Art is the illusion of spontaneity

The Asian Works of Art Auction on Tuesday 31st May features many highlights of Auction Events Week, in bronze, silver, ivory, ceramic and wood. 

The opening lot of the auction takes the form of a Japanese silver tea service, made up of seven pieces, and showcasing the beauty of silver worked by artisans (lot 261), estimated at £1000-2000. This is closely followed by another Japanese highlight - lot 265, a wood and ivory figure of a priest, an impressive example estimated at £300-500. 

Two unusual lots appear in 266 and 267, Melanesian war clubs, expected to fetch between £500 and £1500 between them. From China comes lot 270, a travelling box inlaid with quartz, jade, ivory and coral, of unusual form and compartments. Chinese silver makes its usually impressive appearance. Lot 272 is an attractive and heavy bowl with floral motifs in relief around the body, typifying the skill of this art form in China. Looking to Japan again, we come to lot 304, an impressive wood box with silver panel featuring three female figures reading. The detail is fine and the quality speaks for itself. Iranian silver is worthy of note now, with four lots (450-453) providing an interesting insight into the craft in this region. The tight and profuse detailing is characteristic and is showcased in these functional works of art. 

Looking to bronze, lot 330 is an interesting lot of objets, and of particular note is the Japanese bronze boy, unsigned but of lovely appeal. Ivory from China, Japan and India features strongly in this auction, in the form of okimono, animals, seal, netsuke and even a spinning wheel! Japanese satsuma, while often not of particularly large value, is continuing to attract interest at the auction with its often exquisite detailing and fine painting. Lot 440 is a typically attractive satsuma bowl and lot 492 a duo of later satsuma vases. 

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