Hong Kong – Bonhams Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art department presented a tightly curated collection across two sales including its bi-annual Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale followed by a single-owner collection of Chinese jades from The Durwin Tang Collection. Taking place on 27 November, the combined total of both sales achieved HK$73,550,000 (US$9,395,700) with a 79% sold by lot rate.

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
A crowded room gathered at Bonhams' Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale as a rare Imperial Ming-style underglaze-blue and copper-red vase, Qianlong seal mark and of the period (1736-1795) hammered down at HK$23,500,000 (US$3,003,514), close to four times higher than its pre-sale estimate of HK$6,000,000-9,000,000 (US$770,000 - 1,100,000). The important piece originated from the collection of the eminent Chinese statesman and collector Tang Shaoyi (1862 - 1938), who served the Imperial Chinese Government as a senior diplomat and politician and was appointed as the first Prime Minister of the Republic of China in 1912.

Another prized object among collectors was an exceptionally rare Imperial carved yellow and red lacquer 'dragon' tray, Wanli mark and dated to 1592 and of the period, which sold for HK$5,500,000 (US$702,950) after frenzied bidding within the auction room and by phone – close to 7 times its original estimate of HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 (US$100,000 - 150,000).

Key highlights from the sale included:

• A very rare gilt-bronze figure of Guanyin, Yuan/ Ming Dynasty, which was sold for HK$5,380,000 (US$687,613)
• A magnificent large pale greenish-white jade 'Prunus' trunk-form brush pot, 18th/19th century, which was sold for HK$4,300,000 (US$549,579)
• A rare and large Imperially-inscribed pale green and russet jade 'luohan' boulder, Qianlong, which was sold for HK$3,220,000 (US$411,545) 
• A rare and large parcel-gilt and painted bronze figure of Simhanada Avalokiteshvara, 15th/16th century, which was sold for HK$2,250,000 (US$287,570) 
• A superb spinach-green jade 'Three Immortals' boulder, Qianlong (1736-1795), which was sold for H$2,125,000 (US$271,594)

Tang's Hall of Precious: The Durwin Tang Collection of Chinese Jades

Bonhams presented a collection of 90 pieces of Chinese jades assembled by the distinguished and highly respected late Hong Kong dealer and collector Mr Durwin Tang (1955-2018) featuring a rich variety of jade carvings, dating from as early as the Han, Tang and Song dynasties and throughout the Qing dynasty.

The most prized item of the collection was an exceedingly rare and important white and russet jade carving of a bear, Western Han dynasty, which fetched HK$6,700,000 (US$856,321).

Other highlights included:
• A superb white jade carving of a horse, Qianlong, which was sold for HK$1,625,000 (US$207,689)
• A pale green and russet jade carving of a lion, Song Dynasty or earlier, which was sold for HK$1,000,000 (US$127,809)

Asaph Hyman, Global Head, Chinese Art, commented: "We were delighted with the strong results across all categories, underlining the depth of the market. It was a privilege to handle the Tang Shaoyi vase and many other Imperial works of art, and importantly to be chosen to offer the Durwin Tang Collection of jades whose robust performance is a testament to his connoisseurship. A further selection from his collection will be offered in London in May 2019."

Xibo Wang, Head of Department, commented: "The buzz of the public during the exhibition and auction was a testament to the continuous interest in fine and rare ceramics and works of art, with strong provenance and fresh to the market. We were delighted with the results and look forward to welcoming all again in May 2019."

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