Jade seal from Tibetan Buddhist temple sells for �10,000 at Asian Art sale

A TINY jade seal thought to be from a Tibetan Buddhist temple sold for over �10,000 at a specialist Asian Art sale held by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers last week.

The table seal, featuring the figure of a crouching Buddhist lion, stands just 6cm high and is thought to date from the 19th century. It started the auction with a guide price of �1,500 but keen competition meant that it sold to a bidder in Shanghai for �10,600.

The Asian Art sale, which took place on Tuesday (May 15) at Sworders’ auction room in Stansted Mountfitchet, was packed with potential buyers and attracted hundreds of bidders from all over the world, especially from China and the Far East.

In the same auction, an unusual presentation bowl sold for �16,500 - well above its starting guide price of �6,000. This item had been given to the Honourable Edward Osborne, the great uncle of George Osborne, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, in 1913 on his retirement from the wharf and dockside warehousing company, the Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Co Ltd.

The silver bowl which is 15 inches high is considered to be of exceptional quality and is adorned with dragons on the handles and around the base.

Sworders’ managing director and auctioneer, Guy Schooling, said, “The high price of the jade table seal indicates the continuing unpredictability of the Asian market.

“We had more than 2,500 condition reports on items in this recent sale, showing the scale of interest in Asian art work. The impressive pieces in this auction generated a great deal of international interest.”

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He added: “The Asian Art market is still incredibly strong and although the Chinese economy has slowed down, buyers are still willing to spend money on the right pieces. We have also seen a notable strengthening in Japanese works of art. This auction was a great success and there is another Asian Art sale planned for November.”

The next Sworders’ sale – this time featuring silver and jewellery - will be held at the Stansted Mountfitchet auction rooms on Tuesday June 26, 2012 at 10am.