Imperial Huanghuali Table With A £1000 Estimate Sells For £278,000 In The UK

A small wooden Chinese altar table that went unnoticed in a family home for many years has sold at auction in the UK for more than 200 times its initial estimates of £1,000.

The table was bought bought by a Chinese mainland buyer in what the auctioneer described as a bidding war.

There was a lot of speculation flying around before the auction about the table with rumors abound that the table was actually an imperial piece made for a Chinese emperor who ruled during the 19th century.

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$41.6 Million – Most Expensive Chinese Porcelain Ever Sold

Genuine Chinese antiques frequently change hands for significant sums, especially imperial porcelain pieces. Collectors often scour trade fairs and private dealerships, hoping to find a new addition to showcase. It’s at auction that the serious business often unfolds, though.

Back in 2017, a collector placed a ceramic Ru Guanyao brush washer for sale by Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Dating back to the Northern Song dynasty (dated 907-1127, for the uninitiated), this lot sold for an eye-watering £27 million. That was a world record for an antique ceramic hailing from China – until now. In June 2021, a lot sold that shattered this record.

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Dowager Cixi Fled The Forbidden City And Threw Huge Amounts Of Antiques And Jewellery Down A Deep Well

In the face of the Western Eight Power Allied forces advancing on Beijing, news spread quickly to the Forbidden city. Dowager Cixi quickly got ready to flee Beijing with the Emperor Guangxu and a group of followers and servants, all in an extreme panic.

The dowager and her entourage disguised themselves as civilians, hoping to go unnoticed as they fled Beijing to head West. The Emperor Guangxu did not want to leave the Forbidden City, he wished to remain dressed in his court clothes and confront the foreigners, this caused a huge conflict with the Dowager, who ultimately pressed him hard enough to leave the forbidden city for his own safety along with the Dowager and her entourage.

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Chinese Antique Auction – Dore And Rees – 27 to 28th Of May 2021

Dore & Rees is delighted to announce their first Asian Art auction, coming up at the end of this month. The sale will feature ceramics, silver, works of art, furniture and more.

Highlight lots include a rare copper red and underglaze blue meiping vase from the Kangxi period, the beauty in its iridescent surface shines, estimate £5,000-10,000. Imperial wares are represented, including a massive blue and white charger, with a striking coiled scaly five claw dragon, writhing amidst clouds. The mark reads ‘made for the Palace of Gathered Elegance’, estimate 5,000-10,000. A rare imitation bronze standing Bodhisattva figure raised on a single lotus throne is an exercise in exquisite decoration in the detail of the draping robes, estimate £5,000-10,000.

Fine examples of cloisonne from China and Japan feature throughout the sale. A cloisonne moonflask is one of the most eye catching pieces from a Private collection of over seventy lots. If small and beautiful is your thing, then there’s an enamel ‘Lotus’ box and cover with brightly coloured turquoise and rose enamel, estimate £1,500-2,500. From Japan, a very fine tea kettle and a vase will be of interest to lovers of intricate details, sold separately, they each carry an estimate of £800 – 1,200.

Head of sale Lee Young comments: “A bumper first Asian Art auction for Dore & Rees will be presented online and in their newly refreshed premises marking a new and exciting chapter for the business.”

The auction will be on view 23 – 26 May at Dore & Rees in Frome.

Dore & Rees
Auction Salerooms
Vicarage Street
Frome BA11 1PU

01373 462 257



Painted in tones of underglaze blue to the interior with a medallion enclosing a coiled scaly five-clawed dragon writhing amidst clouds and fire in pursuit of a flaming pearl, the sides and exterior similarly decorated. 63.5cm diam

NOTE: the Chuxiu Gong zhi seal mark on this charger reads ‘made for the Palace of Gathered Elegance’. Built in the 18th year of Ming Emperor Yongle in 1420, the Palace was residence of concubines during the Ming and Qing Dynasty’s. It was renovated to celebrate Cixi’s 50th birthday in 1884, and it is likely that this group of chargers where made around that time.

PROVENANCE: Prominent Scottish collection £5,000-10,000

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