£230,000 For Yongzheng Ming Style Dish

A Yongzheng (1723-35) mark and period 13inch dish just sold at Hansons auction for £230,000.

Bought by businessman Alexander Robertson in the early 20th Century, the plate had been valued at £20,000 on the Antiques Roadshow in the 1990s, but remained on display in an ornamental holder for many years.

A replica of the plate is currently on display in the National Museum of China, which is believed to have driven up the price and led to a record 19 phone lines booked by bidders.

Charles Hanson, of Hansons Auctioneers, said it was “one of the most exciting auctions I have ever had the honour of being involved in”.

“I am absolutely delighted for the family who have allowed us to sell this wonderful object on their behalf, and also for the buyer who secured it.”

The three Derbyshire siblings who auctioned the plate wish to remain anonymous.

In a statement they said they “knew it was valuable” but were “totally stunned and ecstatic” by the interest.

“We just thought it was an ordinary plate given to our granny and passed down to us,” they said.

“This has really come out of the blue – we might have a large fish and chips tonight.”

Academic Notes

Reverse-decorated blue and white dishes dating to the Yongzheng period simulate previous examples from the Ming Dynasty. A Xuande example is in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, published in the Special Exhibition of Ming Xuande Ceramics, Taipei, 1980, no. 82. Another one is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, inventory no. OA1968,4-22.31. Several Yongzheng dishes similar to the current dish are known, including one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, illustrated by S. Valenstein, A Handbook of Chinese Ceramics, New York, 1989, pl. 248; one published by R. Krahl, Chinese Ceramics from the Meiyintang Collection, London, 1994, vol. 2, no. 843, later sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 7 April 2011, lot 75; one previously in the Bulgari Collection in Rome, sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 1 June 2011, lot 3570; and another one sold in Christies London, 14 May 2013, lot 189.

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