Straits Chinese Porcelain Sparks Bidding Battle at Australian Auction

Straits Chinese Porcelain Sparks Bidding Battle at Australian Auction
Zwei Teller aus „Straits Chinese Porcelain“ der Qing-Dynastie (19. Jahrhundert)
(Courtesy Theodore Bruce Auctions)

Australian auction house Theodore Bruce Auctions found themselves in the enviable position of being at the forefront of a developing trend in the market for antique Chinese porcelain during their 19th February sale of Asian art and antiques.

Included in the sale were a number of pieces of Straits Chinese Porcelain which excited huge interest from buyers in Singapore and Malaysia who fought over the items sourced from a private collection.  The enthusiastic response from collectors and investors reflects a growing interest in the Straits Chinese Porcelain niche market which is still in its infancy.

A Pair of Qing dynasty (19th century) Straits Chinese Porcelain Dishes produced the best result for the category fetching AUD$1,300 against an estimate of AUD$120-$180.  The dishes, decorated with phoenix and peony as the central design over a green ground in the, were made in the Jingdezhen kilns for the Nyonya people of this region.

Straits Chinese Porcelain, also known as Nyonyaware, is a little known category of nineteenth century polychrome enamelled export porcelain that was made exclusively for the unique community of Straits-born Chinese whose ancestors first settled down in Malacca at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Identifiable by the one recurrent theme of the phoenix-and-tree peony design, 19th century Nyonyaware was technically difficult to make and depended heavily on the skills of artisans.

Overall, the private collection of Straits Chinese Porcelain achieved four times the top estimate.  The top price of the sale, however, went to a square Chinese huanghuali table which sold for $16,200 against a presale estimate of $10,000-12,000 to an overseas buyer. 

Lynette Cunnington, the newly appointed Asian art specialist at Theodore Bruce commented that her first quarterly sale of Asian Art held by Theodore Bruce, Sydney, was very successful.  This was a result of Lynette’s gallery background, and understanding the nature of the market and having access to some good private collections.

For information on future Theodore Bruce Auctions refer to their website