Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations

The British Museum’s Collection Grows with Major Bequest of Chinese Artifacts

The British Museum has recently received one of the largest bequests in its history, which includes a stunning collection of Chinese porcelain and jades. The extraordinary artworks belonged to Sir Joseph Hotung, an art collector, philanthropist, and businessman, who passed away last year.

The bequest contains 15 superb blue-and-white porcelains from the Yuan (1279-1368) and Ming dynasties (1368-1644), 246 jades, and a dry lacquer head of a Bodhisattva. In the coming months, the British Museum will exhibit these pieces, allowing future generations to appreciate their beauty and learn more about China’s extraordinary history.

The British Museum’s trustees’ chair, George Osborne, stated that this gift is one of the most generous they have ever received. Furthermore, the bequest is a testament to Sir Joseph’s love of art, which he believed should be accessible to everyone. The Hotung family is pleased that their father’s collections will now be viewed by millions of people who visit the British Museum each year.

In addition to the bequest, 400 more of Hotung’s personal collections will be sold at auctions in the fall, including a “beautifully and sensitively modeled” seated figure of Avalokiteśvara from the Dali kingdom in south-west China. Sotheby’s will auction it in Hong Kong, with an estimated price of £1.5m-£2m.

The bequest also includes an intricately carved cinnabar lacquer box from the period of Yongle in the 15th century, among the most desirable examples of Ming lacquerware, and a folding horseshoe-back armchair made from huanghuali, a type of rosewood, which is a rare example of a seat of honor for traveling dignitaries in the Ming dynasty. This chair is estimated to sell for up to £1.5m.

Hotung had a great passion for art, which started when he wandered into an oriental gallery in San Francisco and bought two decorative Chinese bowls on a whim. He later became a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and chair of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Sir Joseph believed that collectors had a responsibility to be stewards of priceless works and to care for them with great attention. His family is pleased that their father’s treasures will find new homes where they can continue to be cherished and enjoyed by others.


Chinese Antique Valuations And Appraisals

Do you own a piece of Chinese porcelain or an oriental work of art that you would like to know more about, such as age, history and value?

Then you should really consider using our Chinese Antique Valuation Service as the last thing you want to do is risk under selling the piece due to lack of knowledge or ill gotten advice.