Published 5th April 2013
The ceramics section in the forthcoming Fine Sale has something of a déjà vu element about it after selling a pair of Cantonese vases in January 2013 for £21,000 (FS17/525) another pair have appeared (FS18/492) though similarly decorated they are 20cm shorter, but still a princely 78cm high.
Another Chinese vase that ought to attract healthy bidding is a Gangxu (1874-1908) mark and period Fanghu vase (FS18/483). This form of vase was awarded to individuals as a mark of special merit.
However, lest you think that all the Oriental interest is generated by China, there are a lovely pair of Arita porcelain hounds (FS18/497) and an exquisitely decorated Satsuma earthenware box and cover painted by Sobei Kinkozan (FS18/498) that are flying the flag for Japan.
A reminder of how our predecessors entertained themselves on high days and holidays comes in the form of a Staffordshire performing bear group (FS18/508) modelled as a travelling entertainer in Turkish garb with a bear on a leash with a dog at foot in case things got out of hand. I can't work out whether the trainer has a club, bone or musical instrument in his right hand – what do you think?
Much closer to home is a glorious North Devon pottery harvest jug (FS18/507) that has nearly everything one could ask for - a galleon in full sail amongst a sea of fish, a mariner's compass, sun, moon and stars, a name, date and a mention of Bideford - all that and consigned by the family for whom it was made.
If your prefer something a little less rustic and altogether more refined then there are two Bow porcelain figures of fish sellers (FS18/548) dating from 1755-62 on charming square shell encrusted bases or any number of good 18th century Wedgwood jasperware and basalt pieces that include a crisply modelled plaque of King James II crowned by Peace and Justice (FS18/516) and a large Pegasus vase and cover (FS18/510).