December Newsletter 2019

Dear Friends

Welcome to December and our final newsletter of 2019.

The Asian art period in London and the provinces has now come to a close and with it a mixture of outstanding results throughout the 10 days or so that it ran, as one example a Chinese Tea pot with minor damage sold in the provinces for a figure exceeding 1 million pounds if you include buyer’s premium, with a charity shop find Chinese wall vase reputably bought for £1, selling at an outer London auction house for £380,000 plus premium !!

Back in the rather more realistically priced Japanese art market a lacquer panel by the Imperial artist Shibata Zeshin sold in one of the major London rooms for £300,000, a super quality Komai pagoda was sold for a hammer price of £110,000 plus 30% premium, whilst another less opulent and much smaller Komai pagoda also sold for in excess of £40,000 plus bp, there were many other more modest priced Japanese items sold during the period.

What was evident were firm prices in high quality Metal wares, Iron and damascened works of art particularly by the highly coveted Komai company of Kyoto, there appears to be no shortage of buyers for the finer items in good condition.

It is refreshing to know that we can still source and handle some of the finest Japanese Meiji period works of art by Imperial artists, lacquer wares by Shibata Zeshin, Enamels by Namikawa Yasayuki, Ceramics by Makuzu Kozan and mixed metal wares by Suzuki Chokichi to name a few, and for a fraction of the wildly fluctuating price of goods being sold to other Asian markets, for how much longer it is difficult to say, certainly these items are becoming scarcer and so naturally market forces drive up the cost of the best pieces, but I will certainly continue to enjoy the chase.

We currently have two items in our gallery both fully signed by the Komai company of Kyoto, that in our opinion would have flown away at the major rooms during this Asian art period, it is interesting that some buyers find comfort in paying Major auction house prices plus huge fees, whilst others quietly add to their collections by visiting both traditional bricks and mortar and online gallery’s building relationships with trusted experts who can source the items on their behalf, of course some cover all angles in their quest to find the best.

I am sure that overseas visitors probably enjoy the whole experience of the London visits, social events and possibly culminating in that show off moment waving their paddle in the rooms, auction fever can and has gripped us all many times and if the Gods are smiling you can occasionally pick up a bargain.

These important overseas visitors are most welcome and however they choose to collect and invest in Japanese Meiji period art is just fine for me, and the industry as a whole.

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In this months exclusive members area we feature another item from an Imperial artist, this time Suzuki Chokichi, his art name Kako, the delightful vase has flown direct to us from a USA source.

As an idea for a Christmas gift how about this rather unusual shaped white ground enamel cloisonné vase by the Ando company, just perfect decoration for the festive season don’t you think.

At and indeed any business I have ever been involved in I have never used the word Sale, we do not get wrapped up in marketing gimmicks such as Black Friday, buy one get one free, or January sales that now seem to stretch for 12 months, in my view if anything in any market is reduced it is usually because it was too expensive to start with. We are certainly not immune to market forces or trading conditions, occasionally you may note some price corrections on our older stock to make space and free up finance for the many new arrivals, as has been said many times an item is only worth what a customer is prepared to pay, if we revaluate a price on any given item and a customer then comes into the market for it , as is often the case, then we have achieved our goal.

With all the above said I do feel that loyalty deserves reward and as a special Christmas treat this year we are giving back something other than a thank you to one of our loyal database of clients.

This seasons special Xmas offer will be a 25% loyalty discount voucher code: SSJA 25 (capped at £2,500), and strictly available to the first customer of December to purchase ANY item in our gallery, so if you have been watching something that for whatever reason falls outside of your comfortable budget then now is your opportunity to grab it with both hands, simply e-mail with your chosen item and the above code to qualify.

Please remember this offer is only available to one lucky customer and the outcome will be announced in Januarys newsletter !!

In other exciting news I am rather hoping that as you read this you should be able to click into my new web based business a platform that my colleagues and I have spent the last 11 months developing. A marketplace where Lapada or Bada accredited dealers like myself can host their inventory to a discerning audience, it has been incredibly well received and supported by our peers and we look forward to its organic growth over the next few years .

What is undoubtedly a financial risk in such a difficult market to gain traction, and certainly a labour of love, but an achievement that I am extremely proud of. In years to come I hope it will be the “go to website” for dealers and collectors of all types of antiques, jewellery and fine art.

Let us sign off the year with a good news story that should bring a smile.

Mrs Sly has received her Christmas present early, meet Teddy a 14 week old long haired Chihuahua.

He is a bundle of mischief but such great fun ,Teddy has filled a massive void in my wife’s life in particular and our home life in general, nothing could replace such a devastating loss as Rolo was this year , but Teddy certainly helps ease that pain .

Like the finest Japanese Meiji period works of art, he is for life and not just for Christmas !!

Finally may I take this opportunity to thank you for continuing to follow and support us throughout the year, and to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Best wishes


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