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Oriental art dealer to launch Qing porcelain exhibition in London

(Xinhua)

12:54, October 25, 2012

Giuseppe Eskenazi, a leading oriental art dealer, is to launch an exhibition of Chinese Qing porcelain in his London gallery on Nov. 1.

"People are showing greater interest in Qing porcelain," said Eskenazi, who over the last 50 years has become synonymous with expertise in oriental art, working in high-end market with buyers from museums to private collectors.

Eskenazi attributed people's interest in Qing porcelain to its history. As the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history, "people may feel closer to Qing," he said in an interview with Xinhua.

"They can go the Forbidden City to see the artifacts, which may arouse their interest," he added.

Eskenazi said he saw a tremendous growth in the Chinese art collectors market.

"Forty years ago when I went to China, the Chinese were not collecting," he said. However, currently about two-thirds of his company's porcelain is sold to China, according to Eskenazi.

Chinese collectors showed appetite for furniture as well, but not so much for sculpture and bronze artifacts, he said.

Eskenazi's new exhibition from Nov. 1 to 23 brings together 20 artifacts from the early to mid-Qing period, which saw a renaissance in ceramic technology coupled with imperial supervision.

Among the pieces were a pair of underglaze blue and pink enamelled porcelain ewers with gilded edges. Bearing marks and the period, 1736 to 1795, they were inspired by Tibetan Buddhist ritual metal vessels. Emperor Qianlong was known for his devotion to Buddhism. The lotus and makara on the ewers are symbols of purity and water element in the religion.

Another rare item was a teapot from the Yongzheng period. "There are three such teapots in the world, and this is the only one in the hand of a private collector," said Eskenazi. The other two are both in Chinese museums.

The chrysanthemum-form teapot, covered with copper-red and blue glaze, was made for the emperor Yongzheng, who was fond of chrysanthemum tea. Eskenazi estimated that it could fetch 2.5 million pounds (4 million U.S. dollars).

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