Two Weeks to Go: Highlights of Important Chinese Art at Sotheby’s London

Sotheby’s London unveils the highlights of its Important Chinese Art sale, which will be held on 8th November. The star lot of the sale falls to a pair of “Famille-Rose” “Sanduo” Cups with an inscription from Yongzheng period. Once belonged to the collection of Edward T.Chow, this pair of cups carries the highest estimate at the sale. Following the pair of cups, other premium lots include Chinese art such as ceramics, a lacquer screen and a bronze vase from Qing dynasty.

The focal point of the sale goes to a pair of “Famille-Rose” “Sanduo” Cups, inscribed with a six-character mark from Yongzheng period, Qing dynasty. It is expected to fetch £1.2m-1.8m (US$1.6m-2.4m). This pair of famille-rose cups embodies to perfection the subtlety in the rendering of colour nuances that became possible with the new range of enamels introduced from Europe in the last years of the Kangxi reign (1662-1722). Besides, the cups were delicately painted with the "sanduo" fruits: plump, peach and pomegranate. This pair of cups has great provenance as it once belonged to a renowned art dealer Edward T. Chow and was sold at Sotheby’s for several times.

Carrying the second highest estimate is a ‘lotus’ vase covered in a milky-white glazed, which belonged to a special group of wares known as ‘fang Ding yao’, or ‘in imitation of Ding Ware’. The base was impressed six-character seal mark of Qianlong period, Qing dynasty. The vase was carved in relief with large lotus blooms borne on meandering scrolling stems. It belonged to a prominent collector Robert Chang and went on sale at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. It carries an estimate of £400,000 – 600,000 (US$540,760 – 811,140).

The following one is a copper-red lantern vase painted with five-clawed dragon and phoenix, which represent the Emperor and Empress. The motif is rendered with extremely fine, almost pencilled, lines in underglaze red. The base was impressed six-character seal mark of Qianlong period, Qing dynasty. Coming from European private collection, it carries an estimate of £200,000 – 300,000 (USD$270,380 – 405,570).

The fourth one is a twelve-panel coromandel lacquer screen dated to the Guiyou year of Kangxi period (corresponding to 1693). It was elaborately carved on both sides. The front is a depiction of 'one hundred birds courting the phoenix' while the back is a long dedicatory inscription by the scholar Zheng Zhong to Liu Lang’s mother for her 70th birthday. This lacquer screen with the auspicious design is estimated at £150,000 – 200,000 (US$202,785 – 270, 380).

The last one is an imperial bronze ‘dragon’ vase cast with a pair of confronting sinuous dragons in pursuit of a flaming pearl among swirling clouds. The foot skirted by a ring of plantain leaves above the six-character reign mark from Qianlong period, Qing dynasty.  Such vases would have comprised part of a five-piece altar garniture made for specific temples in the Imperial Palace and were generally commissioned as tribute to the emperor. This one is estimated at £100,000 – 150,000 (US$135,190 – 202,785).


Premium Lots

A Fine and Exquisite Pair of 'Famille-Rose' 'Sanduo' Cups. Yongzheng Marks and Period

Lot no.: 8
Size: 8.7cm

  • Collection of Edward T. Chow
  • Sotheby's London, 9th July 1974, lot 407.
  • Sotheby's Hong Kong, 29th October 2001, lot 595.
  • Sotheby's Hong Kong, 25th April 2004, lot 247.

Estimate: £1,200,000 - 1,800,000 (US$1,600,000 - 2,400,000)

An Important and Rare Relief-carved White-glazed 'Lotus' Vase. Qianlong Seal Mark and Period

Lot no.: 17
Height: 34.2cm

  • Sotheby's London, 10th December 1991, lot 280.
  • Collection of Robert Chang.
  • Christie's Hong Kong, 2nd November 1999, lot 528.

Estimate: £400,000 - 600,000 (US$540,760 – 811,140)

A Copper-red 'Dragon and Phoenix' Lantern Vase. Qianlong Seal Mark and Period.

Lot no.: 4
Height: 25.5cm
Provenance: European private collection, purchased in London between 1950 and 1975, by repute.
Estimate: £200,000 - 300,000 (USD$270,380 – 405,570)

A Large and Important Twelve-Panel Coromandel Lacquer Screen. Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, Dated to the Guiyou Year Corresponding to 1693

Lot no.: 38
Size: 355 x 53.5cm
Provenance: A French noble collection.
Estimate: £150,000 - 200,000 (US$202,785 – 270, 380)

A Rare And Finely Cast Imperial Bronze ‘Dragon’ Vase Qianlong Mark and Period

Lot no.: 46
Height: 45cm
Estimate: £100,000 - 150,000 (US$135,190 – 202,785)


Auction details

Auction house: Sotheby’s London
Sale: Important Chinese Art
Exhibition Times
2017/11/4|12pm - 5pm
2017/11/5|12pm - 5pm
2017/11/6|9am - 4:30pm
2017/11/7|9am - 4:30pm
Auction date: 2017/11/8