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China…always close by…

Alessandra Pieroni

In recent years we have often heard the phrase ‘China is close’, mainly due to political, economic and unfortunately pandemic reasons. In art, however, this closeness has been there for centuries. Nowadays China is a country full of contrasts, inhabited by an impressive number of rich people, and best known for exporting and producing cheap products. In the past, on the other hand, it exported to the West luxury products that only the millionaires of the time could afford, such as silks, precious embroideries, entire porcelain services, while at the same time adorning the Emperor’s court and his sumptuous palace with pieces of superb workmanship. The next Milan auction of Oriental Art, which will be held on the 2nd, will present enchanting works of art of rarity and majesty that confirm that art and beauty are boundless and, as we say today, “genderless”. There will be a large and rare “Pink Family” porcelain stand with a yellow background and openwork border, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period, from a noble Florentine family and donated to the ancestors of the current owner after the war. An extraordinary libation bowl in rhinoceros horn, worked in relief with a motif of seven Qilongs, late Ming Dynasty, 17th century, purchased in the 1970s at the historic Milan headquarters of the Eskenazi Gallery in Via Montenapoleone. There is also an interesting selection of antique paintings on display for a temporary exhibition in an Italian museum in the 1950s. An embroidered silk blanket given as a wedding gift in 1802 to Queen Isabella of Bourbon, and handed down to her heirs to this day. And finally, a blue and white porcelain plate from the Kangxi era bearing the Ginori family coat of arms, which comes directly from the hereditary descendants of Lorenzo Ginori who ordered it in China at the end of the 17th century. All the lots are unpublished and come from private Italian properties, an essential feature of Asian Art sales, to offer collectors the exclusivity that has accompanied the history of these pieces over the centuries. Finally, contemporary art will be present with an object linked to the Chinese numerical symbolism of the number eight, which in China is synonymous with success: a mobile phone Sim card whose number is x8888888 will be auctioned for the first time in the world. This card is part of the category with mobile phone numbers that are exclusive worldwide for their numerical composition.