Chinese blue and white vase brings $723,254 in UK sale

A UK auction of Asian art was highlighted by a Chinese blue and white porcelain vase on Thursday (May 10), in a sale which was dominated by Chinese blue and white pottery.

Chinese vase from China's Yongle period
Chinese vase from China's Yongle period

The piece originated from the reign of the Yongle Emperor (1402-1424), the third leader of China's Ming Dynasty. It was the Yongle Emperor who relocated China's capital to Beijing and had the famous Forbidden City built there.

A superb example of Chinese pottery from the period, the item featured an intricate decoration of scrolling lotus flowers with crashing waves and a distinctive domed cover.

The stunning vase had interestingly been converted to a lamp prior to the sale and still bore the consequent fittings. Rather than this modification detracting from the value, however, the item rocketed to £450,000 ($723,254).

The vase was joined at auction by another Chinese blue and white item, this time a moonflask from the Yongzheng period (1722-1735).

The moonflask takes its name from its curved shape, which is likened to that of the Moon. Simply decorated with bold lotus flowers, the piece made £30,000 ($48,235), against an estimate of just £4,000-6,000 ($6,431-9,647), displaying an impressive 400% increase.

Moonflasks have proved themselves as superb investment pieces in previous auctions. A similar moonflask was sold in a US auction for $1.55m in May 2011, highlighting the increasing worth of Chinese porcelain in the current market.

A Chinese bowl set a new world record in April by selling for $26.7m, the highest-price ever paid for a piece of Song Dynasty pottery.



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