The lots offered at Mallams’ (25% buyer’s premium) were led by the Tang or later jade dish illustrated here. The 5½in (14cm) diameter flower-shaped dish carved with an encircling dragon, entered from a French diplomat’s collection, sold at £62,000 against a £2000-3000 estimate.
“We were careful to ensure our lots were from private sources with low reserves and tempting estimates,” said auctioneer Robin Fisher, but this result and others were well above more realistic expectations.
Among them was a 13th or 14th century carved wooden seated figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin.
The 13in (33.5cm) tall figure, bearing traces of pigment on a gesso ground, had been restored and repainted several times over the centuries and bore cracks.
Purchased in the late 1980s from Edith Frankel’s New York gallery, it had a here-to-sell estimate of £500-800 and sold online at £14,000.
Topping the porcelain at the May 4-5 auction was an example of the blue and white Qinghua (blue flowers) design, the perennial favourite produced by Chinese artists for more than 1000 years.
The 5¾in (14.5cm) diameter bowl, painted with five-clawed dragons and flaming pearls, bore the Daoguang mark and was probably of the period (1820-50). In good condition, it sold at £12,500 against a £400-600 estimate.
Coming from the collection of the late Prof RM Hicks, textiles had the sort of provenance Chinese buyers demand.
Top-seller was a late 19th/early 20th century embroidered blue silk robe with polychrome butterflies which took a 10-times-estimate £5800 from an internet bidder.