Rare cast iron monk statue goes up for auction in Essex with guide price of �20,000-�30,000

A RARE figure of a monk made from cast iron and standing two and a half feet high is due to go under the hammer in a specialist Asian Art sale being held by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet next week.

The statue, which has sat in the dining room of a house in Saffron Walden, for the past few years, is thought to date back to the 15th century and is one of only 12 in existence. Another figure from the same series is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The monk which still has some of the original paint on it, is thought to have been part of a series presented to a Buddha as a gift of atonement. It’s been with the current owner for 30 years who bought it because he simply liked the three quarters lifesized figure.

The monk is up for auction next week starting with a guide price of �20,000-�30,000.

The Asian Art sale at Sworders’ auction room is one of the most significant outside of London and attracts bidders from all over the world, especially from China and the Far East. The forthcoming sale of 575 lots has created a lot of interest.

In the same auction, an unusual presentation bowl is being offered for sale with a guide price of �6,000-�8,000. This was 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: “We have some impressive pieces in this auction which have already generated international interest. 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.

Most Read

“There are now more Chinese and Japanese artefacts in the market place than before and we are seeing a greater breadth of items as more come to light.”

• The Sworders’ Asian Art sale will be held at the Stansted Mountfitchet auction rooms on Tuesday May 15, at 10am.