All that glitters isn’t gold

Asian Works of Art auction

Thursday 1 February 2018

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A twentieth-century Chinese silver tea caddy (lot 1125) sold for more than double its estimate in February’s Asian Works of Art Auction, with the hammer falling at £1100. The intricately designed caddy is an example of Chinese export silver, a product of a unique period in history. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Chinese silversmiths began manufacturing to appeal to a Western audience before fusing Eastern motifs and Western shapes to create beautifully crafted silver items. Interest continues to grow in this particular kind of silver.  

The sophistication of design helped this tea caddy exceed expectations - the caddy is of ovoid shape (to suit Western buyers) with an Eastern design of embossed birds and insects on blossom branches. The caddy caught many eyes, with a London-based internet bidder being the winner of the lot. 

McTear’s Asian Works of Art Auction features artworks from China, Japan, Korea, India, Persia, Iran and many other artistically rich nations.  From Shang bronzes to Meiji ceramics and woodblock prints to Iznik dishes, Chinese and Japanese objets d’art in particular are more popular than ever at McTear’s, with demand regularly driving prices above estimate. 

McTear’s sells more Asian works of art than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated auctions that take place monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

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