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Why do we all love those stories where a 50p car boot sale purchase used as the dog’s drinking bowl for 40 years goes on to sell at auction for £1m?

Is it the hope it kindles that Fido’s chipped dish might also be worth enough to retire on? Or is it the schadenfreude of getting one over on the all-knowing auctioneer? Maybe it’s just wanting to see the little man (or woman) have his day in the saleroom.

In truth, having devoted this issue to Asian art in all its myriad and wondrous forms, it’s easy to see why some pieces slip through the auctioneer’s net. The reigns, the marks, the regions, the history all present a head-scratching level of information that, in comparison, makes other areas of antiques seem rather easier to comprehend.

On page 36 Gerald Davison, a veritable genius who has just compiled a 400-page book detailing 4,200 Chinese marks in both kaishu and zhuanshu script (with, in case you were wondering, both English translations and the romanisation of the Chinese pinyin) walks us through some of the must-know facts that could help determine whether a piece is worth a pittance or a mint.

On page 52, Allen Wang reveals the potency of Tang horses, which, as well as being a Western interior designer’s staple for decades, hold a fascinating histor y, while on page 64 the Oriental Ceramics Society’s Sarah Wong celebrates 100 years of Asian art collecting in the UK and the connoisseurs whose collections still inform toda y.

Aside from Asian art, we also mark the Russian sales which typically take place this month with a behind-the-scenes look at a collection of Fabergé going under the hammer. Forget the eggs, much of it is made up of the Russian maker’s charming hardstone animals, which might be just about affordable if Aunt Gertie’s old Chinese vase ever turns out to be worth anything. Enjoy the issue.


Georgina Wroe, Editor

PS Because the December-January magazine is combined it will be with you slightly later than usual, expect delivery from the first week of the month.

PPS Finall y, apologies to her legion of fans but Christina Trevanion is away this month.

KEEP IN TOUCH Write to us at Antique Collecting, Sandy Lane, Old Martlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4SD, or email magazine@accartbooks. com. Visit the website at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AntiqueMag

Antique Collecting subscription £38 for 10 issues annually, no refund is available.

ISSN: 0003-584X

We love this pair of Daoguang period (1813-1820) yellow -ground medallion bowls which has an estimate of £8,000-£12,000

at Roseberys’ sale on

November 9



JOE ROBINSON gives a sneak preview of an important country house sale,

page 20

MARGO OGANESIAN reveals everything you need to know about Fabergé’s carved animals, page 46

SIOBHAN TYRRELL the Antiques Roadshow expert’s new auctioneering role, page 63

SARAH WONG celebrates 100 years of the influential Oriental Ceramics

Society, page 64

The Team

Editor: Georgina Wroe, georgina. Online Editor: Richard Ginger,

Design: Philp Design, Advertising: Charlotte Kettell 01394 389969, charlotte.kettell Subscriptions: Jo Lord

01394 389950,


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