Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations

Rare Qing Jardinière Sells for £97,000, Surpassing Expectations at Sworders’ Auction

Sworders’ auction held in Stansted Mountfitchet on May 19, a remarkable Qing jardinière captured the attention of attendees. This particular jardinière, designed in a unique hexagonal form and adorned with exquisite blue and white patterns, was historically utilized at the Qing court for cultivating flowers and bonsai.

With an impressive diameter of approximately 2 feet (60cm), the jardinière boasts intricate depictions of the Eight Daoist Immortals skillfully painted across its surface. Adding to its authenticity, a Kangxi mark dating back to the years 1662-1720 adorns the rim, suggesting it to be an original piece from that era. Notably, similar examples with the same elegantly scrolling feet can be found within the prestigious collection of the Forbidden City in Beijing, while others feature vibrant wucai colors.

The provenance of this remarkable jardinière traces back to the vendor’s ancestors who served as missionaries in China during the late 19th century. Over time, various items were acquired and brought back to the UK. However, it is also possible that this specific piece was more recently collected by the vendor’s parents, who were associated with Sotheby’s during the 1950s and 60s. Throughout its history, the jardinière has served its intended purpose in the family home, regularly displaying its elegance by nurturing plants within its vessel.

Initially estimated at a modest value of £300-500, the jardinière far exceeded expectations during the auction. A buyer from China, bidding over the phone, secured the prized possession for a staggering £97,000 (plus a 25% premium). The jardinière’s new owner recognized its unique beauty and historical significance, cementing its journey back to its cultural roots.

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