Chinese peach at auction shows longevity in the market

Estimated at £40-60, this unusual Chinese scholar’s object took £32,000 (plus buyer’s premium) at a recent auction at Rogers Jones in Cardiff.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Roland Arkell

The pottery water dropper modelled as a peach that sold for £32,000 at Rogers Jones.

The pottery water dropper modelled as a peach, a symbol of longevity, with a gnarled branch ‘spout’, is among a group of Ming wares made in Yixing clays with blue glazes imitating jun wares of the Song dynasty.

An exhibition in 2018 at the Palace Museum in Beijing titled The Phenomenon of Yixing Ware included a similar example dated to the 16th or 17th century.

This Rogers Jones example offered on December 7, part of a collection of Chinese wares assembled by a gentleman in north Wales since the 1960s, includes in the mould the auspicious four-character phrase wan shou wu jiang that (as referenced to an old fragmentary paper label to the base) translates as ’10 thousand years of long life’.

White speckles are densely distributed across the grey-blue glaze.

Despite its condition issues (including a substantial chip to the entry spout and other chips to the leaves), it attracted multiple bidders, including a man on the phone from a restaurant in Shanghai who – much to the surprise of Ben Rogers Jones – spoke with a broad Wolverhampton accent. He won the item, against an online bidder, while enjoying a plate of scallops.