David Moss
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Asian Art in London turned out to be a perhaps surprising success which belied any Brexit blues

22/12/2016

TO be honest when I visited some of the Asian Art in London shows on the open evenings I did not get the impression business was brisk. But first impressions are not the whole story and since the early November Asiafest closed I have heard from many participants that sales were not just good but possibly the best for a few years.

Most significant sales were in the traditional rather than contemporary areas, but Gregg Baker in Kensington achieved 90 per cent sales with his exhibition of post-war Japanese avant-garde paintings.

Also in Kensington, Jorge Welsh saw strong sales for his 30th anniversary exhibition of Chinese Export wares (the show subsequently moved to Jorge’s Lisbon gallery) and Marchant sold 10 works from their high quality show of ‘Kangxi Blue and White and Underglaze Copper-Red’.

In Mayfair leading dealer Eskenazi sold 12 works from their exhibition of archaic bronze vessels for five and six figure sums, and in St. James’s Ben Janssens and Simon Ray sold substantially.

Staying in SW1 specialist dealer Peter Finer sold 13 pieces of Oriental and Islamic armour, including his prized shield, while Cohen and Cohen, who were camped in the Harris Lindsay Gallery in Jermyn Street, sold a very rare eggshell porcelain tea bowl and saucer decorated with tigress and cub, Yongzheng c.1730, for a six-figure price. We picture the saucer.

In a year of historic political tumult in the UK Asian art seems not to have just weathered Brexit but weathered it very well.

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