The most eagerly awaited of the quintet (on view in Salisbury since the spring) is the sale of 34 Chinese jades from the Lawrence family collection on November 14.
Neville Lawrence (1891-1959), a captain in the Coldstream Guards and later a banker and stock broker, began collecting Chinese hardstones after receiving a piece as a gift from his wife. Most of the pieces he owned were bought from Spink & Son, London.
His son Murray Lawrence (1935-2021), an alumnus of Trinity College, Oxford and one-time chairman of Lloyd’s of London, continued to collect, particularly after retirement.
Acquired from Spink prior to 1959 is an imperial Qianlong white jade incense burner and cover based on an archaic bronze gui.
The Chinese rank jades according to colour, with the most prized jades being this yangzhiyu, ‘mutton fat’ nephrite that is sourced from the rivers in Khotan. The even white tone of this vessel bears comparison with the £2m teapot and cover the auction house sold in May 2011. It is estimated at £100,000-150,000.
On November 16, Woolley & Wallis will sell a collection of Chinese and Japanese works of art assembled by Phillip Allen (1938-2022).
A council member of the Oriental Ceramic Society for many years, he was best known as the cataloguer of the Sir Victor Sassoon collection of Chinese ivories and instrumental in organising its bequest to the British Museum.
His collection, sold in over 300 lots, includes a number of well-priced rarities such as this blue and white ‘qilin’ dish made in the early years of the Kangxi period (estimate £2000-3000).