Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism – Bajixiang 八吉祥


The ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’ (bajixiang 八吉祥), introduced to China with Tibetan Buddhism during the Yuan dynasty (AD1279-1368), are the wheel of the dharma, conch shell, victory banner, parasol, lotus flower, treasure vase, fish pair and the endless knot. They have been used in decorative arts to bring peace and blessings and stand for the following virtues:

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Cizhou Ware

cizhou-meipingThis bottle is an example of Cizhou ware, a type of ceramic made in the northern part of China during the Song dynasty (960-1279). The term Cizhou encapsulates a range of wares made in several regions of northern China, often consisting of a course stoneware body covered with a white slip (a thin layer of diluted firing clay), and then decorated with a contrasting colour.

Vessels of this shape have traditionally been referred to as meiping, literally ‘prunus vases’. However, some of these ‘prunus vases’ are inscribed with the Chinese words ‘fine wine’.

Cizhou wares were utilitarian at their time of production and were made in relatively large numbers.

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Ming Charger Sells For $1 Million Plus

chinese-chargerA rare Chinese charger plate estimated to be about 600 years old sold for more than $1 million at an auction in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The blue plate with a carved white, three-legged dragon was valued at $700 to $900 by Walker’s Fine Art and Estate Auctions.

“One only has the pleasure to witness something as rare as this, luckily, once in a lifetime,” said Walker’s president Jeffrey Walker. “It resonated with me. Not being a specialist in Chinese porcelain, of course we consulted with other experts and specialists … and the indication in the trade was that it was actually quite a spectacularly rare piece.”

A foreign bidder who flew to Ottawa for the auction and was sitting at the front of the room made the winning bid of $1,025,000. Bidding had started at just $300. His main opponent was someone bidding by phone.

The winner wants to remain anonymous, Walker said.
‘What an exciting moment it was’

“What an exciting moment it was,” Walker said. “… It was silence. You could hear a pin drop.

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Qianlong Canton Boxes Sell For £52,000 In Edinburgh

pair-canton-qianlong-boxesRemember we talked about these boxes yesterday HERE

I made a horrendous mistake today, I really wanted to have a go at this lot and was all set to bid for them online using the live auction service but was blocked from bidding at a certain amount by the live bidding service, i have since just found after calling Lyon & Turnbulls that there is a set limit of £30,000 for online bidders unless you make prior arrangements with the sale room. No doubt we will see this wonderful pair of boxes resurface next year in Christie’s or Sotheby’s.

My Blocked Bids
My Blocked Bids


The Qianlong alms bowl went unsold so i was not alone in my suspicions that the piece was not period. I reckon half the sale went unsold due to high reserves and repro items, however the Jiaqing vase did sell for £34,000 & a large carved Rinho horn did sell for £54,000. Images HERE

WOW! Brings McTear’s To My Eyes

auctioneerStarts: Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at 10:30 AM

Ceramics, metalwork and furniture feature in this auction dedicated to rare and collectable objects from Asia including China, Japan and India.

Meiklewood Gate
31 Meiklewood Road
G51 4EU

I viewed McTear’s Asian art sale on Sunday the 8th, this is the second time I have driven up to their auction room in Glasgow only to find on both occasions a sale  filled with over 90% reproduction Chinese antiques, yet again the lots described in such a way as to guarantee no recourse back to the auction house, in other words you bought it pay for it!

If they at least put some effort into researching & describing the items correctly then fair enough, but with the advent of online bidding and thousands of Chinese buyers looking to repatriate antiques back to China why should they describe the items accurately! WHAT and risk loosing some easy money from the Chinese cash cow – I don’t think so.

magdaI checked McTear’s website and apparently they DO have an Asian art specialist called Magda Ketterer MA Hons, MLitt.

Her Bio: She studied for a degree in History of Art at Glasgow University and went on to complete a Master`s in The History of Collecting and Collections. Magda focuses on Chinese and Japanese works of art, and having spent time living and studying in Tokyo and Paris she has been able to develop her language skills and understanding of these rich artistic heritages.

If she is going to call herself an Asian art specialist should she not at least study the subject and describe the items in her department accordingly.

I am not out to bash auctioneers, the vast majority of them do a great job when putting auctions together and really do make the effort to research items and describe them accordingly, sadly there is also a handful of auctioneers deliberately running their businesses in a way that can only be described as 🙁

What’s the better business model? An ethical auction house that gives the customer a good buying experience & creates repeat custom or an auction house that leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth & wallet? McTear’s already cost me 2 tanks of diesel 🙂

Unless an auction catalouge is correctly described you might as well do this with your money.
Unless an auction catalogue is correctly described you might as well do this with your money. Over 90 % of all Chinese items on sale in the UK are fake, buy from a good reputable dealer or from an honest auction house, remember if an item in a catalogue does not give a date of manufacture then there is no come back, your stuck with it.


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We want to export more than just British antiques to China; we also want to export our exceptional ethics and standards of best practice.


The Association of Accredited Auctioneers (Triple-A) has secured a deal which will see its members hold the first ever auction of Western antiques in Beijing.

Coming after just six months of Triple-A working with UKTI, the auction will be held at Beijing’s International Landmark Hotel in the Chaoyang District on Sunday December 22 and follows on from a hugely successful sale of antiques in Xiamen in April which raised £1.5m.

The news comes as HMRC statistics released this week show a year on year boost in the South East’s exports to China, with exports so far this year already worth £1.2bn, nearly exceeding last year’s overall total of £1.6bn after just three quarters.

The Association was formed in 2012 by 20 of the leading UK auction houses and aims to build relationships with a rapidly growing number of Chinese buyers. It does this by overcoming language barriers, partnering with Chinese firms and opening the way for British antiques exports.

Read moreWe want to export more than just British antiques to China; we also want to export our exceptional ethics and standards of best practice.