By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young and Mawer.
Highlights from the Grantham Asian Art Auction included a picture, a vase, a snuff bottle and a trio of bi discs.
The picture is a watercolour of horses, signed by the Chinese artist Pan Yuliang. Born Zhang Yuliang in 1895, following the death of both parents she was sold into prostitution in 1907. On meeting a Chinese official named Pan Zanhua, she became his second wife after he purchased her freedom. As a mark of respect, she changed her name to Pan Yuliang.
She then went on to study art at the School of Fine Arts Shanghai and gained a scholarship to the Franco-Chinese Institute in Lyon in 1921. From 1939 Pan Yuliang settled in France until her death in 1977.
Throughout her life her work met with mixed responses. It is only since her death in 1977 that her work has been fully appreciated, despite numerous art exhibitions and awards. In 1985, the majority of her works were included at the National Art Gallery in Beijing and the Anhui Museum in Hefei. The picture sold for £25,000 at auction.
The vase, of 19th-century Chinese porcelain with a six figure character mark to the underside, is decorated with coloured enamel, with an emperor, attendants and a frog. Standing 46.5cm high, the vase had been later converted into a table lamp but still went on to sell for £1,500.
The snuff bottle for powdered tobacco was once a fashionable accessory. A pinch of snuff was taken through the nose and said to be a remedy for many illnesses. In China, the smoking of tobacco was illegal from the late C17th up until the early C20th and thus taking snuff became a popular alternative.
To store and transport snuff, the Chinese produced exquisite bottles which were highly prized then and are keenly collected today.
The example sold at auction was made from jade in a square section form, just over 6cm high. The hammer fell at £2,000.
Jade was also on offer at the auction in the form of a trio of bi discs.
Traditionally produced to be buried with the dead to accompany the deceased into the afterlife, the discs are symbolic of the connection between the two worlds.
The three discs on offer at the auction were displayed on carved hardwood stands and sold for £1,300.
Full results of the 204 lot auction can be found at www.goldingyoung.com