Christie’s Delivers Strong Performance in Qing Monochromes with 100% Sold by Lot and Value

On the last day of its Autumn Sales in Hong Kong, Christie’s delivered an outstanding performance in the Chinese Archaic Jades Sale in the morning. It ended the season on a strong note with another notable sale in the afternoon, Imperial Qing Monochromes from The J. M. Hu Collection, achieving 100 percent sold by lot and value.

J.M. Hu (on the right), a revered collector of Chinese Ceramics

Christie’s presented eight lots for the sale, which were all ceramics from the imperial kilns in Qing dynasty. Sharing the same impeccable provenance, these treasures belonged to J. M. Hu, the master of the Zande Lou (the Studio of Temporary Enjoyment). J. M. Hu was a renowned art collector best known for his collection of Chinese ceramics, especially those from the imperial kilns in Ming and Qing dynasties.

The leading lot of the sale was a Peacock-feather Glazed Garlic-head Vase, estimated at HK$6.5m-7.5m (US$836,672 – 965,390). Incised four-character seal mark and of the Yongzheng period (1723-1735), the vase is covered overall with a thick bright turquoise glazed suffused with marbled mottling of deep red and violet tone. The peacock-feather glaze appears to be closely related to the more common robin’s-egg glaze, but the former is much rarer, possibly due to the difficulty in successfully achieving its desired effect. 

The bidding of this vase started at a conservative price HK$3m and rose to HK$8m in the blink of an eye. When the price reached HK$8m, there were mainly two active bidders – one was a bidder in the room and another telephone bidder represented by Sherese Tong (Specialist in Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art). The vase was hammered down at HK$10.5m and sold for HK$12.7m (US$1.63m) to the bidder in the room.

Another top lot was a 22.2cm-tall Guan-type Glazed Pear-shaped Vase with a Qianlong six-character seal mark of the Period (1736-1795), estimated at HK$2m-3m (US$257,437 - 386,156). The Emperors Yongzheng and Qianlong were keen antiquarians who collected and studied material from earlier dynasties. Deliberate copies of Song crackled glazes were therefore developed at the Qing imperial kilns in response to the emperors’ admiration for these early wares.

There are a number of glazes in imitation of Song wares, including ‘moon-white, pale green and deep green, with or without a crackle pattern.

The vase was offered an opening bid at HK$1m and soared to HK$5m in no time. It was hammered down at HK$6.5m and sold for HK$7.9m (US$1.01m) to the client of Rebecca Wei (President of Christie's Asia).

A Guan-type Glazed Vase from the Qianlong period, also a highlight from the sale, was estimated at HK$1.6m-2.4m. The vase is potted with a compressed globular body above a short splayed foot and below a long slender neck rising to a slightly flared mouth, covered overall with a crackled glaze of greyish-green tone. The foot is applied with a brown dressing.

The bidding of the vase started at HK$1m and ended at a hammer price HK$4m. The vase was sold for HK$4.9m (US$630,000) with buyer’s premium.


Lots offered at the sale (sorted by prices realized)

A Fine and Very Rare Peacock-feather Glazed Garlic-head Vase
Yongzheng Incised Four-character Seal Mark and of the Period (1723-1735)

Lot: 2856
Height: 26.5 cm
Estimate: HK$6,500,000 - 7,500,000 (US$836,672 - 965,390)
Hammer price: HK$10,500,000
Price realized: HK$12,700,000 (US$1,634,000)

A Rare Guan-type Glazed Pear-shaped Vase
Qianlong Six-character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot: 2852
Height: 22.2 cm
Estimate: HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 (US$257,437 - 386,156)
Hammer price: HK$6,500,000
Price realized: HK$7,900,000 (US$1,01,000)

A Fine Guan-type Glazed Vase
Qianlong Six-character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot no.: 2855
Height: 20 cm
Estimate: HK$1,600,000 - 2,400,000 (US$205,950 - 308,925)
Hammer price: HK$4,000,000
Price realized: HK$4,900,000 (US$630,000)

A Fine and Rare Guan-type Glazed Gu-shaped Vase
Qianlong Six-character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot: 2853
Height: 20.1 cm
Estimate: HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 (US$257,437 - 386,156)
Hammer price: HK$3,200,000
Price realized: HK$3,940,000 (US$507,000)

A Very Rare Ru-type Glazed Gu-shaped Vase
Qianlong Six-character Seal Mark in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot: 2854
Height: 20.6 cm
Estimate: HK$2,400,000 - 3,200,000 (US$308,925 - 411,900)
Hammer price: HK$2,800,000
Price realized: HK$3,460,000 (US$445,000)

A Fine and Rare White-glazed Anhua-decorated ‘kui Dragon’ Vase
Yongzheng Six-character Mark in Underglaze Blue Within a Double Circle and of the Period (1723-1735)

Lot no.: 2857
Height: 12.3 cm
Estimate: HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 (US$102,975 - 154,462)
Hammer price: HK$1,700,000
Price realized: HK$2,125,000 (US$273,000)

A Fine Pair of Guan-type Glazed Octagonal Vases
Qianlong Six-character Seal Marks in Underglaze Blue and of the Period (1736-1795)

Lot no.: 2851
Height: 14.3 cm
Estimate: HK$1,000,000 - 1,500,000 (US$128,719 - 193,078)
Hammer price: HK$1,300,000
Price realized: HK$1,625,000 (US$209,000)

A Fine and Rare White-glazed Rectangular Handled Vase
Yongzheng Period (1723-1735)

Lot no.: 2858
Diameter: 11 cm
Estimate: HK$320,000 - 480,000 (US$41,190 - 61,785)
Hammer price:HK$1,200,000
Price realized: HK$1,500,000 (US$193,000)


Auction Summary

Auction house: Christie’s Hong Kong
Sale: Imperial Qing Monochromes from The J. M. Hu Collection
Auction date: 2017/11/29
Sale total: HK$38,150,000 (US
No. of lot: 8
Sold: 8
Sell-through rate: 100%
Average price per lot: HK$4,768,750