Chinese vase found in attic sells for €16.2 million

The exquisite porcelain vessel was made for the Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong and had set a guide price of a modest €500,000. (AFP)
Updated 12 June 2018

Chinese vase found in attic sells for €16.2 million

PARIS: An 18th-century Chinese vase forgotten for decades in a shoe box in a French attic sold for €16.2 million at Sotheby’s in Paris on Tuesday — more than 30 times the estimate.
Experts at the auction house said the exquisite porcelain vessel was made for the Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong and had set a guide price of a much more modest €500,000.
“This is a major work of art, it is as if we had just discovered a Caravaggio,” Olivier Valmier, the Asian arts expert at the auction house, told reporters before the sale.
The vase, which was in perfect condition, “is the only known example in the world bearing such detail,” he added.
Rare porcelain from the Qianlong period has been going for astronomical prices recently, with a bowl sold last April by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for $30.4 million.
The vase — which is decorated with images of deer and cranes — was found by chance among dozens of other pieces of Chinoiserie in the attic of a house in France earlier this year.
The family had acquired it at the end of the 19th century but it has lain unloved in a shoe box in the attic for decades.
“We didn’t like the vase too much, and my grandparents didn’t like it either,” said the owner of the piece, who only got in touch with Sotheby’s in March.
It was still in the shoe box when it was presented to Sotheby’s experts for authentication.
The staggering price paid by a young Chinese collector, who was at the auction himself, is the highest ever recorded by the auction house in Paris.
“Such elaborate and challenging designs are exceedingly rare on Qing imperial porcelain,” Sotheby’s said on its website.


Abu Dhabi Art shines a light on three emerging UAE artists in virtual fair

Updated 28 October 2020

Abu Dhabi Art shines a light on three emerging UAE artists in virtual fair

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Art’s “Beyond: Emerging Artists” program was established to provide a platform for emerging homegrown creatives and support them in the development of their work through  financial aid and expert guidance from established artists and curators. 

The initiative commissions new work by rising Emirati artists and exhibits them during the Abu Dhabi Art fair, which is returning for its 12 edition from Nov. 19-26 in a virtual format.

For this year’s digital edition of “Beyond: Emerging Artists,” Emirati talents Hind Mezaina, Afra Al-Dhaheri and Afra Al-Suwaidi have been selected to produce works exploring the theme of “memory,” to be presented virtually through Abu Dhabi Art’s website from Nov. 19 to the end of December 2020. The work will also be presented in a physical format at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi in November.

Hind Mezaina. Supplied

“Our program exists as a vehicle to enable exceptional younger artists from across the UAE to realize ambitious new projects and exhibit them to a wide audience,” said Dyala Nusseibeh, director of Abu Dhabi Art. “Part of our mandate is to support the local art ecosystem and this particular project forms one of our cornerstone initiatives in this regard,” she added.

The participating artists were handpicked by Maya El-Khalil, the curator of “Beyond: Emerging Artists.”

Afra Al-Suwaidi. Supplied

“For this year’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ program at Abu Dhabi Art, I am working with three incredibly talented women. Together, we acknowledge the art world’s currently altered sense of reality and each of the artists, through their distinctive practices, will be investigating how experiences of remembrance are constituted,” El-Khalil said in a press statement.

Mezaina, who often describes her work as a form of “visual archaeology,” will be utilizing multimedia archival materials, such as photography and archival film, to express elements of collective memory, masculinity, heritage and the UAE. 

For her part, Al-Dhaheri will explore identity formation by way of her own hair strands, which she collects after they’ve fallen out. Meanwhile, Al-Suwaidi will present her thought-provoking work through the form of a collage that explores how trauma appears in domestic architecture and everyday surroundings in the home.