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It shows the emperor Minghuang (685-762), overcome with grief following his part in the suicide of his favourite concubine Yang Guifei, as he seeks to be reunited with her at the Guanghan Palace on the Moon. In the continuous scene he is accompanied by a priest, attendants and the goddess of the moon, Chang’e.

The vase, pictured in Transitional Wares and Their Forerunners (1981) by Richard Kilburn, is among the highlights of Bonhams’ November 2 sale titled the Marsh Collection: Art for the Literati – part 2. It has a guide of £30,000-50,000.

The 48 lots come from Sam Marsh and his wife, Marion, who started collecting when they moved to Hong Kong in 1970. They were advised by the noted collector and dealer Adrian Joseph and shared knowledge with fellow collectors, the late Sir Michael Butler, and John and Julia Curtis.

Sam Marsh’s book Brushpots: A Collector’s View (2020) features several of the pieces to be sold with Bonhams. The 43 lots offered by the vendors last year provided a white-glove sale.

An online-only sale of extra lots from the Marsh collection will also run from October 27 to November 6 with all lots sold without reserve.

Bonhams has a total of eight sales including two devoted to traditional and modern Japanese works of art.