The Far East comes to East Anglia

AN auction will be buzzing with bidders from Beijing when Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers holds a specialist Asian Art sale this month.

A selection of Chinese and Japanese art, ceramics and furniture will be going under the hammer at the Stansted Mountfichet venue on Tuesday (November 15).

The sale – which will be transmitted live on the internet - is expected to attract bidders from across the globe, especially in China, where many of the items on offer originated.

One of the auction highlights is a rare Chinese ‘libation’ cup with exquisite carvings of twisted branches and examples of typical Chinese imagery including scenes of a boat on a river, a bridge, and a fisherman. Made from rhinoceros horn, it is thought to date from the Qing Dynasty and is expected to make between �50,000 and �70,000.

Sworders’ resident Asian Art expert, well-known TV antiques expert David Battie, catalogued all the items for the auction.


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He said: “It’s the intricate carving on this cup that really makes it stand out. Rhinoceros horn is an incredibly valuable product and at the moment its prices are on a par with gold. This is a piece I will watch with interest and expect it to be bought by a Chinese buyer who will want to take it back home.”

Sworders’ managing director Guy Schooling, who has just returned from a business trip to China, said: “This is very exciting auction at a time when antique buying in the Far East has reached record levels.

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“The market in China has never been stronger and the phenomenal demand means that prices are rocketing.

“We’re expecting the saleroom to be full of Chinese dealers and collectors - some in person and many, many more bidding via phone or live weblink.”

The auction will also include one of the most significant private collections of Far Eastern ceramics to go on sale in a generation. The items belonged to 96-year-old Ceylonese collector PH Wikramaratna, who died last year. Whilst some pieces in his collection have already been given to the British Museum and the V&A, over 200 objects will go under the hammer, with guide prices ranging from �30 to �10,000.

Mr Battie said: “I have never seen anything like this collection come up for sale before. It’s prestigious because of its sheer size and variety - the earlier pieces date back as far as 1000 BC.

“Collectors with a passion like this want to see their items enjoyed by others - so what a great opportunity for buyers at the Sworders’ auction to start a collection of their own!”

The sale starts at 10am.

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