Saturday, 16 December 2017

Featured vases, teapots, flowerpot, and tea-set at Naik Antiques and Oriental Gifts from Dec 2017 - Jan 2018.

Dear readers,

Below are our featured items for Dec 2017 - Jan 2018. Please free to visit us if you happen to be in or around the neighbourhood:)

Address: 111M, Jln SS22/37, Damansara Utama, Selangor, Malaysia

For further inquiries, please email us at or

A Pair of Fine Hand-painted Falangcai Vases With Birds On Trees For Sale

A pair of fine hand-painted falangcai vases with birds on trees.
Height: 23cm
Yongzheng mark

Price is available upon request. Interested parties can contact May at +6018 3867939 or email us at or

Saturday, 9 December 2017

$450 million Leonardo Painting Heading to New Louvre Museum

A Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that sold in New York for a record $450 million (380 million euros) is heading to a museum in the United Arab Emirates.
The newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi made the announcement Wednesday.
The 500-year-old painting is called "Salvator Mundi," Latin for "Savior of the World." It's one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance master known to exist and the only one in private hands. Christie's auction house sold it to an anonymous buyer last month.
The New York Times reports according to documents it reviewed the mystery buyer was a little-known Saudi prince. Christie's says it doesn't comment on the identities of buyers or sellers without their permission.
The highest known sale price for any artwork had been $300 million (253 million euros), for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange."

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Chinese Ceramics: From the Neolithic to the Qing Dynasty, 2003

Dear readers,

I thought you might enjoy the extensive 'tour' of Chinese ceramics in the link (at the bottom of the page) for a few reasons:

  1.  It talks about ceramics from the Neolithic period - Qing dynasty..
  2. It covers various museums throughout China.
  3. The 'tour guide' is a curator from the Shanghai museum. 


May Naik

Friday, 17 November 2017

Why Are Critics Calling the $450 Million Painting Fake? by James Tarmy

Even before Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi went to auction last night at Christie’s in New York, naysayers from around the art world were savaging its authenticity. Various advisors were muttering darkly, both online and in the auction previews, and one day before the sale New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz wrote that though he’s “no art historian or any kind of expert in old masters,” just “one look at this painting tells me it’s no Leonardo.”
And that was before the painting obliterated every previous auction record, selling, with premium, for $450 million. 

Shortly after the gavel came down on Wednesday evening, the New York Times published a piece by the critic Jason Farago where, after also noting that he’s “not the man to affirm or reject its attribution,” declared that the painting is “a proficient but not especially distinguished religious picture from turn-of-the-16th-century Lombardy, put through a wringer of restorations.”

Had the buyer of the most expensive painting in the world just purchased a piece of junk?
All of the most relevant people believe it’s by Leonardo, so the rather extensive criticism that goes ‘I don’t know anything about old masters, but I don’t think it’s by Leonardo’ shouldn’t ever have gone to print,” says the British old masters dealer Charles Beddington. “Yes, it’s a picture that needed to be extensively restored. But the fact that it’s unanimously accepted as a Leonardo shows it’s in good enough condition that there weren’t questions of authenticity.”
After speaking to multiple prominent old masters dealers— a group not exactly known for holding its tongue— the real issue regarding the Leonardo’s validity seems to be a question of education: “All old masters have had work done to them,” says the dealer Rafael Valls, whose London gallery is directly across from Christie’s.
“They’ve all been scrubbed and cleaned, but when you think about a particular painting and say, ‘oh it’s by Titian, but a quarter of it was recreated by other restorers,’ it still is what it is.”

Those in the art world who dismiss its authenticity, dealers say, are simply transferring criteria used to judge contemporary art onto old masters—the equivalent of comparing the specs of a new Honda against a Ferrari from 1965. They’re both cars, but that’s where the similarities end.

“To a certain extent you have to put condition aside,” says the dealer Johnny van Haeften. “Of course it’s not perfect, and of course it’s not mint. But can you get another one?”

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Bowl Sells for Chinese Porcelain Record $37.7 million: Sotheby´s

A 1,000-year-old bowl from China's Song Dynasty sold at auction for $37.7 million on Tuesday, breaking the record for Chinese porcelain, auction house Sotheby´s said.
The small piece -- which dates from 960-1127 -- broke the previous record of $36.05 million set in 2014 for a Ming Dynasty wine cup which was sold to a Shanghai tycoon.
Bidding started at around $10.2 million and the auction lasted for 20 minutes before the winning offer came from a phone bidder.
The bowl -- originally designed to wash brushes -- is an example of extremely rare Chinese porcelain from the imperial court of the Northern Song Dynasty and one of only four pieces in private hands, according to Sotheby's.
Measuring 13cm in diameter, the dish features a luminous blue glaze.
The sale broke the "world auction record for any Chinese ceramics", the auction house announced after the bidding.
It exceeded an earlier record made by a tiny white porcelain cup, decorated with a colour painting of a rooster and a hen tending to their chicks, created during the reign of the Chenghua Emperor between 1465 and 1487.

The cup sold in 2014 to taxi-driver-turned-financier Liu Yiqian, one of China's wealthiest people and among a new class of Chinese super-rich scouring the globe for artwork.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Hong Kong’s Subdued Spring Auction Sales: Too Few Good Lots or Too Many Auction Houses? By Enid Tsui

China’s ultra-rich are still buying luxury homes in Hong Kong and the Hang Seng index is up 16 per cent so far this year. So why is the local auctions market so subdued?

The second round of spring auctions was held over the last week of May and almost all the major auction houses reported flat or lower results compared with last year’s – just as Sotheby’s and Poly Auction reported lacklustre sales in April when they had their spring sales.

On May 31, a celadon-glazed “double dragon” amphora from the Qing dynasty reign of Emperor Yongzheng was sold for HK$140.5 million, becoming the most expensive monochrome Chinese porcelain sold in auctions.

Christie’s also sold Zhang Daqian’s Ancient Temples Amidst Clouds (1965) for a whopping HK$102.5 million in a single-lot sale with its own catalogue. But it’s a far cry from the HK$270.7 million that Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian paid for Zhang’s Peach Blossom Spring (1982), another of his splashed-ink landscapes, a year ago.

Beijing’s crackdown on corrupt officials has probably had an impact, for they, or their bribers, definitely bought through auctions. But capital controls should also have made a dent in the luxury property market and other sectors popular with Chinese investors.
“I don’t think they have much of an effect on the sale of high-value lots in auctions,” said William Chak Kin-man, a veteran antiques dealer based in Hollywood Road. “The ultra-rich have so many assets outside the country they cannot be affected. I think it’s because there are too many mediocre lots in the sales. When something really good appears on the market, people are happy to pay for it.”
Guillaume Cerutti, new chief executive officer at Christie’s, told the Post that he expected the situation to improve this year.
Bonhams, which has become more low-profile these days, saw quite lively bidding at its recent sales of Chinese paintings and works of art, he said.
“The real problem for auction houses is competition,” Chak said. “Thirty auction houses were active during so-called Asia Week in Hong Kong this month. Last year, it was 20. The market is being stretched thinner. I think collectors will appreciate having more time to look around and not feel quite so pressurised.”

To view the full article, please go to:

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Our Featured Items for Oct - Nov 2017

Dear readers,

Below are our featured items for Oct - Nov 2017. Please feel free to drop by if you happen to be in the area.

Venue: Naik Antiques and Oriental Gifts

Address: 111M, Jln SS21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling                   Jaya, Selangor

For further inquiries, please feel free to contact May at 018 3867939.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Chinese Ru-ware Bowl Sets $38m Auction Record in Hong Kong

A 1,000-year-old bowl from China's Song Dynasty has sold at auction in Hong Kong for almost US$38m (£28m) - a record for Chinese porcelain.
Sotheby's, the auction house, said the rare Ru-ware brush-washer sold after 20 minutes of tense bidding from a handful of phone bidders, and one in the room.
The little piece measures 13cm (5in) across and is glazed in a blue-green colour.
The bowl's buyer has chosen to remain anonymous.
Bidding began at around $10.2m, and the winning offer - from a phone bidder - was greeted with a round of applause.
Sotheby's head of Chinese Art, Nicolas Chow, called the dish "extraordinarily rare".
"We didn't expect quite that price but we knew there was going to be a fight," he said. "Every time there is a piece of Ru-ware, which is an extremely unusual occurrence, there's always a battle, because it is the most talked about, the most celebrated of all wares in the history of Chinese ceramics.
"Most forged as well - I mean, I receive almost on a daily basis emails saying: 'Oh, I've got a piece of Ru-ware, etc.' But actually there are only four pieces of heirloom Ru-ware [that] exist in private hands."
The bowl's sale trumped the previous $36m record set in 2014 by a Ming Dynasty wine cup, which was bought by financier Liu Yiqian.
Mr Liu, a one-time taxi driver, is one of China's wealthiest men - and its most high-profile art collector.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Hidden Treasures: Why Chinese Ceramics Sell for Millions By Georgia McCafferty

Stories of "undiscovered" Chinese ceramics that sell for spectacular prices at auction inspire some to hunt through their attics for potential hidden treasure. Occasional finds such as a Chinese "Ding" bowl that was purchased for $3 at a yard sale and subsequently sold at a 2013 New York auction for $2.2 million help keep local flea markets busy. But discoveries like these are the exception rather than the rule, according to Nicolas Chow, chairman of Chinese works of art at Sotheby's Asia.

CNN spoke with Chow to find out what makes Chinese ceramics so special, what to look for when appraising a piece and how to avoid getting duped.

1. CNN: What makes one piece of Chinese porcelain more valuable than another?
NC: There are a few fundamental tenants when you look at an object. These are rarity, quality, beauty, condition and provenance. You could also add historical value.

2. CNN: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about becoming a collector of fine Chinese ceramics?
NC: Firstly start on the right track. Develop your interest through museum visits, and then come to auction previews. Not necessarily to buy the first time but they are an open space, a transparent platform. You can look, touch, you can get a feel for what these objects should look and feel like without having to buy anything.
And I would say give yourself at least one or two seasons to get familiar and really find what it is you are particularly interested in, because Chinese ceramics is a vast subject. Then do price research to get a sense of where the market sits.

3. CNN: You mentioned that rising prices have resulted in an increasing number of sophisticated fakes in the collecting market. Have you met many people who have a collection they believe is real but has turned out to be fake?
NC: This is the story of my life basically (laughs). My real fear for anyone starting to collect is getting on the wrong track, because once you're there it's hard to extract yourself and I meet people who have spent a lifetime buying fakes.
It can sound quite scary for anyone wanting to buy Chinese porcelain but the truth is, there wouldn't be so much money in our field if there was not such great consensus between auction house specialists, art dealers and museum curators as to what is genuine and what is fake. That's why I recommend starting in a transparent environment.
The fake industry is sophisticated, but rarely do these two paths cross.

4. CNN: How have the 'fakers' gotten so sophisticated?
NC: Before the imperial kiln site in Jingdezhen had been excavated in the mid 1990s, fakers couldn't work with the real thing and so they couldn't feel or tell how it felt. But since the kilns have been properly excavated, there are so many shards there, the fakers can get a hold of this material and get a sense of how an eighteenth century or fifteenth century body should feel. So since then there's been a huge leap in faking the clay and the body of these porcelains.

5. CNN: How can you assess whether a piece of porcelain is real or fake?
NC: It's complex, but it's like when you see your mother. What makes her is the voice, the demeanor, the physical appearance, the smell, it's all these elements together, so it's the same with an object.
What makes a fine piece of Chinese porcelain is the weight, the tactile feel of the glaze and the body on the base, how the mark is inscribed on the base. It's how the design is painted, the enamel used for that design, how does it shine, and how do the colors appear.

The full interview is available at:

Saturday, 2 September 2017

With an Eye to National Identity, Beijing vows to Stem Loss of Cultural Treasures by Jun Mai

Beijing has pledged to take greater steps to protect its wealth of cultural artefacts, in part by meting out stricter punishment for the theft or destruction of relics.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage will also set up two offices to oversee the movement of antiques across borders in the country’s free-trade zones and bonded areas, according to the organisation’s annual working plan released last week.
Under the working plan, the administration intends to better protect relics against fire, theft and destruction. It calls for stricter punishment for crimes involving relics although details were not given.
During the first half of the 20th century, the mainland saw a flood of antiques out of the country, some looted by foreign troops. Beijing’s official narrative views the loss as a humiliation by Western powers.
In one notable case in 2013, two bronze statues originally from the Summer Palace and dating to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) were returned to Beijing by a French collector. They were among the 12 animal head statutes looted by Anglo-French forces, which raided and burned the palace in 1860 during the Opium war.
Last year, Beijing banned the auction of looted antiques in its latest regulation on cultural relic auctions. According to the United Nations cultural organisation Unesco, about 1.67 million Chinese relics are housed in more than 200 museums across 47 countries.
The Chinese Cultural Relics Society said the mainland had lost more than 10 million antiques since 1840 due to wartime looting and illegal excavations. But Beijing also faces a serious problems of looting at home.
Experts believe the growing tide of wealth on the mainland has given rise to a lucrative black market trade in antiquities as collectors compete to acquire prized artefacts without considering their origin. Archaeologists have also complained about the destructive impact of aggressive tomb raiders who care little about using explosives to get access to treasures.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Featured Zisha Teapots at Naik Antiques and Oriental Gifts for Aug - Sept 2017

Dear readers,

Please feel free to drop by and have a look at our featured Zisha teapots for Aug - Sept 2017:)

Venue: Naik Antiques & Oriental Gifts

Add: 111M, Jln SS 21/37, Damansara Utama (Same row as HSBC), 47400 PJ, Selangor.

For further inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact May at 018 3867939.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Rising China: Why a Chinese Vase Made €740,000 at Auction By Michael Parsons

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Chinese vase sells for record price. ” Heard it before? Well, here we go again.
Last Saturday, a bidding war lasting seven minutes unexpectedly erupted during Sheppard’s auction of Chinese Ceramics, in DurrowCo Laois. Lot 86, an antique blue-and-white “Qing Period” vase measuring just 23cm sold for €740,000 – 740 times its median pre-sale estimate (€800-€1,200) – and a record price for a piece of decorative art at auction in Ireland.
Why was it so valuable?
The vase was catalogued as “Qing Period” – a reference to the imperial Qing dynasty that ruled China from 1636 until 1912. But the bidders believed that the vase had a personal connection to the 18th-century Emperor Qianlong who reigned from 1735-1796 and was a major patron of the arts and a collector of carved jade, bronzes and ceramics. The vase was likely to have been either part of his personal collection or to have been given by him as a gift to, perhaps, a visiting dignitary.
The price beat the previous record – also achieved by Sheppard’s in 2012 when a matchbox-sized, carved Chinese jade seal sold for €630,00. The estimate for the seal had been €4,000-€6,000.
Both are classic examples of auction “sleepers” – the term used to describe items which have been massively, and unintentionally, undervalued but are spotted by at least two bidders who believe the true value to be far, far higher.
Chinese “sleepers” have emerged at Sheppard’s and other Irish and international auction houses during the past decade – and achieved jaw-dropping prices – as a generation of newly-rich Chinese collectors roam the world seeking to buy back items associated with the country’s imperial past.
But a bemused public may wonder why does this keep happening?
Auctioneers say that Chinese ceramics can be very difficult to value with absolute precision even by the most eminent experts. Items continue to slip through the net – to the delight of vendors and, of course, the auctioneers who earn whopping commission on such sales. Of course, it’s not just Chinese antiques that can cause a surprise. For example, at Adam’s auctioneers in Dublin in April this year, a painting of Christ with a top estimate of €800 sold for €120,000. But, in recent years, it is Chinese “sleepers” that have attracted most attention. The first major such sale in Ireland took place also at Sheppard’s in 2010 when another blue-and-white Chinese vase valued at around € 100, and consigned by a Carlow family who thought it was only of ornamental value, was bought by a London dealer for € 110,000. Since then, there have been quite a few spectacular prices achieved at Sheppard’s and other auction houses both here and overseas.
Spotting the imperial pieces among the sea of blue-and-white antique Chinese porcelain has become the stuff of legend in auction rooms worldwide. The market for antique Chinese porcelain is also reputedly full of counterfeits and so buyers and collectors need to exercise extreme caution. If you own a piece of Chinese porcelain and have never had it valued – now might be a good time to visit an auctioneer for a free valuation.

To view the full article, please go to:

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Sotheby's Plunges After Second-Quarter Results Miss Estimates By Katya Kazakina

Sotheby’s plunged the most in nine months after second-quarter earnings missed estimates due to higher expenses.
The New York-based auction house of fine art and collectibles reported a 14 percent decline in profit for the period ended June 30, according to a statement Thursday. Net income slid to $76.9 million from a year earlier even as the company sold the most expensive artwork of 2017 in May -- a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting for $110.5 million.
Chief Executive Officer Tad Smith said on a conference call that the art market “is healthy and efficient but neither frothy nor depressed.” Masterpieces that are fresh to the market result in “eye-popping" prices while lesser works need “realistic” prices to sell.
Like rival Christie’s, Sotheby’s saw an increase in high-priced lots. The number of works priced at more than $1 million rose 5 percent during the first half of the year. The number of buyers and sellers in that price range increased by 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively, he said. Private sales for the first half rose 34 percent to $333.8 million.
Sotheby’s reported adjusted earnings of $1.44 a share, compared to the $1.51 average estimate of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue of $314.9 million slightly missed the estimate even as it increased 5 percent.
Expenses rose almost 20 percent. The company attributed this to the projected payment of target bonuses for employees and investment in areas such as technology, digital marketing and specialist expertise. Also with more higher-priced works in the mix, Sotheby’s auction commission margin was largely flat for the quarter at 16.3 percent.
The shares slid 8.3 percent to $51.15 at 4 p.m. in New York, the biggest decline since November 2016. On July 25, Sotheby’s closed at a record $57.70.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Why Genghis Khan's Tomb Can't Be Found by By Erin Craig

Genghis Khan (known in Mongolia as Chinggis Khaan) once ruled everything between the Pacific Ocean and the Caspian Sea. Upon his death he asked to be buried in secret. A grieving army carried his body home, killing anyone it met to hide the route. When the emperor was finally laid to rest, his soldiers rode 1,000 horses over his grave to destroy any remaining trace.
In the 800 years since Genghis Khan’s death, no-one has found his tomb.

A possible lead in a forbidden location

Folklore holds that Genghis Khan was buried on a peak in the Khentii Mountains called Burkhan Khaldun, roughly 160km north-east of Ulaanbaatar. He had hidden from enemies on that mountain as a young man and pledged to return there in death. Yet there’s dissent among scholars as to precisely where on the mountain he’d be ‒ if at all.

“It is a sacred mountain,” acknowledged Dr Sodnom Tsolmon, professor of history at Ulaanbaatar State University with an expertise in 13th-Century Mongolian history. “It doesn’t mean he’s buried there.”Scholars use historical accounts to puzzle out the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb. Yet the pictures they create are often contradictory. The 1,000 running horses indicate a valley or plain, as at the Xiongnu graveyard. Yet his pledge pins it to a mountain. To complicate matters further, Mongolian ethnologist S Badamkhatan identified five mountains historically called Burkhan Khaldun (though he concluded that the modern Burkhan Khaldun is probably correct).

Honouring a warrior’s final wish

With the tomb seemingly out of reach, why does it remain such a controversial issue in Mongolia?
Genghis Khan is simply Mongolia’s greatest hero. The West recalls only what he conquered, but Mongolians remember what he created. His empire connected East and West, allowing the Silk Road to flourish. His rule enshrined the concepts of diplomatic immunity and religious freedom. He established a reliable postal service and the use of paper money. Genghis Khan didn’t just conquer the world, he civilised it.

The full article is available at the link below:

Saturday, 15 July 2017

China Bans Looted Antiques from Going Under Hammer at Mainland Auction Houses by Nectar Gan

China has banned the auction of antiques looted from the country throughout history in its latest regulation on cultural relic auctions. The document, issued by the State Administration on Cultural Heritage on October 20 and released on its website on Monday, stated that all cultural relics that were stolen, illegally unearthed, smuggled or looted from China would be banned from being auctioned in the country.
It also said the Chinese government had priority in buying precious antiques. According to the regulation, the administration can appoint state-owned relic collection agencies to procure such pieces from their consignors at an agreed price. Those artefacts would no longer be accepted for auction.
The new regulation replaces a temporary rule on the auction of cultural relics that the administration issued in 2003, which banned the auction of antiques “with disputes regarding their right of disposition”.
The new version replaced that clause with much stronger wording that explicitly bans the auction of “historically looted Chinese relics”.
Internet commenters were quick to point out that the regulation applies only to auction houses on mainland China, while most valuable Chinese antiques are sold in overseas markets, such London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, about 1.67 million Chinese relics are housed in more than 200 museums across 47 countries.
The Chinese Cultural Relics Society said China had lost more than 10 million antiques since 1840 due to wartime looting and illegal excavations.
China has in the past resorted to bidding in overseas markets to recover its lost national treasures.
In 2000, the Poly Art Museum, owned by the state-owned Poly Group, won the bidding at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions in Hong Kong for three bronze heads looted from the old Summer Palace in Beijing by British and French troops in 1960.