Scotland/China news

Private view of Asian Art at Bonhams

by Website Editor, 27 March 2012

On 20 March 2012, around 40 SCA members and friends attended a Private View ahead of the recent Asian Art auction at Bonhams in Edinburgh.

The evening was an opportunity to learn about the Asian art market, handle the lots, and meet the auction house experts. A varied collection of porcelain, jades, ivories, paintings and furniture from China and Japan was on display. Ian Glennie, Head of the Asian Art Department, and his colleague Asha Edwards gave a series of "table-talks" on selected highlights, as guests enjoyed refreshments provided by caterers Ginger Snap.

The photos show our members enjoying the event ; Ian Glennie of Bonhams discussing several key objects ; and Asha Edwards of Bonhams describing a collection of blue and white bowls from the salvaged Nanking Cargo, from a vessel which sank in the South China Sea in 1751 (lot 224).

Notable Chinese lots included an enamelled white metal (Chinese silver) tea service (lot 160), estimated at £1,500-2,000, but which went under the hammer for a staggering £35,000 after intense interest from both China and Europe. Another significant success was a famille rose Straits porcelain tray (lot 259), estimated at £80-100, that sold for £980 – there is apparently new interest in returning such items to Singapore and Malaysia where they were originally made.

There was also an excellent collection of armorial and export porcelain, featuring coats of arms of a number of leading Scottish families, which sold particularly well despite limited recent interest in this area of collecting (lots 295-334). Finally, an attractive 19th century hardwood three fold dressing screen, estimated at £300-500, made a very creditable £3,200 (lot 411).

For more details of the auction and the lots, see this page on the Bonhams website.

After the auction, Mr Glennie told us “we were delighted with the successful outcome of this second Asian Art sale at Bonhams in Edinburgh, and look forward to helping local owners sell some of the very interesting Chinese items that we know exist in Scotland”.

For a report of our later visits to Bonhams, see here for 2013 and here for 2015.