Asian Ceramics & Works of Art – 16 & 17 May 2011

Berkshire is the unlikely focal point for Asian art in mid May. Dreweatts at Donnington Priory is holding a two day extravaganza for connoisseurs, collectors and lovers of Asian Ceramics and Works of Art on 16th and 17th May, embracing a wide spectrum from Japan, Korea and China to India and Turkey.

The Japanese section has an interesting group of documented items in excellent condition, from Sir Joseph Lowrey, Director of the Salvage Association, London, who represented British insurance interests after the Tokyo earthquake of 1923.

The sale also offers some very handsome items which will undoubtedly set pulses racing, especially for the Chinese works of art, many of which are of quintessential English country house taste. Two Chinese reverse painted mirrors dating from 1760-1780 (lots 138 and 139)made for the export market, the former depicting a sage and child on a fenced terrace under a pine tree with a female attendant holding a basket of fruit, while the latter shows a delicately painted Madonna and Child seated under a tree in a garden pavilion. Both are estimated £2,000-3,000 and come from the collection of the late Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, the Guinness heiress. A mellow, toffee coloured 17th century rhinoceros horn libation cup, carved in high relief with flowering prunus and magnolia is expected to fetch £8,000-12,000 (lot 291). There is a large selection of ceramics to suit all tastes and pockets, but particularly eye-catching is the tall powder blue rouleau vase of the Kangxi period decorated with gilt landscapes on a chuiqing ground (lot 378), and this is estimated £10,000-15,000.

Good quality late 19th/early 20th century ceramics have a particular appeal for today’s Chinese buyers and Dreweatts has a fine Chinese lime-green ground famille rose vase (lot 418), with a Jiaqing iron-red seal mark, a bulbous body and ‘garlic’ neck, the whole decorated with Imperial style bands of scrolling flowers, leaves and tendrils interspersed with the eight Buddhist emblems (estimate £2,500-3,500).

The market is particularly hungry for jade at the moment, especially pale coloured jade, and prospective buyers will be spoilt for choice in this sale, which has several fine examples which will attract international interest. Lots 727-733 all come from a single private owner; the beautiful Jiaqing pale celadon lotus vase (lot 729) formed as a curled lotus leaf, tied with a ribbon and decorated with a crested wading bird is expected to fetch £4,000-6,000 while the following lot is a fine pale celadon jade boulder of the Qianlong period, carved with a scholar on horseback and a boy attendant (estimate £6,000-8,000). The arresting image on the front cover of the catalogue is another fine piece of pale celadon coloured jade which is a petal-lobed brushwasher, delicately carved with a central lingzhi fungus. This high Chinese taste Qianlong piece (lot 732) is estimated £6,000-8,000 and the following lot from the same period is a fine, handsome Chinese pale celadon jade archaistic tripod incense burner and cover. Its globular body has unusual split scrolling phoenix handles, a band of taotie masks, three zoomorphic feet and a pierced cover carved with lotus flowers and scrolls with a dragon head finial, and this is expected to reach £20,000-30,000.

Demand is such that now is the time to have your Chinese pieces reappraised for insurance purposes or possibly for sale. Buyers from China are widening their interest to encompass works of art made for the European market,’ says Dan Bray, Head of Dreweatts’ Asian Art Department.

To view the sale catalogue online, please click here

For further press information please contact Vanessa Clewes Salmon:

For further information on the sale, please call Dreweatts’ Donnington Priory Salerooms on 01635 553553 or email

Dreweatts - 27 April 2011