Imperial Chinese dragon moonflask will auction at Bonhams

A rare imperial Chinese dragon moonflask, which has been hidden for a century, will auction at Bonhams London on November 7.

dragon moonflask
The rare and impressive dragon moonflask

The dragon moonflask is one of a mere five extant examples made for the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) and is duly valued at up to £800,000 ($1.2m) ahead of the sale.

The decorative flask was originally acquired in China by Captain Charles Oswald Liddell (1854-1941), who brought it to the UK.

The moonflask has remained in Liddell's expansive Grade II listed house ever since.

Colin Sheaf, who has headed Bonhams' Chinese art department for more than a decade, says: "The reappearance of this flask, unknown to collectors for nearly a century, is a very exciting event in the world of Chinese art."

In May 2013, a pair of Qianlong moonflasks (pictured) auctioned for £2.3m ($3.6m) in the UK - a 58.5% increase on their £1.5m high estimate.

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