Shropshire Star

Vase deal tops £21,000 as Shrewsbury auction brings in big sales

A Chinese carved celadon-glazed ruyi vase and cover bearing the Qianlong seal mark stole the headlines at an Asian art auction in Shrewsbury when it sold for £21,000.

Alexander Clement with the Chinese carved celadon glazed Ruyi vase and cover that sold for £21,000.

The top selling lot was entered in Halls Fine Art’s auction by a West Midlands owner who acquired the 26cm high vase the cover from a collector in Hong Kong.

Halls Fine Art’s Asian art specialist Alexander Clement was delighted with the price achieved or the vase and cover which sold to a London bidder who beat rival bids from China.

“The vase was virtually identical to one that sold in Hong Kong in the 1980s,” explained Alexander. “It remains a mystery what happened to the twin, but sadly, despite detailed research, we were unable to make the connection with the vase that we sold."

A Chinese blue and white porcelain snuff bottle bearing the Yongzheng mark which sold for £1,350.

“The main message from this auction is that the Asian art market remains very selective but the right objects are still able to make headline grabbing hammer prices. These objects are still out there waiting to be discovered which is really exciting for us as auctioneers.”

There was also success for the owner of a large collection of Chinese snuff bottles which were sold in 43 lots and made £12,000, including buyer’s premium.

Top sellers in the collection were a group of eight Chinese jade and hardstone snuff bottles from the 19th and 20th centuries, which made £1,400 and a Chinese blue and white porcelain snuff bottle bearing the Yongzheng mark which sold for £1,350.

Some of the Chinese snuff bottles from the collection that sold for £12,000.

“The snuff bottles were collected over a long period by a couple but the husband has now passed away,” explained Alexander. “His widow, who lives on the Mid Wales coast, has kept some of her favourite pieces but decided to part with the rest because they were being kept in boxes. I was delighted with the prices achieved for the snuff bottles, with all but a couple of the lots selling.”

An 18th or early 19th century Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Padmasambhava, one of the founding fathers of Tibetan Buddhism in the eighth century, sold for £4,600.

The 9.5cm high figure was acquired by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Moore Kirkwood (1865-1933) while serving with the Indian Army in Tibet from 1903-04 and inherited by his grandson who lives in Mid Wales.

This Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Padmasambhava sold for £4,600.

“These figures are normally hollow cast and they either have a flat metal plate on the base or are completely open,” explained Alexander. “Those with a plate are filled with prayers and offerings. The one we sold didn’t have a plate but it did have tiny paper scrolls that were rolled up tightly inside, which made it an interesting example.”

A 19th century Chinese blue and white yenyen vase, reputedly purchased at a dispersal sale at Badger Hall, Badger near Bridgnorth in the 1940s, sold for £2,500.

Rebuilt and extended in the 18th century, Badger Hall housed a fine collection of paintings, furniture and works of art owned by the Capel-Cure family until 1937.

The house was eventually sold to a paper company and remained unoccupied until its demolition in 1953. The properties antiques and works of art were sold in dispersal sales between 1945 and 1952.

A Meiji era Japanese lacquer cabinet on an early 20th century stand, which was once owned by Harry Davies Campbell (1863 - 1935), senior manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, found a new home for £1,200.

Beginning his banking career in London in 1882, Campbell worked in Singapore, Manila and Japan. In 1907, he became manager of HSBC in Japan and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun of Japan by the Japanese Government when he left in 1911.

Other leading prices were £3,200 for a pair of large, 19th century Chinese famille rose vases from a West Midlands house clearance, £2,300 for a late 19th century Chinese famille rose vase, £1,850 for a 19th century Chinese bronze censer, £1,800 for a Chinese carved hardwood marriage bed with an enclosed canopy from the late Qing Dynasty and £1,050 for a Chinese copper red bowl with the Qianlong seal mark from a Cheshire vendor.

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