Estimated at HK$80,000, Chinese Incense Burner from Late Ming Dynasty Sold for HK$3m

A large bronze tripod incense burner, ding, from late Ming dynasty, led Sotheby’s Chinese Art sale in Hong Kong. Estimated at HK$80,000 (US$10,196), the bronze tripod incense burner was sold for HK$3m (US$382,350), 37.5 times its low estimate.

The bronze tripod incense burner was from a distinguished Hong Kong family collection. It is supported on three waisted columnar legs decorated with animal masks and flanges, the deep rounded body decorated with a band of taotie masks and flanges. It fitted with a zitan cover carved in relief with ruyi scrolls.

Ranking in the second place was a brown-splashed figure of a tiger from Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). The 14-cm-long figure depicts the recumbent animal with its head turned backwards, with incised details, covered in a transparent glaze liberally splashed in russet-brown. It was once displayed in the thirty-fifth anniversary exhibition of the Min Chiu Society in Hong Kong. Estimated at HK$40,000 - 60,000 (US$5,098 - 7,647), the figure was sold for HK$1.31m (US$167,278).

A pair of inlaid white jade table screens from late Qing dynasty, estimated at HK$300,000 - 500,000 (US$38,235 - 63,725), was sold for HK$1.25m (US$159,313). It is decorated to one side with the 'Three Friends of Winter' and a bat hovering by, the other side with fruit bearing plants and trees issuing from rockwork with a large butterfly above.

Top five lots

A Large Bronze Tripod Incense Burner, Ding
Late Ming Dynasty

Lot no.: 459
Height: 47cm (incense burner); 70cm (overall)
Property from a distinguished Hong Kong family collection
Estimate: HK$80,000 - 100,000
Price realised: HK$3,000,000

A Brown-splashed Figure of a Tiger
Northern Song Dynasty

Lot no.: 422
Diameter: 14cm
Property from an old Hong Kong collection
Estimate: HK$40,000 - 60,000
Price realised: HK$1,312,500

A Pair of Inlaid White Jade Table Screens
Late Qing Dynasty

Lot no.: 468
Height: 25.6cm (panel)

  • Spink & Son Ltd, London.
  • Property from a private Hong Kong collection

Estimate: HK$300,000 - 500,000
​​​​​​​Price realised: HK$1,250,000

A Pair of Celadon Jade Table Screens on Cloisonne Enamel Stands
Qing Dynasty, 19th Century

Lot no.: 477
Size: 33.7 x 40.9cm

  • Collection of Major and Mrs. David Ogilvy at Witherdon Manor, Devon.
  • Property From a Private European Collection

Estimate: HK$80,000 - 120,000
Price realised: HK$1,225,000

A Yellow and Brown Jade Cup Stand
Song – Ming Dynasty

Lot no.: 596
Diameter: 6cm
Estimate: HK$20,000 - 30,000
Price realised: HK$925,000


Auction summary

Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong|
Sale: Chinese Art
Auction date:
2018/5/31 (lot 301-486)
2018/6/1 (lot 487-709)
Lots offered: 404
Sold: 312
Unsold: 92
Sold by lot: 77%
Sale total: HK$42,048,750