China Guardian’s Ceramics and Works of Art Sale Fell Short of Expectation

It seemed that China Guardian Beijing could not carry over its strong performance in Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy into Important Ceramics and Works of Art, which realized a less than satisfactory sale total of RMB 39m and 38% sold by lots. The leading lot of the sale — a blue and white fishbasket shaped zun — was hammered down for RMB 10m after receiving only two bid increments.

Labelled as estimate upon request, the blue and white fishbasket shaped zun is decorated with floral scrolls pattern from the Xuande period. The bidding started at RMB 8m but the reception from buyers was not as enthusiastic as expected. The zun was offered two bid increments and hammered down for RMB 10m. It was sold for RMB 11.5m with buyer’s premium, becoming the most expensive lot at the sale.

The second top lot of the sale was a pair of black-ground and green-enamelled plates painted with a design of flowers. The base is inscribed with a six-character seal mark of Yongzheng period. Estimated at RMB 7m-9m, the pair of plates came from the collection of Robert Chang, a legendary dealer and collector of Chinese Ceramics. Probably discouraged by the high estimate, buyers seemed untempted by the illustrious provenance. The lot was hammered down for its low estimate RMB 7m and sold for RMB 8.05m.

Another highlight of the sale was a pair of ‘doucai’ plates from Yongzheng period. Decorated with a design of stones and peonies, the plates carried an estimate of RMB 1.6m-3.6m. It used a technique called ‘doucai’ that began in the 15th Century Ming dynasty in the imperial kilns. Parts of the design are outlined in underglaze blue before adding in overglaze enamels of different colours to the rest of the design. This pair of plates was hammered down for RMB 3.3m and sold for RMB 3.795m.

Top Three Lots


A Fine Blue and White Fishbasket Shaped Zun with Design of Floral Scrolls Pattern
Xuande Period, Ming Dynasty.

Lot no.: 2829
Size: 13.5 x 21cm
Six-character seal mark of Xuande Period

  • Beijing Private Collection

Estimate Upon Request
Hammer price: RMB 10,000,000
Price realized: RMB 11,500,000


A Pair of Black-Ground and Green-Enamelled Plates with Design of Flowers
Yongzheng Period, Qing Dynasty.

Lot no.: 2806
Diameter: 19.8cm;19.5cm
Six-character seal mark of Yongzheng period

  • Collection of Robert Chang

Estimate: RMB 7,000,000 - 9,000,000
Hammer price: RMB 7,000,000
Price realized: RMB 8,050,000


A Pair of Doucai Plates with Design of Stones and Peonies
Yongzheng Period. Qing Dynasty.

Lot no.: 2804
Diameter: 21cm
Six-character seal mark of Yongzheng period

  • Beijing Private Collection

Estimate: RMB 1,600,000 - 3,600,000
Hammer price: RMB 3,300,000
Price realized: RMB 3,795,000


Auction Summary

Auction house: China Guardian Beijing
Sale: By Imperial Order – Important Ceramics and Works of Art
Auction date: 2017/12/18
Sale total: RMB 39,261,000
Lots offered: 76
Sold: 29
Unsold: 47
Average price per lot: RMB 1,353,827
Sell-through rate: 38%

(All prices realized have included buyer’s premium unless otherwise specified)