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Yongzheng period cups may fetch 1.8 million pounds at auction

By Bo Leung in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-07 01:28

Yongzheng period cups may fetch 1.8 million pounds at auction

A fine and exquisite pair of famille-rose cups from Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) will go on auction at Sotheby's London for an estimated 1.8 million pounds. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A pair of cups dating back to the time of Yongzheng, a Chinese emperor from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) who died in 1735, are estimated to fetch around 1.8 million pounds ($2.4million) when they go up for auction at Sotheby's London on Wednesday.

They once belonged to one of the 20th century's most renowned collectors and dealers of Chinese art, Edward T Chow, and have been sold before by Sotheby's, in 1974, 2001, and 2004.

Sotheby's said Chow's expert knowledge of Chinese arts, his high esthetic standards and his relentless demand for quality made him one of the favorite addresses for major collectors, including King Gustav of Sweden and Barbara Hutton.

Chow began his study and collection of Chinese art in Shanghai at an early age, before moving to Hong Kong in the late 1940s, and eventually to Switzerland in 1967.

"The cups are absolutely fantastic, beautiful paintings with the typical famille-rose," said Robert Bradlow, head of Chinese works of art at the auction house. "There are no other cups like this known, there is a similar pair in Cologne, but they're not exactly the same and the quality isn't quite like these."

The Edward T Chow collection remains one of the most coveted provenances for a piece of Chinese art, according to the auction house.

Other highlights of the sale include a large 12-panel coromandel screen, with both sides featuring elaborate carvings. While the front depicts 100 birds courting a phoenix, the reverse has a long dedicatory inscription.

"It's very unusual that you get screens over three and a half meters high and often coromandel screens were made for European export, this was actually made for Chinese taste," Bradlow said.

The Qing Dynasty screen dating to 1693 had been in a French noble collection.

A rare white-glazed lotus vase is also expected to cause a stir among bidders. The porcelain vase from the Qianlong period (1736-95) of the Qing Dynasty has a price tag of 600,000 pounds.

And for the first time, Sotheby's will have a St George Street Sale of Chinese art, featuring lower-value items and smaller collections of quality and interest.

Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby's chairman of Asian Art, Europe and Americas, said: "In separating important Chinese art into a stand-alone auction, we have put together a tightly-curated, highly-focused selection of some 120 lots."

The St George Street Sale will be held on Friday.

Yongzheng period cups may fetch 1.8 million pounds at auction

A large and important 12-panel coromandel lacquer screen from the Qing Dynasty screen dating to 1693 is expected to sell for 200,000 pounds at Sotheby's Important Chinese Art sale. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]


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