It will now contain a group of impeccably provenanced material from the RER Luff Will Trust.
Richard Edmund Relfe Luff (1887-1969) was managing director of Cable and Wireless and a notable collector of Chinese porcelain and works of art. A client of Bluett & Sons from 1944-64, Roger Bluett described him as “one of the last generation of English buyers who were able to build up fine collections …in the years following the Second World War”.
The 15 lots on offer at Duke’s can be identified in a valuation prepared by Bluett’s for Luff’s family in January 1970. In 1973 his descendants took the decision to sell a Chenghua blue and white palace bowl at Sotheby’s, which fetched the then enormous price of £130,000. Luff had purchased it in 1946 for £132. Today it would sell for more than £20m.
Pictured above is a 10in (25cm) Western Zhou dynasty bronze guei cast with masks and two bands of archaic motifs. Dated to the 10th century BC, it is estimated at £5000-10,000.