"Imperial Power" Auctions

HONG KONGaAmong Chinese collectors of antiquities, power and patriotism sell, or at least that is the assumption Sotheby’s is making as it prepares for the spring auction season next month.

A collection of rare objects owned by Qing dynasty emperors will fall under the hammer, including a white jade seal carved for Emperor Qianlong that is expected to fetch more than US$6.5 million. Other imperial memorabilia for sale will include an eighteenth-century ceremonial pearl necklace and a ruyi scepter carved of boxwood, both believed to have been owned by Emperor Yongzheng.

The theme of the promotional materials, "Imperial Power," is designed to appeal to collectors from China keen to buy artwork and antiquities from their own country, said Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s senior director for China and Southeast Asia. Many are business people, often with "a clear sense they are buying their history back," he said.

For these buyers, an association with power and authority carries more clout than the usual approach taken with Western buyers of Asian collectibles. That approach is summed up by the title of a catalog for the same April 8 Hong Kong auction presented to Sotheby’s European and North American clients: "Objects of Contemplation."

.:online.wsj.com->

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Posted: March 11th, 2010
at 2:10pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: contemporary,auctions

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