Posted on 3rd December 2015

A trio of tiny Chinese jade carvings, each measuring only a few centimetres high, caused a stir at our recent 175th Anniversary Salewhen they sold for £3,200 – more than twenty times their guide price of £150-£250.  

Sold as a single lot, the three jade pieces comprised of a Chinese openwork plaque, carved as a beast (62mm by 45mm); a Chinese openwork plaque carved to the centre with a bat (55mm by 55mm); and an 80mm-high Chinese figure carved as a Guanyin.

Proving that there is a very strong interest in oriental carvings at the moment, several other Chinese carvings and objects of art also performed well at the sale, which took place on 24 November. 

A particularly good result was achieved by a large, 19th-century Chinese ivory tusk that sold within its estimated range for £9,500. It featured a Tang Dynasty poem by Wang Changlin (698-758), together with elaborate carvings representing scenes from the classical novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It had previously belonged to Hendrik Jans Westers (1873-1941), the former Norwegian Acting Consul to Singapore, and had been passed down through his family. 

Several other Chinese figures and decorative pieces also went way above their price estimates. A 19cm-high seated goddess from the late 19th century/early 20th century sold for £950, far in excess of its price estimate of £150-£250. From the same era, a 33.5cm-high figure of a sleeping beauty went way above its guide price of £150-£250 when it was finally knocked down for £1,000.

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