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06/Oct/22
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Have you heard the news? A Blue-and-White Dragon vase just sold for $7.5 Million—more than 4,000 times its $1,900 estimate according to artnet. “It exceeds the price of Napoleon’s saber!” said the flabbergasted French auctioneer who sold it.

According to the article by Caroline Goldstein, “The tianqiuping-style vase, featuring intricate blue designs of dragons and whorls on a white ground, was consigned by a woman who had never even seen the 21-inch-tall object. She had simply arranged for it to be sold from her late mother’s estate at the France-based Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, France, about 40 miles from Paris.”

We asked Paul J. Fisher, Director of Appraisals and Business Development for Art Peritus, for an opinion on the matter. He recalled a similar story with the Qianlong vase that fetched £53.1M at auction in 2010, but as many will remember this vase was subsequently never paid for.

In regards to the Dragon vase bidding war, Paul says this occurs more frequently than might be expected. He commented:

“This remarkable sale shows the ongoing demand for important works, and it repeats the age old pattern of sellers not always knowing what they have. Advising private clients on the value of their property, however esoteric, is Art Peritus’ specialty.”

Curious to know what you have? Contact us for a consult at info@artperitus.com.

For more details on the saga of the Qianlong vase click here: https://en.thevalue.com/articles/exclusive-leak-sothebys-hong-kong-2018-qianlong-yellow-ground-reticulated-yangcai-vase-2010-bainbridge

Read about the Dragon Vase here: https://news.artnet.com/market/chinese-dragon-vase-unexpected-sale-8-million-2185468


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02/Aug/22
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As part of our full suite of Art Services, we are pleased to offer this remarkable Kota figure for purchase via the Art Peritus | Selects Online Gallery. In the late 19th century, the Kota people created reliquary figures known as “mbulu ngulu” to act as guardians to protect the remains of their family ancestors. Although no two figures are the same, they all hail from the Gabon region of Africa and share distinctive elements- flattened forms and figurative characteristics that are stylized to the verge of abstraction.
Face of the Kota Reliquary

Carved in wood, the human face and head is enlarged and exaggerated in a geometric form that rises above its carved neck and smaller open lozenge body. The front of the figure is covered in copper and brass, metals that were scarce and as highly valued as gold in nineteenth century Gabon. The metals were hammered with decorative geometric patterns and motifs, and were kept shiny to be as reflective, symbolic of water and the spiritual other side.

Kota Reliquary Detail

These sculptural guards were originally attached above a basket holding the remains, acting as a mystical connection between the living and the dead. As the people of Gabon converted to Christianity over the 18th and 19th centuries, missionaries and colonials began to collect these figures. Today, most of these sculptures can be found in museums and private collections in Europe and North America.

Origin: Gabon
Period: 19th Century
Materials: Wood, brass and copper

Find purchase details here: Kota Reliquary Figure.