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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Miniatures and mountains top £2.3million sales at Bonhams auction

Bonhams newly designed headquarters and salerooms provided the setting for the two days of Japanese auctions (6th-7th November) which achieved an impressive total of over £2.3million.

Suzannah Yip, director of the Japanese art department said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome our clients from all the over world to our elegant new salerooms which spectacularly enhanced the lots we were offering for sale.”

The auctions included an encyclopedic range of Japanese works of art from the miniature to the magnificent.

The top lot in the sale was Fuji, a unique, large-scale hekiga(wall painting) by one of modern Japan’s greatest ceramic artists, Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959) which sold for £146,500. The dramatic composition, executed by Rosanjin in 1953, depicts a majestic image of Mount Fuji soaring in the distance, glowing from the gold leaf background. The masterpiece was discovered in a rusting tanker in a Portuguese shipyard.

A set of twelve remarkable articulated silver insects by Takase Torakichi (Kozan, 1869-1934) fetched £98,500. A dragon fly, butterfly, beetles, praying mantis, cricket and hornet, each between 5cm-7cm in length, are intricately constructed with realistic with moving leg joints, head, wings and antennae.

Other top lots included an exquisite collection of over 100 decorative hair accessories from the late 19th/early 20th century which achieved £74,500. 72 of the ivory, tortoiseshell, bone, bamboo or lacquer pieces were owned by the famous Japanese artist Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942). The collection comprised 132 kushi (combs), 20 kogai and 17 kanzashi (hair pins), 2 kesujidate (miniature combs) and 6 elegant ornaments for traditional Japanese styling, all embellished with carved designs and presented in a wooden cabinet.