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    Saturday, June 10th, 2023
    A plate from the Wedgwood Frog service. UPDATE: THIS MADE 170 AT HAMMER

    Limited edition Wedgwood plates with views commissioned by Catherine the Great are among the lots at the James Adam At Home sale in Dublin on June 14.  Catherine, who reigned as Empress from 1762-1796 after overthrowing her husband, greatly extended the borders of Russia and annexed Crimea (old habits die hard). She corresponded with Voltaire for 15 years and the magnificent Hermitage Museum started out as her personal collection. The Frog dinner and dessert service with 50 settings and 944 pieces was commissioned from Wedgwood and completed in 1774. Most of it is now at The Hermitage. Nine modern limited edition Frog service plates by Wedgwood with six Coalport strawberry plates and six Limoges crescent vegetable dishes form lot 433 at Adams with an estimate of €100-€200.

    They are among lots of interesting pieces at timed online sales at James Adam in Dublin and Sheppards in Durrow next week. Adams will hold back to back online sales with the At Home auction starting to close from 11 am on June 14 with a smaller sale of jewellery and watches closing from 11 am on June 15.  Sheppards will offer the Chinese jade and snuff bottle collection of  the late Dr. Jan Mohamed of Pouldrew House, Co. Waterford on June 15 from 10 am.  The extensive collection from Pouldrew House at Kilmeaden was auctioned over four days early in May.

    George I burr maple desk bookcase UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    More than 500 lots will come up at the At Home sale, which offers a large selection of silver including Irish Georgian pieces and a three piece  tea service by renowned London maker Paul Storr.  Among a number of dinner services are fine examples of Herend porcelain and a Limoges service by Dior based on buldings designed by Palladio.A George I burr maple desk bookcase (€7,000-€10,000) is the top lot in the sale.  Other prime lots of antique furniture include an overmantle mirror (€3,000-€5,000) once in the collection of designer Sybil Connolly, a Georgian revival bottle tray (€600-€800), a walnut and marquetry inlaid table (€800-€1,200) and an early Georgian sideboard (€1,000-€1,500).  Art includes The Slopes of Ben Venue by Alfred de Breanski junior (1,500-€2,000) and Dublin Bay with the ship  Eclipse by Joseph Sempill (€1,200-€1,600). Antique, vintage and designer jewellery and watches come to auction at Adams on the following day.  Highlights include a tutti frutti design gem set and diamond bracelet (€7,000-€8,000), diamond rings, watches, Victorian and early 20th century jewellery and some novelty brooches.

    Chinese green jade scholars stand. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    Novelty in the form of Chinese jade can be found in abundance at Sheppards on Thursday.  The late Dr. Mohamed was a distinguished collector, renowned for his passion for and knowledge about Chinese antiquities.  This is a singular opportunity for collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts to acquire unique and exquisite pieces, a once off offering of a large collection of jade carvings, pendants, puzzle balls, amulets, necklaces, seals, plaques, masques and brush washers.  Colour ranges celadon and spinach jade to white. Most of the 251 lots are estimated at between €50 and €80, with similar estimates on the snuff bottles.  


    Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

    This Qing polychrome dish with poetry inscriptions and the seal mark of Qianlong to the base comes up as lot 36 at Sheppards two day sale of contents from Woodfield House, Broadford, Co. Clare online on August 17-18. More than 900 lots are to be sold in four sessions over two days. The auction will include the entire contents of the house, gardens, stables and outoffices, as well as lots from other clients. There will be viewing at the house in accordance with Covid guidelines from August 14-16. The online sale will take place from Castlecomer and the dish pictured here is estimated at 1,500-2,500. UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,800 AT HAMMER


    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

    The Yamanaka Reticulated Vase – recently discovered in a private Japanese Collection – sold for US$19,009,102  at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong today.  This was almost three times its pre-sale estimate.  Carved and exquisitely painted with four pairs of fish below Rococo-inspired motifs on a yellow sgraffiato ground, the exceptional famille-rose reticulated vase is skilfully modelled with an inner blue-and-white vase. It ranks among the most complex porcelains ever commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736-1795).  It is pair to the Bainbridge vase which made international headlines when it was sold in the UK in 2010.

    An outstanding Falangcai Poppy Bowl sold for US$21,600,158.  Unassuming in its beauty, the bowl is exquisitely enamelled on the exterior with an intricate design of poppies issuing from rockwork, with a butterfly depicted fluttering gracefully overhead, a fourteen-character poem, and the interior with a finger-citron, apple and cherries. The bowl is the only recorded example of this design outside of the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

    (See post on for August 13, 2018)

    The Yamanaka Reticulated Vase

    The Falangcai Poppy Bowl


    Thursday, September 15th, 2016

    The Famille Rose "Hui Mountain Retreat " Teapot and Cover.

    The Famille Rose “Hui Mountain Retreat ” Teapot and Cover.

    A rare Turquoise-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Hui Mountain Retreat’ Teapot and Cover sold for $3,490,000 over a top estimate of $500,000 at Sotheby’s Chinese art sales in New York.  The  Qianlong Seal Mark and Period teapot was chased by multiple clients in the room and on the telephone. Bidding began at $250,000 before quickly jumping to $1 million. This wonderful work of art, one of only two known, is an ode to Emperor Qianlong’s adoration of tea; the front features a figure, possibly the Qianlong Emperor, being served tea while admiring an open handscroll. The reverse is an imperial poem, entitled Jihuiquan peng zhulu ge (Brewing Tea by Hui Swing), written by the Emperor himself following a visit to the Hui Spring during his Southern Inspection Tour.

    This pair of Wucai and Doucai Dragon and Phoenix bowls sold for $874,000 over a top estimate of $80.000.

    This pair of Wucai and Doucai Dragon and Phoenix bowls sold for $874,000 over a top estimate of $80.000.

    Angela McAteer, Head of Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department, New York noted: “The contest amongst more than ten bidders that pushed a 250 year-old teapot to $3.5 million reminded us of auction’s unique magic. The piece, having been enjoyed by an American collector for decades, was just one of a number of works that soared over pre-sale expectations after drawing bidding from determined collectors. As we saw throughout our two days of sales, the Chinese Art market remains robust, with major collectors deeply engaged in owning the finest examples of the country’s artist heritage.”

    Over the course of two days, Sotheby’s New York sales of Chinese Art brought a total of $14,748,350 – well over the $7.4/10.8 million estimate.


    Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

    THE largest seal ever used by Qianlong as Emperor Supreme will lead Sotheby’s Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Autumn Sales 2016 in Hong Kong on October 5.  The Imperial Khotan-green Jade ‘Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao’ Seal is estimated at US10-15 million. On February 9, 1796 the Qianlong Emperor abdicated after 60 years on the throne and thus became Emperor Supreme. This massive jade seal celebrates his long and outstanding reign.  Other highlights include a unique Imperial Inscribed Documentary Cinnabar Laquered Wutong Qin not seen on the open market for over half a century, and an extremely rare pair of Pink-Ground Famille-Rose ‘Trompe L’oeil’ Jars and Covers. The series of six sales will offer close to 300 lots with a total estimate of approximately US$80 million.

    Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, said: “This October we are proud to present a stunning array of material spanning from the dawn of Buddhist art in China in the 4th century to the culmination of material refinement at the Qing dynasty court in the 18th century. The selection includes private collections such as that of the celebrated Japanese connoisseur Sakamoto Gor? and Roger Keverne, one of the doyens of London’s art scene. Two extraordinary historical objects from the Qianlong period anchor the sale, one a superb zither made to his order in 1746, and the other a massive jade seal carved fifty years later marking his rise to the status of Emperor Supreme.”

    A massive Imperial Khotan jade Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao seal, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (US$10-15 million)

    A massive Imperial Khotan jade Taishang Huangdi zhi Bao seal, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (US$10-15 million)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR US$11,728,205

    The Dragon Emperor Seal

    The Dragon Emperor Seal

    An Imperial Inscribed documentary cinnabar lacquered Wuton Wood Qin (US$3.2-3.9 million)

    An Imperial Inscribed documentary cinnabar lacquered Wuton Wood Qin UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR US$7,133,333, a world auction record for a Qing musical instrument (estimate US$3.2-3.9 million)

    An exceptional and massive cabinet with Zitan carved dragon panels (US$3.9-5.2 million)

    An exceptional and massive cabinet with Zitan carved dragon panels (US$3.9-5.2 million)


    Friday, April 29th, 2016

    The large blue and white lotus bouquet dish.

    The large blue and white lotus bouquet dish.

    This large blue and white lotus bouquet dish at Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London on May 11 embodies the creativity of Qing craftsmen.

    They combined contemporary elements with antiquity. The fine porcelain body and smooth glaze is typical of the Qianlong period. The lotus bouquet motif is inspired by the wares of the early Ming Dynasty.

    Dishes painted with a lotus bouquet were first revived under the Yongzheng Emperor who was keen to see historical pieces replicated as a reminder of the nations glorious past. By the Qianlong reign the style of painting of this motif was slightly altered and applied on dishes of various shapes and sizes of which this is the largest known type.  It is estimated at £60,000-80,000.

    The auction will feature jades, early ceramics and Chinese furniture.