Rare Chinese moonflask discovered in Dorset
07 Nov, 2011
A rare Chinese blue and white porcelain Moonflask discovered at a village antiques day in Dorset is expected to fetch around half a million pounds at Woolley and Wallis's Asian Art sale on 16th November.
The vase’s octogenarian lady owner took it along to an antiques event organised by the WI, where the delighted antiques specialist recognised its rarity and suggested she contact John Axford, Woolley and Wallis’s Asian Art specialist. John confirmed that the vase was in fact a rare Ming-style Moonflask, of the highest quality, created for the Imperial Qing Dynasty in the 18th century. The vase is painted with delicate cobalt blue designs of birds perched on a prunus branch, a popular and auspicious theme for porcelain painters, believed to herald Spring.
In fact, the moonflask is such a fine example that John, a regular expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, included it in the Roadshow’s ‘Basic, Better, Best’ feature. In the episode, filmed at the Weald and Downland Musuem near Chichester, John challenges presenter Fiona Bruce to tell the difference in quality between three Chinese moonflasks. John chose this example as the best. The episode will be screened in Spring 2012.
The moonflask is Lot 747 on the second day of our three day Asian Art sale which runs from 15th to 17th November.