Head of Asian Art, Lazarus Halstead pictured with lot 299, a large Chinese famille rose vase, tianqiuping. Qianlong mark and of the period. 51cm H. Sold for £462,500 including premium.
It is always exciting when a new record is broken and in our latest Asian Art sale, lot 299 saw a new house record set for Asian Art. The bidding quickly jumped from £10,000 to £100,000 as one impatient bidder had our telephone clerk shout out the figure to the auctioneer. But the competition was unfazed and fierce. The price continued to rise until there were only two bidders left, finally landing on a hammer price of £370,000 (£462,500 incl. buyer’s premium).
The lot is a magnificent imperial vase dated to the reign of the Qianlong Emperor and bearing the reign mark of the Emperor and towers at 51cm high.
The name given to this specific shape of vase in Chinese is tianqiuping which translates as ‘heavenly globe vase’. It holds special significance in Chinese iconography where the world is represented by a square and heaven by a circle.
This is the second tianqiuping vase to be offered here at Chiswick Auctions. In May 2018, we sold an unmarked celadon vase of similar form for £118,750 including premium.
Our Head of Asian Art, Lazarus Halstead commented, “The first time I saw the vase was in a dusty old photograph and my heart skipped a beat. This is an extremely exciting result and a testament to the resilience of the Chinese art market”.
The search is now on for the next ‘heavenly globe vase’ with the department now preparing for the next Asian Art sales in February and May 2021. “You never know what is going to walk through the door” says Halstead, “This vase broke a departmental record previously held by a 30-metre-long handscroll by a 19th century painter.” The handscroll sold in November 2017 for £267,500 and won the prestigious Asian Art in London prize. “Our photographers had to carefully photograph every inch of it and then stitch the image together. I think they were happier photographing the vase this time round”.
As we emerge once more from lockdown, who knows where the next treasure might come from, or how much it might make.
Our thriving Asian Art Department was set up by the current head, Lazarus Halstead, 5 years ago. We are the only London salesroom with dedicated sales of Fine Chinese Paintings (selling the Nanyue Pavilion Collection of contemporary Chinese paintings in September 2020) and a range of themed sales including this month’s successful sale, The Art of Chinese Monochrome.
If you have a Chinese antique you would like to consign to our next Asian Art sales in February and May 2020, contact Head of Asian Art, Lazarus Halstead.