An exceptionally rare Ding incense burner, Northern Song/ Jin, 12th century sold for £389,000 at Bonhams Fine Chinese Art Sale in London yesterday (10 November) following a fierce bidding war. It had been estimated at £80,000-120,000. The rare vessel, of which comparable examples exist in the Imperial collections in Beijing and Taipei, emerged from a European private collection and had not been seen for decades.
A spectacular result was achieved for a rare gilt bronze figure of Guandi on a 'nine-dragon and Garuda' throne, 17th/18th century. The figure of God of War was superbly cast and chased; the unusual throne on which he sat bearing the auspicious nine dragons, more typically associated with the emperor, and crowned by Gardua, which in this context is associated with the Story of General Yue Fei (1684). This rare figure was the subject of great interest during the viewing, leading to a large number of bidders on the telephone, in the room and on the internet. Selling for many times its estimate of £12,000-15,000, it realised £371,000.
In the category of jade carvings, a large very pale green jade boulder, 18th century, carved with sages in a mountainous landscape, was greatly admired by collectors. On the day, keen bidding led to an exceptionally strong price of £245,000.
Early 20th century porcelain is a category which has seen increased interest from collectors, vying for those painted on by the finest artists, among whom Chen Men (active 1862-1908) is one of the most famous. A set of eight famille rose porcelain signed Cheng Men, late Qing dynasty (Lot 175), sold for £245,000.
Asaph Hyman, International Head, Chinese Art, commented: "We were delighted with the exceptional results for these fine and rare works of art offered from many distinguished European private collections, and look forward to welcoming collectors to our forthcoming sales in Hong Kong later in the month and in London next May".