Imperial chinese treasure sells for £337,250 at Bonhams

The Contents of Trelissick House including the Copeland China Collection
23 - 24 Jul 2013
Feock, Trelissick House and Gardens

A very fine and rare Imperial Chinese flambé-glazed bottle vase with an incised Qianlong seal mark of the period was sold today, 23 July, for £337,250 at Bonhams auction of the contents of Trelissick House, Cornwall. It had been estimated at £70,000-100,000. It was acquired by a collector in mainland China.

Trelissick House is the former home of Leonard Daneham Cunliffe, one of Britain's most distinguished collectors, and the contents are being sold over two days – 23rd & 24th July. The sale is made up of approximately 750 lots and is estimated to realise between £1m - £1.5m.

The Imperial Chinese vase is believed to have been acquired by Leonard Cunliffe prior to 1918.

Colin Sheaf, Head of Chinese Art at Bonhams who auctioned the vase, said: "This exceptional price reflects the rarity and quality of the vase. It would have been made in Jingdezhen, China's unique porcelain-producing city in Jiangxi Province, where for centuries China's most glittering ceramics were created by master potters for display and daily use at the Imperial Court in Beijing's mysterious, overpowering, lavishly- decorated Forbidden City."

Flambé-glazed vases were particularly admired by Western collectors and craftsmen, who appreciated the beauty of the deep red streaked with blue as well as the complexity of the technique and the immense control required to achieve successful results.


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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