Nearly 400 lots of Chinese ceramics and works of art will come under the hammer at Christie’s, Hong Kong on May 30. Highlights include cloisonné enamels, important ceramics, jades and textiles, archaic bronzes and a large group of Ming huanghuali furniture. The Mandel Collection of cloisonné enamel works from mostly Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and the Qianlong period (1736-1795) was assembled by American collectors Dr. Sam and Annette Mandel. A pair of unusually large caparisoned elephants from the Qianlong period (1736-1795), estimated at US$518,000-777,000, is reputed to have been in the collections of Sir Winston Churchill, Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas.
The Yongzheng (1723-1735) and Qianlong periods (1736-1795) were reigns when Imperial interest in the arts pushed technical innovation and creative design to new heights. A rare Yongzheng doucai meiping (doucai is a technique of dovetailing colours, meiping is a plum vase with narrow base, wide body and narrow neck) is estimated at US$1,000,000-1,300,000. It was acquired from Yamanaka & Company, Inc. in 1943 in New York. A rare carved celadon-glazed vase with a Qianlong six-character seal mark has an estimate of US$3,213,000-4,500,000. There is a pair of huanghuali yoke-back armchairs from Ming dynasty (16th/17th century). They are estimated at US$380,000-650,000. Made nearly 500 years ago this pair would have been reserved for the most important guests or members of the household. They are upright. Lower ranking members sat on stools.