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Roger Keverne is known for his expertise in early Chinese bronzes and jades. This archaic bronze ritual wine vessel (fanglei) from the Shang dynasty is guided at £50,000-80,000 at Bonhams’ sale on May 11.

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Two dedicated sales will disperse over 800 lots without reserve – the first on May 11, the second in June at Bonhams in London.

Keverne, the son of a Yorkshire coal-mining engineer, began his six decades in the trade at auction house Spencers of Retford before specialising in Chinese art at London dealership Spink.

Rising to head the Asian Art department by the age of 28, he left Spink in 1992 to start his own business together with Miranda Clarke, his wife and business partner, and for many years dealt from his gallery at 16 Clifford Street, Mayfair.

He served twice as chairman of Asian Art in London, was the head of Oriental art vetting committees at a range of international fairs and is currently the interim president of BADA.

Roger Keverne

Roger Keverne's collection will be sold in two parts at Bonhams.

Keverne worked with many illustrious collectors, including David Rockefeller, Florence and Herbert Irving, Gerald Arnhold and Sir Peter Moores (whom Roger Keverne advised on purchasing the famous $8.1m Albright-Knox fangjia for Compton Verney House).

However, his gallery (which closed its doors in June 2020) will be fondly remembered by many as an open door to Chinese art enthusiasts, scholars and students.

Sotheby’s held a 93-lot sale titled Roger Keverne: 50 Years in the Trade in Hong Kong in 2016.