become chairman of LAPADA, the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers.

He replaces Lord Chadlington, who is stepping down after seven years.

Entrepreneur and army reservist Rupert de Mauley will now attend board meetings, annual general meetings and the selection committee for the LAPADA fair. “It is important to have a chairman who is able to make an impact at a high level,” said LAPADA chief executive Rebecca Davies.

“Lord Chadlington has overseen significant improvements both in our financial strength and in our influence in the trade and the wider world. Lord de Mauley will build on these successes.”

In Numbers


The number of works of art in the all-time top auction lots that have been sold in London. Last week’s sale in New York of a Basquiat oil knocked the £58m Giacometti bronze (Sotheby’s, 2010) into 11th place.