From Plants To Prosperity

From Plants To Prosperity

Our 19 May Asian Art auction was a huge success, including our top lot which was formerly used as a plant pot, fetching £126,100 at auction. 

23 May 2023

A magnificent Chinese blue and white jardinière, cherished for generations as a vessel for hyacinth bulbs, took the auction world by storm last week, fetching an astonishing £126,100. This exquisite hexagonal masterpiece, once used to display flowers and bonsai trees in the esteemed Qing court, was sold in our 19 May Asian Art sale, emanating from a passionate vendor whose parents had been avid collectors.


A Chinese blue and white jardinière (£126,100)

A Chinese blue and white jardinière (£126,100)


Measuring nearly 2ft (60cm) in diameter, the ceramic jardinière boasts meticulous paintings depicting the enchanting Eight Daoist Immortals, bearing the revered mark of the Kangxi emperor (1662-1720). Revered as an authentic piece from the era, rather than a later copy, it stands as a testament to the timeless craftsmanship of its time. Remarkably, a strikingly similar jardinière graces the collection of Beijing's Forbidden City.

The lineage of the seller traces back to ancestors who served as missionaries in China during the late 19th century, having brought back precious items to the UK. However, this particular piece may have found its way into the family's possession more recently when the vendor's parents, who worked for renowned auction house Sotheby's in the 1950s and 60s, could have acquired it. Despite its treasured status, the jardinière was lovingly utilised in the family home, regularly nurturing plants as intended.


A Chinese blue and white jardinière (£126,100)

A Chinese blue and white jardinière (£126,100)


Originally estimated at £300-500, the jardinière attracted a lot of attention, and surpassed all expectations, captivating the attention of a discerning buyer in China. The intense bidding war culminated in a staggering final price of £97,000, reaching a grand total of £126,100 when including the buyer's premium. This extraordinary achievement testifies to the timeless allure and enduring value of extraordinary Asian art masterpieces.


Our next Asian Art auction will take place on Friday 3 November, for further information contact: Yexue Li | 




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