'Bonhams dominated Asian Art Week - and here's how the auctioneer did it'

In the last fortnight, we've seen a Sotheby's sale get described by one expert as "one of the best auctions I've ever seen in my life..."

And, at Bonhams, an Imperial Chinese vase became the $14.3m 'highest priced Asian artwork in London.'

It isn't just art, but also rare jewellery... "Despite the downturn, jewellery sales in Geneva have been brisk," reports the BBC, today.

The BBC's article follows the sale of a rare yellow diamond known as the Sun-Drop. It auctioned yesterday in Geneva for just over $10.9m (£6.8m).

What's the secret behind the remarkable successes enjoyed by these auction firms?

Well, you may be glad to hear that the answer is...

All down to quality

"Bonhams simply had the best material and more of it than anyone else," said Colin Sheaf, Head of Asian Art at Bonhams earlier this week.

In other words, people are hunting out quality items that are not only rare but also boast great provenance and condition.

That's one of the great things about collectibles. I mean, about how many investment niches can you say that quality - rather than mere opportunism or good timing - is a top priority?

Real quality pieces, like the magnificent turquoise Imperial vase pictured below, are what strengthen and drive the worldwide collectibles markets.

Imperial Chinese vase
This vase is now the 'highest priced Asian artwork in London'

The Imperial vase sold for £9,001,250. It is now the highest priced Asian artwork in London this year.

And that's not all... Bonhams, Sotheby's et al's successes are also down to supply and demand...

"All things in classic Chinese taste are currently in huge demand and in this week's sale," said Mr Sheaf.

Because of this, the world's top auction houses are seeking to outdo each other in terms of the sheer breadth and quality of items they offer...

For instance, Bonhams described a recent sale as: "The most important and highest value sale of Japanese art ever held in Europe," in the words of Suzannah Yip, Head of the Japanese Department.

She was referring to Bonhams' recent auction which brought £4.6m, offering the Harriet Szechenyi Collection of Japanese Art.

So how can you benefit from these trends?

Well, my advice to you is, much like the world's top auction houses, you should put quality at the top of your list of priorities when choosing a collectible.

Make sure that you only invest in items of the utmost quality, rarity and provenance.

Ask yourself things like: 'is this piece of the utmost historical significance?' Or, 'Would a museum want to own this piece?' And always get expert advice if you are in any doubt.

Then you too can profit from these tangible collectibles assets, in spite of the worldwide economic recession.

What's more, quality not only refers to the collectibles themselves - but also the deal you get when you buy them.

For instance, at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we are so confident in the quality of our stock items that we offer a unique 120% Guarantee to go with them - you can find out more about it here.

Or, to find out about the different ways in which you can benefit from collectibles, view our special investment pages or contact us at:

+44 (0) 117 933 9500


All the best, until next week




Recent and related articles

  John Snell Chinese Coin Collection to go under the hammer | 6 November 2011

  Chinese carvings and quality art auctions at in Florida | 3 November 2011

  James D Julia interview: 'The greater the offering, the greater the response' | 29 October 2011

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Images: Bonhams

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