The outstanding highlight of the huge 700-lot Chinese sale at Bonhams was a magnificent turquoise Imperial vase, decorated with chrysanthemums, which sold for £9,001,250, making it the highest priced Asian artwork in London this year. After keen and protracted bidding by three separate phone buyers it was knocked down for £9m to a round of applause from the packed saleroom. Its pre-sale estimate was £5m to £8m.
These results in London’s Asian Art Week, place Bonhams in a unique position in Europe, heading Asian Art sales for all auction houses. Colin Sheaf, Head of Asian Art at Bonhams, said: “This is the latest milestone in Bonhams growing international strength and it occurs in one of the most exciting collecting areas. All things in classic Chinese taste are currently in huge demand and in this week’s sale Bonhams simply had the best material and more of it than anyone else.”
Asaph Hyman, Senior Specialist with Bonhams Chinese Art Dept said: “It has been a very great privilege to have sold such an extraordinary work of art. The interest in Chinese art continues to grow and the number of remarkable objects coming to auction is astonishing. Bonhams will continue its efforts to offer the market the rarest items of Chinese art.”
Other Chinese sale highlights included a blue and white pear shaped vase from the Qianlong period which made £505,250, and a very fine rare enameled nine dragon vase of the Qianlong period at £385,250.