A LARGE number of Chinese works of art made headline figures at one of the North’s leading auction houses with many soaring way above their price estimates.

The items were presented at Elstob & Elstob’s two-day sale on June 27 and 28, when the Ripon auction house was finally able to open its doors following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

One particular lot to excite the interest of bidders was a spinach-green jade Chinese table screen that sold for £8,200, far in excess of its estimate of £200 to £300.

Decorated in shallow relief with figures in a boat and prunus blossom, the reverse side was carved with characters and the screen had an overall height of almost 25cm.

Also performing well were pieces of Chinese jewellery, including a handsome jade pendant decorated to the front in shallow relief with the figure of a scholar.

Measuring 5.6cm by 3.8cm, it smashed its price estimate of £100 to £150, selling for £2,000. Similarly, a jade thumb ring – also decorated in shallow relief – was finally knocked down for £1,400, way above its guide price of £100 to £150.

Other star lots emerged from the extensive collection of Oriental ceramics. A Chinese gilt-decorated powder-blue vase valued between £1,500 and £2,500 reached £2,800; and a pair of Chinese Ming-style blue and white candlesticks sold for £3,000 within their price range of £3,000 to £5,000. A Chinese dragon vase reached £1,500, sitting comfortably within its £1,000 to £2,000 estimate.

Another noteworthy entry was a set of three Chinese jade seals, the first rectangular and carved with pierced foliage, the second rectangular with rounded ends and carved with a frog, and the third square. The winning bid was £2,200, coming in much higher than its estimate of £100 to £150.

David Elstob, auctioneer and Co-director of the Ripon-based firm, is delighted with the prices achieved at the sale, which he puts down to the continuing buoyancy of the Oriental market. “China has now established itself as one of the world’s largest antiques markets and this position benefits positively the popularity of the Chinese art, particularly of traditional style.

“We have noticed a particular interest in jade which is borne out by our recent sale. Even jades in previously ‘unfashionable’ colours such as spinach-green are sought after. This shade was important in the 18th century and favoured at the royal court. It was prized in the Western art market from the 1920s to 1960s but then fell out of favour but is now definitely making a come back.

“Due to today’s globalized market place, it is now possible to get extensive online exposure regardless of where you are located leading to high and competitive prices for quality pieces,” he said.

Also presented at the sale was a large collection of New Hall porcelain acquired by the late Tony Allen from some of the UK’s top dealers. New Hall holds an important place in the history of English porcelain and was instrumental in turning the Staffordshire Potteries into a porcelain-producing centre of world importance.

Stand-out results were achieved from several of the fifty lots including a rare cream jug that sold for £900, exceeding its estimate of £300-£400; and a plate by Fidelle Duvivier, c.1787-90, with a corrugated border and shaped rim, the centre painted with figures on horseback in a rural landscape. Measuring 21cm diameter, the plate was knocked down for £2,400, well within its estimate of £2,000 to £3,000.

Elstob & Elstob is holding its next Fine Art and Antiques Sale on Saturday 15 August, followed by a specialist Jewellery Sale on Thursday 20 August. To discuss consignments for either sale, please contact 01765 -99200 or email: info@elstobandelstob.co.uk.