The Luís Esteves Fernandes collection was the central highlight of the Woolley & Wallis spring season Asian Art sale in May with barely an unsold lot and a packed saleroom.
Luís Esteves Fernandes (1897 - 1988) held various administrative positions notably Portuguese Minster to Japan during WWII. His admiration for China and Chinese culture developed when he was Third Secretary to the Portuguese Legation in Peking and inspired him to become a keen collector of Far Eastern antiquities.
Housed in a Lisbon apartment, John Axford flew out to assess the collection which he was delighted to be asked to sell, against competition from the London houses.
The top lot from this collection and the second overall in the sale was a Chinese Imperial Beijing enamel and gold filigree jewelled collar known as a ling yue which formed part of essential court dress for members of the Imperial family and nobleman. Drawing fierce international bidding the lot quickly exceeded the upper estimate, selling for £231,800* to a Shanghaies dealer.
Over the two day sale many lots exceeded six figures such as this intense yellow agate pendant which sold for £146,400.*
Woolley & Wallis reaffirms their position as a leading player to the international Asian Art world, the collection finished with an overall sold rate of 98% and a sale figure of £2.3million.*
The highest price of the sale was for a Chinese white jade incense burner and cover, recognised for its exceptional quality and having a good provenance. Along with Mandarin speaking staff, the other phone lines were booked from around the globe, the lot finally selling for £280,000* at 8.30pm - a long but successful first day.
Overall the sale total, including buyers premium exceeded £6million.
*figures quoted include buyers premium.