Important Ming dynasty album

3/05/2018     News Stories & Press Release, Chinese, Japanese & South East Asian Art

An important Ming dynasty album of watercolours by celebrated artist Wei Zhike is to be offered on the open market for the first time by Roseberys.

Very little comparable material by 17th century artist, poet, and scholar Wei Zhike, survives, so the discovery of an album of twelve watercolours depicting various landscapes is significant. (Lot 291) Throughout the album, like many painters in the latter years of the Ming dynasty, Wei Zhike celebrates the 11th and 12th century classical Chinese masters of painting by exhibiting techniques and styles conceived by his forbears. The high level of skill, technique, and understanding of perspective shown in the twelve leaves of this album make this one of his most significant works. Dated to the ‘year gengwu of the Chongzhen reign during the fall in the 9th lunar month’ corresponding to the year of 1630, this is quite possibly the last work he painted during his lifetime. The album is offered with an estimate of £20,000-£40,000.

Consigned from the same collection, a spectacular album (Lot 290) of twenty 18th century Chinese paintings on silk, bestow sentiments of long life and prosperity upon the viewer, through the symbolism of the ‘100 butterflies’ flying amidst the mystical and revered lingzhi fungus. This album carries an estimate of £5,000-£10,000.

Elsewhere in Roseberys’ Asian Art auction is a 14th/15th century junyao ‘purple-splashed’ bowl, estimated to fetch £1,200-£1,800. (Lot 7) Appealing to the more traditional taste in Chinese art collecting, a collection of various Chinese monochrome porcelain pieces (lots 77-92) populates the auction. The simple yet striking tones of each glaze serves to compliment the pleasing aesthetics of the shape of each vessel. These pieces were popular throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. (Lot 91) is likely to be the highlight of this section, as it constitutes a pair of Yongzheng (1722-1732) marked lemon-yellow glazed shallow bowls; a colour typically reserved for the Emperor. The pair carries an estimate of £3,000-£5,000. Another pair of attractive porcelain bowls, with the same marks, will be offered with an estimate of £800-£1200 (Lot 89) These are glazed in yellow, with a Ming dynasty style underglaze-blue ‘heaped and piled’ pattern of flowering lotus stems.

A rare cloisonné enamel gilt bronze stem cup and cover (lot 181) from the Qianlong period (1732-1796) is offered in the sale with an estimate of £8000-£12000. A very similar stem cup and cover is housed in the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing, suggested that this may have once been handled by Emperor Qianlong himself. A collection of Chinese and Himalayan bronze deities will also be offered for sale. Dating from as early as the 7th century, these would have formed an important part of an individual’s daily prayer rituals. Estimates range from £400- £5000 (Lots 215-221)

Also being offered in the same sale is an extensive single-owner collection consisting of over 120 lots (lots 343-466) of South East Asian works of art. Included in this fascinating collection put together over the last forty years, are a number of rare painted terracotta deities,17th-19th century, three 13th century Khmer bronze figures, and two very large Nepalese figures of Buddha Lots 373 and 374.

The auction takes place on Monday 21 May from 11am

Viewing Times:

Thursday 17 May 1-5pm

Friday 18 May 9.30am-5.30pm

Sunday 20 May 10am-2pm

Monday 21 May 9-10.30am



*Prices include Buyers Premium of 23%.

For further information please contact Charlotte Meddings  +44 (0) 20 8761 2522


Roseberys is a privately owned auction house operating at the heart of the fine art market for 30 years.

With offices in London’s Mayfair and Lambeth Roseberys offer a calendar of more than twelve specialist fine art, antiques and collectibles auctions each year.

Specialist sales include a wide range of Asian and Islamic Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design, Decorative Art, Fine Silver and Jewellery, Ceramics, Paintings, Prints, Photography, Antique Textiles, Vintage Fashion and Fine Wine and Whisky.

Roseberys team of world-renowned specialists also provide a wide range of art market services to professional clients, including valuations for insurance and probate.

Roseberys is a member of SOFAA – The Society of Fine Art Auctioneers.



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