The determination of Chinese art collectors to reclaim their heritage led to an incredible sale price being achieved at a Cotswolds antiques auction last week.
A 19th century blue and white hexagonal vase, standing at a metre tall, which carried an auctioneer’s estimate of £1,000 to £1,500, had reached a staggering £35,000 before the hammer fell at Moore Allen & Innocent’s selected antiques sale in Cirencester on Friday.
“It was a good vase, and I thought it might take off,” admitted auctioneer Philip Allwood, “but £35,000 is a smashing price. Predictably, it’s going back to China.”
The vase achieved the highest lot price of the day – and made twice that achieved by the second-highest seller, a pair of 19th century Italian Majolica campana vases and covers in the 17th century manner, which were sold for £18,000
Chinese antiques popped up frequently in the list of top 20 hammer prices. A pair of blue and white baluster shaped vases, dating from the 1800s, achieved £2,100, while an 18th century yellow lacquered and chinoiserie cabinet, decorated with images of oriental buildings, figures, birds and dragonflies, was sold for £2,000.
Antiques from another booming economy – Russia – also achieved strong prices. A set of twelve 84 zolotnick standard silver vodka tots in a black leather Faberge retail case was sold for £2,700.
And a 26cm porcelain figure of a Russian peasant woman in floral dress and blue polka dot head scarf, designed by Natalya Danko and dated 1918-1923, achieved £2,300, while her comrade, a 25cm peasant woman in traditional red dress, made £1,600.
With such an international flavour to the sale, it seemed apt that one of the highest lot prices of the day should be achieved by an unusual pocket globe.
Slightly smaller than a cricket ball, the George III pocket terrestrial globe, by L. Lane, which opened up to reveal a celestial map with signs of the zodiac, achieved £3,600.
The strong performance of the Chinese vase pushed the final tally to a shade under £200,000.