9th May, Christie’s London is going to hold the “Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art” Sale. From bronze of Warring States period to marble lions of Tang dynasty, from silver and gold inlaid belthook of Hang Dynasty to agate scent bottle from Qing dynasty, one would easily be dazzled by all 136 lots. Yet, only one or two lots are worth noting, while the most notable one must be lot 99, a pair of famille rose “butterfly” double-gourd vases.
Each vase is decorated to the bulbous lower section with butterflies of various sizes and colors, flying amidst leafy floral sprays, above a band of pink lotus petals. The shoulder is encircled by a ruyi border and bands of floral sprays, below the upper section which is enameled with further butterflies and flower heads. The vases were collected in the 1930s by an English lady from a noble family, and have passed by descent to the current owner. Until one day, when the specialist at Christie’s arrived.
That specialist was on a perfectly normal valuation visit, when he walked into the drawing room, he saw these vases on the mantelpiece and couldn’t believe his eyes. Senior specialists got together to look at the vases when they arrived in the building, ensured both vases are genuine. The current owner had no idea that she had such amazing pieces in her collection.
The sale is going to start at 10:30am, local time. Yet the lot number of this pair of vases is 99, which mean there are 98 lots before it, hence you should take your time that day, have a good breakfast before heading to King Street, as there is no hurry. On the same day, there is an auction of jewelry and watches at South Kensington, you can also have a visit and take some selfies, as this historical salesroom is to close by the end of 2017.
Auction House: Christie's London
Salesroom: King Street
Sale: Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Sale No.: 13981
Sale Time: 2017/5/9 10:30am
The Only Choice
A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF FAMILLE ROSE ‘BUTTERFLY’ DOUBLE-GOURD VASES, QIANLONG SIX-CHARACTER SEAL MARKS IN UNDERGLAZE BLUE AND OF THE PERIOD (1736-1795)
Lot No.: 99
Provenance: Collected in the 1930s in London by an English lady from a noble family and thence by descent
Estimate on request