Not to Be Sniffed At: Bonhams Hong Kong Achieves Fifth Unprecedented Sell Out auction of the Snuff Bottles from the Mary & George Bloch Collection

Snuff Bottles from the Mary and George Bloch Collection
Part V
27 May 2012
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Bonhams Hong Kong achieved an unprecedented fifth sell out auction of the celebrated Snuff Bottles from the Mary & George Bloch Collection with the sale of Part V today, 27 May 2012 at a packed saleroom at the Island Shangri-La Hotel.

Hot on the heels of the extraordinary success achieved from the sales of Parts I to IV in which every single snuff bottle from the collection has been sold, with world records broken in 11 different categories, Bonhams sold all 168 bottles from Part V of the collection for a total of HK$42,423,000, exceeding its high pre-sale estimate of HK$40,000,000.

As expected, Imperial 'Famille-rose' enamel on copper with gold snuff bottles made in the Beijing palace workshops took the top spots of the sale. Lot 38, an exquisite 5cm high 'famille-rose' enamelled-copper with gold 'European ladies with children' snuff bottle sold for HK$4,820,000, while lot 167 another 'famille-rose' enamelled copper with gold snuff bottle, this time a 4.9cm high one showing 'figures in mansion', sold for HK$3,620,000. The former was made for the Qianlong emperor between 1736-1760, while the latter was made by the Imperial command of the Kangxi emperor between 1705-1718. Coming in at HK$3,020,000 was lot 148, a 5.02cm high 'famille-rose' enamel on copper with gold snuff bottle featuring 'European subject' made for the Qianlong emperor.

Numerous snuff bottles were sold at multiple times their estimates, with a jadeite one selling for HK$1,460,000 against pre-sale estimates of HK$800,000-900,000 and an inscribed hornbill 'Ma Gu' snuff bottle selling for HK$1,340,000, four times its estimate of HK$350,000-400,000.

Julian King, Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Bonhams Hong Kong, commented on the results, and Bonhams' place at the forefront of collectables in China and Hong Kong, 'Bonhams has been setting world record prices with the sale of the Mary and George Bloch Collection, since the first sale took place in May 2010, in Hong Kong. As the leading auction house in the world for Chinese snuff bottles, we are very pleased with the results of Part V of the collection. As a growing number of collectors vie for the best snuff bottles, their value has remained steady. Over the last decade prices have increased over fourfold making this collectable a highly portable alternative investment'.

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to

For more information and/or images, please contact,
Bonhams Hong Kong
Mabel Au-Yeung
+852 9038 8939


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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