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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Wu

My New Chinese Art Auction Highlights Article in Orientations!

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. We're now well into April of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in Canada, the majority of us are still in self-isolation and/or working from home.

The latest national news states that May 4th is the day things might gradually get back to normal with a limited number of schools and small businesses opening again. Hopefully this situation won't last much longer!

Anyways, my latest report on the international Chinese Art and Paintings auction market just got published! You can find it in the March/April 2020 issue of Orientations Magazine.

1. Cover of the March/April edition of Orientations featuring a detail by revered Chinese Ming Dynasty painter Qiu Ying (c.1494 - c.1552) from his scroll ‘Divinities of the Five-Planets and Twenty-eight Lunar Mansions’ on view at the LA County Museum.

This current issue of Orientations should be available for purchase at most museum bookstores. I realise the majority of museums in North America and Europe are still closed at the moment because of Covid-19, but you can still order individual copies or purchase a subscription through the Orientations website. This current issue features numerous articles on the redesigned galleries Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Founded in 1970 and published six times a year, Orientations is a Hong Kong based international magazine for those with a deep interest in Asian Art - these include collectors, connoisseurs, and those working at museums, galleries and auction houses.

In my article on the Chinese Art market, I go through some of the exciting highlights from the Fall 2019 auction season at Bonhams, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. These include record-breaking sales of Sanyu (1895-1966), imperial glass and porcelain wares, and a potential comeback of lacquer coromandel screens. I have copies of my article available in PDF format for those interested, just feel free to send me an email request!

2. Preview of my Orientations article on pp 130-134 being held down by jade 'paperweights'.

You may have seen some of these highlight pieces I wrote about if you follow the Chinese art market or if you have seen my Instagram posts during the Fall season. Last auction season I was able to make it to most of auction previews in New York, London and Hong Kong!

Here are a few more images of these spectacular artworks in case you missed them!

3. 'Five Nudes' by Chinese/French painter Sanyu selling for the artist's record-breaking price of HKD 303.99 million (approximately CAD 51.6 million or USD 38.8 million) at Christie's Hong Kong '20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale' on 23 November 2019.


Hôtel Drouot, Paris, France, 1966

Yves Bideau, Paris, France

Jean-Claude Riedel, Paris, France

Eric Edwards, Paris, France

Anonymous Sale, Sotheby’s Taipei, 17 October 1993, Lot 18

Yageo Collection, Taiwan

Anon. Sale, Ravenel Hong Kong, 30 May 2011, Lot 19

Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

4. Me examining an exceptional imperial ruby-red ground 'double lotus' falangcai bowl from the Kangxi Period (1662-1722) that sold for HKD 87.2 million (approximately CAD 14.8 million or USD 11.1 million) at Christie's Hong Kong ' A Dream Realised: Kangxi's Ultimate Falangcai Bowl' on 27 November 2019.


Alfred Trapnell (1838-1917)

Mrs Mary Jane Trapnell

Sold at Christie’s London, 16 February 1955, lot 88

Sydney L. Moss, London

R.F.A. Riesco (1877-1964) Collection, no. 388e

Bluett & Son, London

Sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 15 November 1983, lot 277

The Robert Chang Collection, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 2 November 1999, lot 509

The Dr Alice Cheng Collection, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 8 April, 2013, lot 101

5. Detail of the bowl's elegant and finely painted exterior.

6. Detail of the bowl's base and four-character mark 康熙御製 Kangxi yuzhi which translates to 'made by imperial order during the Kangxi period'.

7. A rare blue and white 'palace bowl' with 'Indian lotus' design from the Chenghua Period (1465-1487) that sold for HKD 13.3 million (approximately CAD 2.25 million or USD 1.7 million) at Christie's Hong Kong ' An Important Collection of Chinese Ceramics from a Private Collector' on 27 November 2019.


A private English family collection, formed before the mid-20th century

8. Detail of the bowl's base and six-character mark 大明成化年製 daming Chenghua nianzhi which translates to 'made during the Chengua reign of the Ming Dynasty'.

9. An important and large parcel-gilt silver bowl from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) that sold for USD 3.495 million (approximate CAD ) at Christie's New York 12 September 2019. I wrote a more detailed website blog about this piece back in October titled 'USD 3.5 Million Tang Dynasty Silver Bowl and Other Highlights from September Asia Week New York!'


Dr. Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) Collection, Sweden, before 1953, no. CK117.

Sotheby's London,Masterpieces of Chinese Precious Metalwork. Early Gold and Silver,14 May 2008, lot 54.

10. A large Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali from the 17th Century that sold for HKD 11.34 million (approximately CAD 1.92 million or USD 1.4 million) at Bonhams Hong Kong 'Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on 26 November 2019.


Henry Harrison Getty (1838-1919), by repute

Alice Getty (d.1946), by repute

Courtenay Morgan, Viscount Tredegar (1867-1934), by repute

Evan Morgan, 2nd Viscount Tredegar (1893-1949), by repute

Professor and Mrs Bellerby, by repute

Mark Dineley (1901-1975)

Peter Dineley (1938-2018), and thence by descent

As for me, I'm mostly staying at home these days minus a weekly trip to the grocery store and bank. I won't be traveling early to mid-May at the earliest, so I've been working on a couple of longer term projects as well as catching up on my appraisal work.

That's it for now and if you have any questions or comments, please send me an email.



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