It’s the best time of the year to study, handle and buy Chinese, Japanese, Korean and south-east Asian works of art from early dynastic periods to the 20th century.
While is it regrettable that, for the first time in generations, Christie’s is not holding a sale this November (the department is now centred in Paris), the number of auction participants in the Asian Art in London (AAL) initiative has expanded.
Adam’s in Dublin (now headed by French specialist Thibault Duval) and Dore & Rees (now owned by ex- Duke’s and Lyon & Turnbull Chinese works of art specialist Lee Young) are both signed up. That brings to 12 the number of auction houses under the AAL banner (including the two Bonhams venues) with plenty of other auction houses from London and the regions holding specialist sales.
Remarkably, given the deep mining of this seam for nigh on two decades, important items with century-old provenances are still being brought to market from UK sources: sales this year including a number of pieces shown at the fabled International Exhibition of Chinese Art held at Burlington House, London in 1935-36.