Asian art discovered in Southport demonstrated the strength of the antiques market for quality items at a recent two-day auction.
Two items in particular attracted interest from around the world: a silver bowl and a rosewood panel. The Chinese silver bowl had been presented to the winner of a horse race in Lagos, Nigeria during the late 19th-Century, while the bowl was crafted by Wang Hing, a well-known Chinese silversmith. The inscription on the bowl reads ‘Lagos (West Africa) Races 1897 Governor’s Cup’, and was presented by the Governor of Lagos during the period 1897 to 1899 to the jockey Egbert Shepherd, whose horse Kitty won the race.
A descendant of Egbert Shepherd had decided to sell the trophy at auction, which sold for £9,000 after attracting attention from around the world. The silversmith, Wang Hing, was noted for making items for Tiffany & Co, and was one of the most famous silversmiths of his time. The rosewood panel is from the Meiji period and made by Mitsuaki. It was being sold by an enthusiast and collector of Asian art from the traditional Lancashire town of Southport, selling for £3,400.
The specialist in Asian art at Halls auctioneers, Alexander Clement, said that he was delighted with the result of the auction. Over a thousand bidders from around the world had attended the auction, showing that the demand for quality Asian art is still strong.
The trophy has plenty of history, and would make an interesting conversation piece, perhaps displayed on an antique coffee table.
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