Interiors

Go east

Strauss’ latest decorative arts online auction focuses on Oriental collectables – here we take a closer look at what they have to offer.

Strauss & Co’s eagerly awaited online auction started on 6 April. In these unprecedented times, when most of us are housebound, you can still browse and invest in the amazing array of pieces consigned for auction courtesy of its online channels. “Launched in 2013, Strauss & Co’s online sales have acquired their own identity and now form an important part of our annual programme of events,” says Susie Goodman, an executive director at Strauss & Co. “The format of the sale allows us to offer a broad range of works at various price points in a manner that caters to everyone from emerging collectors to seasoned aficionados. We are constantly attracting new collectors. Our March online sale registered 132 new buyers.”

The Decorative Arts sale is focused almost entirely on the Oriental and collectors in this field will find the selection mouth-watering, while newcomers entering this market for the first time will struggle to choose. From the ever popular Chinese blue and white porcelain, which is well represented, aficionados will find examples from the Kangxi (1662-1722) and Qianlong (1735-1796) periods, through to the more recent Qing Dynasty, and pieces ranging from dishes and plates to vases – at estimates to suit every pocket. If blue and white is not to your taste, you may find the pretty famille-rose and famille-verte pieces decorated with flowers, birds and butterflies or perhaps the colourful cloisonné vase more appealing. Amongst the more unusual pieces is a 19th/20th century Chinese carved bamboo brushpot, a 19th century Chinese porcelain model of a dragon boat, a paper scroll painting and two embroidered silk panels.

Featuring on the sale is a wide selection of Chinese miniature carved figures and snuff bottles, much sought-after for their workmanship and the variety of materials used (agate, quartz, amethyst, celadon jade, ivory and glass, and even a walnut shell carved with figures and trees). There are also a fair number of Japanese ivory netsukes and okimonos, delicately carved with mythical creatures, deities and demons. Japanese Imari, Kutani and Satsuma wares are all being offered, and the session concludes with a pair of Chinese Southern Provincial cedarwood chairs, purchased in Kowloon thirty-five years ago

On the jewellery side are several unusual objects of vertu appearing, namely an attractive gold-mounted agate box, an agate and gilt-metal-mounted etui, fitted with an assortment of miniature implements, decorative Chinese kingfisher feather and gilt-metal hair ornaments and a guilloche enamel and gilt-metal-mounted vinaigrette in the form of an egg.

When it comes to the jewellery, be prepared to experience a veritable Aladdin’s Cave. To begin with, a selection of eye-catching Indian jewellery which will appeal to those with a taste for the exotic, one piece of which is a pair of ornate gold and gem-set pendant earrings.

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