Qing Bamboo Brushpot Bought for £700 Makes £58,000 in Dorchester Auction by Roland Arkell (19th Nov 2015)
A Qing bamboo brushpot depicting the goddess Yaochi Jinmu sold for £58,000 at the sale titled ‘In Pursuit of the Scholar’s Spirit’ at Duke’s of Dorchester
The primary draw to the regions – rather than London – during last week’s glut of Asian works of art sales was the auction titled ‘In Pursuit of the Scholar’s Spirit’ conducted by Duke’s of Dorchester.
The opening 159 lots comprised a private collection of Chinese and other East Asian art formed by a member of the Oriental Ceramics Society from the 1950s-90s. Surviving receipts suggested they had been acquired primarily through two London dealers - Spink & Son and later Gerard Hawthorn.
A combination of provenance, modest pricing (and the request for deposits from phone and online bidders) prompted a strong attendance in the room and occasionally feverish bidding.
This 4½in (11cm) high, 18th century bamboo brush pot attracted multiple bidders.
The carving was exceptional and the subject matter highly auspicious, depicting the goddess Yaochi Jinmu, or Queen Mother of the West holding court within her palace on the mythological Mount Kunlun.
An invoice from Spink showed that the price in 1984 had been £700.
At the auction on on November 12, it was hammered down to a Chinese private buyer in the room at £58,000.