A Rare and Exceptional Piece of Imperial Cloisonné Highlights Roseberys London Asian Art Auction

London – Roseberys 9-10 December sale of Fine Art will showcase some of the most exceptional pieces of Asian Art ever to be offered for sale by the auction house, and will include what is believed to be an excessively rare 18th century Imperial cloisonné enamel hat box.

Roseberys London Lot 1578 - An 18th Century Chinese Cloisonné Hat Box

Roseberys London Lot 1578 – An 18th Century Chinese Cloisonné Hat Box

From a Dorset manor house, the item has been in a family with strong diplomatic connections since the 1920s. The box was originally made during the 18th century, known as being the most prolific period for cloisonné production in China. Crafted through a process of firing glass to create vitreous enamel which is placed within a wire framework, the object is then fired again in a kiln to produce the finished cloisonné piece.

This opulent example is decorated with a central flower enclosed within bands of stylised scrolling foliage, bats and clouds. As with many other examples of Chinese artwork from the period bats are included to symbolise happiness, joy and good fortune, and the clouds are an auspicious symbol meaning longevity in good fortune. The wooden frame for the box is thought to be constructed from zitan, an extremely rare red sandalwood derived from a slow growing tree which makes it a sought after commodity for furniture.

A highly sought after piece, this stunning box carries an estimate of £15,000 – 20,000. [Lot 1578]

From the same private UK collection is an equally rare Chinese red cinnabar lacquer quatrefoil music box and cover, from the same private UK collection, and also from the 18th century. The common ore of mercury, Cinnabar is most popularly known for its use in Chinese lacquerware, the process of carving art from layered lacquer. Made popular during the Song Dynasty, it was used widely throughout Asian countries including Japan and Korea.

The lacquer is produced from the resin of the rhus verniciflua trees found in southern China. Recognised by its striking red colour, which intensifies during the layering process, this deeply carved box is decorated with figures in a landscape and animals including deer and herons. Inside is a gold four character Chinese mark which translates to “Precious Music Box”. A rare and interesting piece the box is estimated to sell for £10,000 – 15,000. [Lot 1577]

From a private London collection, a large scale Ming Dynasty archaistic ritual vessel has remained unseen for the past 100 years. Originally created as depositories for grave goods to be buried in the graves of Chinese dignitaries and royalty, these vessels were later used in ritual offerings of food and drink to ancestors. They were typically designed to be larger than normal vessels for eating and drinking to exemplify the scale of the offering to their ancient relatives. This particular example stands 42cm high, and is estimated at £3,000 – 5,000. [Lot 1441]

Held at Roseberys saleroom in south London on the 10 December the sale will be exhibited prior to the auction on Friday 5 – Monday 8 December. The catalogue for the sale is available to view at www.roseberys.co.uk with online bidding through the services of www.the-saleroom.com and www.liveauctioneers.com.