June Newsletter

Dear Friends 

Welcome to our June newsletter.

At home in the UK it seems as if summer is on the horizon at long last, it has been a long drawn out winter merging into spring with frosts as late as mid-April not helping the garden and certainly not helping your mental wellbeing. What a difference the sun makes to our lives, just to be walking on the beach early mornings in a tee shirt or to see the industrious birds nesting in the garden certainly brightens up the days, in fact right beside my garden office is the sight and sound of a pair of blue tits franticly flying in and out of the nesting box feeding the chicks, last year four of five safely fledged, lets hope they all survive this season. 

May delivered up Asian art London with multiple auction sales in the city as well as the provinces, as expected Chinese art was the focus of attention with staggering results for items that whilst ordinary to me, were clearly special in the eyes of the Chinese collectors. Understandably anything deemed Imperial made a fortune, one example was a small cloisonne circular lidded box that had apparently cost £19 at Sotheby’s in 1946, now selling for a staggering £230,000 plus 25% premium in a provincial saleroom, not a bad day’s work if you can get it. I believe that the true index linked value for the £19 in 1946 is around £970 in today’s money. Whilst the above example is extreme it further demonstrates what a solid investment well chosen works of art can be, as well as giving you years of pleasure. 

I only hope that eighty years down the line similar stories will be related to some of the stunning Japanese works of art, both Imperial and otherwise, that I have placed into collections around the globe. I can certainly see and feel at first hand the appetite for these wonderful works of art gaining a new generation of wealthy and increasingly knowledgeable collectors across Asia.

Interestingly tea related items are once again capturing the imagination of both Japanese and Chinese collectors, with tea ceremonies being an important cultural part of everyday life in the far east.    

Amongst last month’s sale highlights was this charming silver and enamel tea caddy which is now returning home some 120 years after leaving Japan for the European market.

Our beautiful Satsuma tea bowl (Chawan) that we featured last month from the Channel Islands collection has now found a new home with a discerning collector in the USA.

As is so often the case the sale of a particular type of product prompts another, and so a new home was found for the outstanding Yabu Meizan Satsuma vase that featured in our inaugural 2020 Vision catalogue, once again going to a USA collection.

I maintain Satsuma is one of the hardest mediums to photograph accurately, however great the photography is it simply cannot replicate the hands on experience of studying a fine Satsuma vase, if the painted scenes from pieces of this calibre could be laid flat onto canvas they would command significantly higher prices. I truly believe the very best is seriously undervalued.

For this month’s featured listing I wish to present an outstanding quality and very rare iron okimono of a turtle, on this occasion being ridden by a young boy, the carapace lifts to reveal a silver lined box within. The Japanese armour aficionados in particular, will appreciate the skill of hammering this okimono from a flat sheet of iron, quite simply breath-taking work, a unique totally market fresh rarity from a UK collection.

Please do take a look by clicking the photo link.

Best wishes