Antique Chinese Bowl Sells For £50,000 At Ewbank Clarke Gammon Welers
Demand Among Asian Buyers Shows No Sign Of Slowing. Bidding Battles In Saleroom And On Internet Send Prices Soaring.
Remarkable bidding battles on the Internet and in Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers’ Surrey saleroom today (June 20) saw the prices of Chinese ceramics soar.
As was predicted, international interest focussed on three prized pieces from a small, local single-owner collection, the pick of which pale celadon moulded glazed bowl decorated in relief with dragons among clouds.
It was estimated to fetch £500-1,000 but the unprecedented demand for Chinese ceramics by buyers looking to repatriate their country’s heritage saw it sell for a staggering £50,000. It measured just nine inches in diameter.
It was purchased by a London buyer who stood at the back of the packed saleroom, bidding determinedly against strong opposition on seven telephones and from a number of Internet bidders in China.
Bearing the six character Yongzheng mark in underglaze blue, dating the piece to 1723-1735, it was a type of jade-green glazed pottery - hence its name, coined by European connoisseurs - which was invented in ancient China. Large quantities were exported to Europe, where it was prized.
Another high-flying performer was a small porcelain bowl bearing the Qianlong (1736-1795) seal mark in underglaze blue with doucai floral decoration. Estimated at £500-800, it sold to a Chinese buyer on the Internet for £15,000. It measured eight inches in diameter.
The term doucai means 'joined colours' and production was technically difficult, requiring two firings. First the design's outline was painted in underglaze blue and the piece glazed then fired at a high temperature. Second, the outlines were coloured in with red, yellow, green and aubergine overglaze enamels and the object fired again at a lower temperature.
A similarly decorated saucer dish bearing the Jiaqing (1796-1820) seal mark in underglaze blue and measuring 7.5 inches sold to a Chinese buyer living in London who telephoned his winning bid of £5,000. It too had been estimated at £500-800.
High prices were not restricted to Chinese porcelain. A fine antique white jade carving of a flowering branch bearing fruit of a double gourd decorated with bats, a symbol for good fortune, sold for £13,000 against an estimate of £500-800.
Said auctioneer Chris Ewbank: “The naysayers are suggesting that with the economy in the People’s Republic showing signs of a slowdown and rules and regulations getting tougher, the Chinese buying bubble is slowly deflating. Having just returned from a business trip to China, the facts speak otherwise. In spite of a slight slowdown in growth, activity remains obviously high and there has never been a better time to sell Chinese ceramics and works of art.”
For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01483 223101 or email@example.com.