Chinese vase valued at £30 sells for £40,000 in UK auction

The three-inch tall blue and white vase bearing a Yongzheng six charachter mark has sold for 40,000 pounds at an auction in Melton Mowbray.

The vase carried an estimate of 30 to 40 pounds as it was cracked and chipped & was part of a tray lot.

Senior auctioneer Simon Shouler said: “The vase was on a small tray of Chinese porcelain and much of it was cracked and chipped.

Read moreChinese vase valued at £30 sells for £40,000 in UK auction

Song Dynasty Ru Brush Washer Sells For $37.7 Million

The dish, which has a diameter of just 13cm and would have been used to clean brushes, has a glowing, intense blue-green glaze and ‘ice crackle’ pattern.

It was offered by Sotheby’s with a guide price of £10 million ($13.24 million), but there was a fierce 20-minute bidding war and the dish eventually sold to an anonymous bidder for £28 million ($37.7 million).

The bowl’s buyer has chosen to remain anonymous.

Bidding began at around $10.2m, and the winning offer – from a phone bidder – was greeted with a round of applause.

Nicolas Chow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, commented: ‘It’s a totally new benchmark for Chinese ceramics and we’ve made history with this piece today,’

Read moreSong Dynasty Ru Brush Washer Sells For $37.7 Million

£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.

Read more£230,000 For Yongzheng Ming Style Dish

Chinese Antique Glossary – M

Ming Dynasty

1368-1644 and comprising:

Hongwu, 1368-1398
Jianwen, 1399-1402
Yongle, 1403-1425
Hongxi, 1425
Xuande, 1426-1435
Zhengtong, 1436-1449
Jingtai, 1450-1456
Tianshun, 1457-1464
Chenghua, 1465-1487
Hongzhi, 1488-1505
Zhengde, 1506-1521
Jiajing, 1522-1566
Longqing, 1567-1572
Wanli, 1573-1619
Taichang, 1620
Tianqi, 1621-1627
Chongzhen, 1628-1644

Read moreChinese Antique Glossary – M

Chinese Antique Glossary – L


Waterproof varnish made by layering numerous coats of the treated sap of a tree indigenous to China and later introduced to Japan. Colors can be combined and layered in relief as well as carved. In Chinese art, lacquer is usually the sap of the qi shu (lacquer tree), rhus verniciflua. The most popular colors are red and black.  The lacquer is applied to a number of different base materials including wood, bamboo, cloth, ceramic and metal.

Read moreChinese Antique Glossary – L

Chinese Antique Glossary – K


This is the name given to white-firing China clay used for making porcelain. The name derives from that of the Gaoling hills, from where the China clay used at the Jingdezhen kilns was obtained.

Kraak porselein

This term is applied to porcelain, mainly decorated in underglaze cobalt blue, which was exported to Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The name derives from the Dutch, and is a reference to the type of cargo ship, carrack, in which these porcelains were transported from Asia by the Portuguese.

Read moreChinese Antique Glossary – K

Chinese Antique Glossary – J


The term ‘jade’ and the Chinese term ‘yu’ have often been used loosely to designate a variety of hardstones. Their use should, however, be limited to jadeite and nephrite. Nephrite belongs to the amphibole group of minerals and is a silicate of calcium and magnesium. Its crystalline structure has the appearance of hair-like fibers felted together to form a closely integrated mass, and it is this which gives it its strength. Nephrite ranks as 6.5 on the Moh scale of hardness. Nephrite has been worked in China since the Neolithic period. Much of the nephrite used in China came from Khotan and Yarkand in Central Asia.

Read moreChinese Antique Glossary – J

Chinese Antique Glossary – H

Han Dynasty

206 BC-AD 220 and comprising Western Han, 206 BC-AD8; Xin, AD 9-23; and Eastern Han, AD 25-220.

Hetaomu (Juglans, walnut)

This softwood was used primarily during the Qing Dynasty in the Shanxi region. While hetaomu encompasses a variety of species, it typically has an open-grain texture, with colors tending towards golden brown to reddish brown. These features make this wood well-suited to furniture construction.

Read moreChinese Antique Glossary – H