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Oriental art strikes gold at Cuttlestones’ March 4th Fine Art Sale…

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A selection of highlight lots from the
Friday, 4th March Fine Art Sale

Friday, 4th March saw Oriental art lots soar above their estimated values at Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ Fine Art sale. Consisting of nineteen lots, the section was made up of items submitted by various local vendors and generated interest from far and wide.

Of the collection, lot 193 – a pair of blue and white Oriental hexagonal vases with lids decorated with scenes of figures – achieved the highest price at an impressive £3,200 (est. £300–500). Other highlights included an Oriental porcelain onion shaped vase (lot 184), decorated with flowers to the neck and a coastal scene and figures to the body, which sold for £1500 (est. £150–250). Meanwhile, both lot 181 – a pair of Chinese late 19th century bronze figurative candlesticks (est. £200–300) – and lot 197, a pair of Chinese porcelain tall hat stands (est. £400–600), each achieved £1200.

The prices reflect a real upturn in the market for Oriental art; as Cuttlestones’ MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, explains:

We’re delighted by the prices achieved for Oriental art in our recent sale – it’s always been very much a niche marketplace, but interest seems to be booming with Chinese collectors keen to buy back a piece of their heritage and, as a result, prices are rocketing.

We generated extensive interest from bidders worldwide in these lots, thanks to a combination of extensive marketing and conservative estimates. Many sold to international bidders who had either left commission bids or were bidding live via the phone or internet; which really shows the power of the web. It will be very interesting to see whether this trend continues – especially with speculation that China could overtake the US as the global economic superpower in as little as ten years.

But it wasn’t just Oriental art that proved popular at this sale. Another particularly interesting item was the much-anticipated set of four rare egg cups (lot 225) branded for the famed cruise line ‘The White Star Line’, which counted the ill-fated Titanic among its fleet. Following an active bidding battle between bidders on the phone, online and in the room the hammer fell at £1,800.

Other ‘star lots’ cropped up throughout the silver, jewellery, glass, ceramics, clocks and furniture sections of the sale and included:

Lot 7, a hallmarked Irish silver ladle, Dublin 1785 with maker’s mark ‘W.W’ featuring a bright cut OEP handle leading down to a scalloped bowl, achieved £340.

Lot 51, a pair of Bvlgari 18ct two colour gold clip on earrings, presented in a press button Bvlgari leather pouch, went for £740.

Lot 95, a bohemian clear glass and white overlay glass pedestal vase, cut with alternate panels of flowers and chequered patterning and featuring painted gilt decoration throughout sold for £400.

Lot 114, a rare near-pair of Staffordshire leopard spill vases, standing on all fours on a naturalistic base and having gilt lined decoration, sold at £1,100.

Lot 132, a Staffordshire salt glaze mansion house teapot, with unusual ostrich-style spout together with matched knob to the lid, sold for £780.

Lot 293, a Jaeger-le-Coulture ‘Elysee Atmos’ mantel clock with square dial, Arabic numerals, visible 13 jewel movement and rotating pendulum, housed in a bevelled glass and gilt case, achieved £700.

Lot 351, an 18th Century Italian walnut cassone, having a hinged panelled lid above a heavily carved front panel a carved cartouche and raised on four paw feet, sold for £1,400.

Last, but certainly not least, of the highlight lots was 356; a very unusual, mid-19th century Continental carved wardrobe of huge proportions. Featuring carved panels of medieval scenes of castles and horses flanked by carved figures, the whole assembly raised on a carved plinth and topped with a carved cornice with lion mask heads. The hammer fell on this curious item at £1,100.

A full report on the Friday, 4th March Fine Art sale, including hammer prices, can be found at

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