Ming Xuande-period Islamic porcelain sprinkler set to star in Asian Antiques sale

An impressive selection of Chinese antiques is being put up for auction in a Manhattan gallery space during New York's Asia Week next month by a Californian family auction house. The Important Chinese Ceramics & Asian Works of Art auction also has full internet bidding available.

The 300 lot auction takes place on March 21, in the middle of Asian week (March 16-24). Auction house founder and auctioneer Isadore Chait has been dealing in Asian art for 45 years.

 "What is particularly interesting about the Asian market is the cycle of buying, holding and selling," he commented.

"We've noticed that pieces purchased five to fifteen years ago in Hong Kong or New York auctions are now resurfacing. It has been an ongoing practice for some Chinese art collectors to buy an object, put it in their collection, then 10 or 20 years later, put it up for sale at the same venue and buy something else they like."

Rare 15th century Ming Xuande porcelain sprinkler
Rare 15th century Ming Xuande porcelain sprinkler

But the market is changing, Chait believes, because both new and established museums are pulling in Asian collectibles at a much greater rate, thinning the cycle. "This is one factor that is driving auction prices upward," Chait said.

There are many items in the catalogue likely to attract lively bidding from wealthy collectors. One of these will surely be a marked 15th century Ming Xuande Period Islamic shaped porcelain sprinkler.

At its peak Chinese porcelain often went to leaders and royalty in the Middle East, which affected the style. Anything of this kind from the 15th century is extremely rare - this one comes from a substantial collection.

It is estimated at $250,000-$350,000, but could go for more as a similar example sold for $500,000 two years ago.


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