International Art Market: Dish sale signals bonanza for ceramics

JUNE proved a bonanza for the ceramics market and for French works of art, in spite of falling stock markets and a weak dollar.

The successes of auctions in these two fields are thrown into relief by the indifferent results of picture sales, which are normally the market leaders.

Prices for Impressionist and modern pictures seem to have resumed their downward trend, although Sotheby's had a remarkable success with a Manet and a Monet last week, both of which topped the pounds 4m mark.

The same can be said for Victorian pictures, which had recently appeared a stronger market. Neither Sotheby's nor Christie's could move much more than half the Victorian pictures they had on offer.

Christie's claimed a new auction price record for Holman Hunt when a tender portrait of the artist's son, Master Hilary, sold for pounds 969,500, but the auctioneers had hoped it might go higher.

In ceramics, the Paris auction rooms flagged the new buoyancy of prices when a porcelain dish made in the Medici factory in Florence about 1570-80 sold for 8.8m francs ( pounds 1.07m) in May, the highest price ever recorded for European ceramics. It measures 37cm across and has a blue cameo decoration of arabesques.

Phillips, the London auctioneers, had the next great rarity, a London delftware marriage dish dated 1638 which soared to pounds 276,000. Sotheby's followed up with a pair of Dutch delft flower pyramids at pounds 287,500 compared to a pre-sale estimate of pounds 50,000- pounds 70,000. The Ceramics Fair, held at the Park Lane Hotel in the second week of June, proved exceptionally successful and put collectors and dealers in buying mood for the rest of the month.

Christie's offered a group of Sevres plates from a service decorated around 1820 with scenes of French industries. Prices multiplied pre-sale estimates two to three times; the top price for a single plate was pounds 33,350.

The enthusiasm for French works of art was underlined by a pair of Chinese porcelain vases with richly rococo French ormolu mounts which sold for pounds 1,046,500; they had belonged to Marie-Antoinette.

In the same sale Christie's sold a 19ft Savonnerie carpet emblazoned with the royal arms of France for pounds 1,321,500, the highest auction price on record for a carpet. Forecast prices for both were pounds 300,000- pounds 500,000.

A Chinese lacquer 'commode', or chest of drawers, made by two of the most famous 18th-century cabinet-makers, Lacroix and Leleu, was sold for 3.85m francs ( pounds 470,000) in Paris, while a Louis XV desk by Garnier made 6.2m francs ( pounds 745,000) at a Christie's sale in Monte Carlo.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf