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Chinese Ceramics & Chinese Works of Art

The market for all Chinese art is arguably the strongest it has ever been. Newly wealthy mainland Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong collectors are hungry to acquire art from collections that were collected by westerners in the 17th to 19th Centuries, when France, Britain, Holland, Portugal were trading extensively in the region.

Of most interest is the porcelain produced first in blue and white and later, in colour enamels under imperial patronage and was intended for use in the various palaces in Beijing. Most Chinese art we see at auction tends to be from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), and in addition to export porcelain made for western markets, will include finely carved jade, embroidered silks, lacquerware, metalware, glass, painted scrolls. Porcelain from the Ming (1363-1643) is very rare, but objects like celadon stonewares, bronzes and furniture do appear from time to time. Of course, China has a long art history and it is not uncommon to sell glazed ceramics from the Song (960-1279), and grave wares from the Tang (618-906) and Han (206BC-AD220) dynasties too and not necessarily for very high amounts. A Song jianyao (hare’s fur) bowl can be bought for under £1000. Age therefore is not a guarantee of value. Porcelain made in the following the end of the Qing, the Republic period (1912-1949) is now highly collectible, and pieces painted by certain master artists can fetch hundreds of thousands.

It is obviously important to have Chinese objects appraised correctly so that they can be marketed to their best advantage, and with so many modern fakes flooding the market, seeking specialist advice is doubly important. Our Valuer, Philip Keith spent many years working in the Oriental department of a major international auctioneer, and is happy to look at any Chinese objects, however modest looking, you are considering selling. His record for a local Welsh client is selling an early 18th Century imperial porcelain vase for £1.6 million.

Below is a selection of Chinese objects sold at Rogers Jones & Co in the last two to three years.

South east wales

Philip Keith BSC (Hons)
Asian & Tribal Arts Specialist & Regional Auctioneer & Valuer

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