A 14th Century Cinnabar Lacquer Bowl – Estimate £80,000-120,000 at Bonhams.
As more Chinese art finds its way back to China, the more tempting it is to sell on your doorstep in Hong Kong. For the first time this year, Christie’s will no longer hold Asian art auctions in the UK (it continues to source material here for sale in Paris, New York and Hong Kong).
The London market, once the center of the Asian art trade and still home to some of the most knowledgeable dealers in the field, has undoubtedly weakened as a result.
However, it would be wrong to talk too much about the decline. Sotheby’s will hold at least two Chinese Bond Street auctions this year in May and November, and this spring Bonhams will include the London market with four auctions (the three mentioned here, plus an online sale of the Moeskops collection of snuff bottles in June).
As always, there is a lot going on in the regions. If you’re traveling outside of Mayfair and St James there are a variety of special offers and – in this season’s harvest – a healthy selection of well-established pieces of obvious quality and some notable discoveries.
A selection of highlights appears in this issue.