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An extraordinarily diverse group of two and three- dimensional objects shelter under the great ‘Asian art’ umbrella. Together they represent five millennia of artistic endeavour across one quarter of the globe.

When viewed this way, the super-fashionable Chinese imperial works of art and modern and contemporary paintings that heavily skew the collecting market in terms of dollars and cents represent just a tiny fraction of what the market has to offer: the very tip of the Asian art collecting iceberg.

Away from the bright lights of the Ming and Qing courts, collectors and dealers typically find a less intimidating buying environment and a hugely diverse array of mediums, styles, cultures and, indeed, price levels. It is here too where some of the most evocative stories of artistic and cultural change are told.

As part of ATG's Asian Art 2017 supplement we preview a series of Asian art objects available for sale over the next few months at galleries and auctions, and each from a very different moment in time or geography.

From the first piggy banks in 15th century Java to sketches taken after battle in Mysore – all tell a compelling tale, either in terms of design history, historical context or provenance.

A handscroll by Xu Naigu at Chiswick Auctions
 

15th century Javanese terracotta pig at Jonathan Tucker

Northern Qi limestone fragment at Eskenazi

Meiji okimono by Nogami Ryuki at Laura Bordignon

Pair of Edo iron and bronze vases at Kevin Page


Western Han boshanlu at Ben Janssens Oriental Art


Watercolours by William and Thomas Daniell at Grosvenor Gallery


Chinese export porcelain Apostle plate at Jorge Welsh


Pair of huanghuali cabinets at Bonhams


Koryo schist cinerary chest at Woolley & Wallis


Mughal court miniature at Sworders