Blue and white Chinese vase stars in our latest pick of five auction highlights


Transitional blue and white vase – £36,000 at Stacey’s.

1. Chinese vase of the transitional period

Although cataloged as the Kangxi period, this 25 cm tall egg-shaped vase is a transitional piece – made during the period (1620-83) when court patronage of the Jingdezhen porcelain factory had all but dried up.

Instead, pottery was made for merchants, scholars and for export, with production being far more varied than in ‘imperial’ times.

Blue and white vases like this one (originally made with lids) are among the best-known products of this era, freely decorated with extravagant landscapes or scenes from popular literature. Once the epitome of old European collectible taste, they are becoming increasingly expensive.

It was listed at Stacey’s in Rayleigh, Essex on 20th September for £1000-1500 but sold for £36,000. It was in good condition but had a few small bruises around the edge.

2nd Order Group First World War

medal collection

First World War medals and ephemera relating to Lieutenant William Emlyn Hardwick – £5400 from Adam Partridge.

Lieutenant William Emlyn Hardwick (1885-1918) was born in Brecon but was living in Australia when he enlisted in World War I. After joining the Australian 21st Infantry Battalion in 1915, he fought at Gallipoli as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and then on the Western Front. He was twice awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery: first in 1916, when he stormed an enemy position in a mine crater, and again on August 21, 1917, when, under heavy fire, he captured a machine gun and six prisoners at Hereleville near Amiens. He was killed in action in France on October 5, 1918 and buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery.

Hardwick’s medals and accompanying literature, including two letters he sent home from the front, were put up for sale by Adam Partridge in Macclesfield on 14 September. This Australian Imperial Force Military Cross and Bar Group of Four attracted great interest at its estimate of £3000-5000 and fetched £5400.

3. Wall mirror


Pair of wall mirrors in gilt Queen Anne wood and mercury glass – £45,000 at Tennants.

Complex cartouche-shaped rim wall mirrors from the early 18th century are significantly rarer than domed or rectangular ones. This pair, offered for sale by Tennants at Leyburn on September 17th, is 1.04m high and 72cm wide and probably dates from about 1710. Another picture is reproduced in World Mirrors 1650-1900 by Graham Child.

They show various losses to the gesso molding frame, some cracks to the edge plates and one of the mercury glass bevel plates is a later addition. However, being both a rare and extremely attractive design and pair, they attracted many bids well in excess of the £1500-2000 estimate. The hammer price was a much heftier £45,000.

4. Indonesian Prince Portrait

Indonesian prince

Portrait of an Indonesian Prince by Hugo Vilfred Pedersen – £12,000 at Bonhams.

The Danish artist Hugo Vilfred Pedersen (1870-1959) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, but then traveled through Asia for 12 years. His journey through what was then the Dutch East Indies provided the illustrations for his 1902 publication Through the Indian Archipelago. Some of his surviving works depict characters and personages in the Surakarta Palace in Java. This oil on canvas portrait of an Indonesian prince is titled Emperor Toewan Soesoehoenan of Soerakarta. It was last sold at Christie’s in 2001 for £800 but attracted a little more attention at Bonhams’ Travel & Exploration auction on 20th September. Estimated at £1000-1500, it fetched £12,000.

5. Olympic Jumping Medals

bronze medal

Olympic Equestrian Bronze Medal at the 1956 Games – £9,500 at Sworders.

Items from the trophy cabinet of Peter Robeson (1929-2018) – double Olympic medalist and ‘godfather of British show jumping’ – went up for sale on 21 September at Sworders regular Homes & Interiors auction

The highlight was that Olympic bronze medal that Robeson won in 1956 as part of the British show jumping team. This award is particularly rare and rarely available to collectors. While the 1956 Games were officially held in Melbourne; Due to Australian quarantine restrictions, the equestrian events took place in Stockholm. Only a total of 66 riders competed with just 12 bronze medals minted at all events. The medal awarded to Robeson for his ride on Scorchin is embossed XVI Olympiad Ryttartavlingar 1956 Stockholm comes in the original case. It was expected to fetch £3000 to £5000 but ended up fetching £9500.

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