Lifestyle Round Up

Bonhams To Auction Five Meiji Masterpieces ++ Yao Ming Raising Big Money ++ Rare Chinese And Asian Banknotes Under Hammer ++ Asian Buyers Splash $96m On Van Gogh And Picasso Works

Bonhams To Auction Five Meiji Masterpieces

Five exquisite items from the Meiji Period, including delicate cloisonné and magnificent ironwork, will lead the Fine Japanese Art auction at Bonhams New Bond Street London on the 14th May. Estimates for the lots, made by some of the greatest craftsmen of the era, range from £5,000-8,000 to £30,000-40,000.

The nation’s success during this period was reflected in the quality of its artisans, and Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927), the creator of two items offered at Bonhams, was among the very greatest.

The auction of these items follows the highly successful non-selling exhibition of Meiji-era craft, titled ‘Transformation, Summation, Creation’, which took place at Bonhams New York from 12 - 22 March as part of the Asia Week events. The exhibition showcased 22 works by some of the leading Japanese artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Meiji period began in 1868 with the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the last feudal military government of Japan, by the armies seeking the restoration of Emperor Meiji. The victory ushered in the new era of Meiji, meaning ‘enlightened rule,’ which lasted until the death of the Emperor on 30 July 1912. Under his rule, Japan underwent social, political and industrial revolution, and emerged as one of the world’s great powers.

Yao Ming Raising Big Money

Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming is known for his outstanding achievements, both on and off the basketball court. Yao was one of the standout players in the NBA for almost ten years and an NBA All-Star five times during the course of his career. He is also known for his humanitarian work and altruism via his Yao Ming Foundation.

Recently Yao has joined the growing ranks of business people utilising crowd funding by pitching for investment in his Yao Family Wines. To support the massive demand from China for his top ranked Cabernet Sauvignon Yao and his business partners are raising funds to upgrade the premises and establish a direct marketing infrastructure.

With the funds raised Yao Family Wines intend to set up a tasting room in Napa and a tasting salon in Shanghai. They will ramp up marketing of the brand and establish a platform across China for direct to client delivery.

They are looking for a modest $3 million and have already garnered just short of 95% of the funds.

Rare Chinese And Asian Banknotes Under Hammer

Archives International Auctions (based in Fort Lee, N.J.) will offer over 500 lots of rare Chinese and Asian banknotes, plus scripophily rarities (stocks and bonds), in a public auction slated for Sunday, May 24th. The event will be held at the offices of Kelleher & Rogers, Fine Asian Auctions Ltd., in Hong Kong.

Headlining the auction will be an amazing family archive of Chinese and Asian banknotes from Alexander I. Pogrebetsky (1891-1952). The notes are part of Pogrebetsky’s reference collection, gathered over a 30-year period, between 1918 and 1948, when Pogrebetsky lived and worked in China and was involved in finance and banking there.

Alexander Pogrebetsky was an economist and financier by trade. After the Russian Revolution and the communist takeover there, he relocated to Harbin, China around 1922, where he became Head of the Board for the Chinese Eastern Railway Co., which ran from Vladivostok to Harbin. After 1935 he left Harbin and relocated to Tientsin, China, where he co-owned a private bank.

Highlights from the collection include a Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan banknote, the earliest form of paper money available in the world.

Asian Buyers Splash $96m On Van Gogh And Picasso Works

Two notable works of art by Van Gogh and Picasso were purchased at auction in New York this week by Asian buyers. Just over $96 million was shelled out for the paintings.

Picasso’s “Femme au Chignon Dans un Fauteuil,” above, which carried a presale estimate of $18 million went under the hammer at $29.9 million. The buyer is said to be Chinese movie mogul Wang Zhongjun. The portrait was previously owned by one of Hollywood’s oldest dynasty’s, the Goldwyn family.

The Van Gogh painting L'Allee des Alyscamps sold for $66.3 million to an unnamed Asian buyer who had a representative bidding at the auction.

In total Sotheby’s registered sales of $368 million on the night.

Compare my salary

Compare my salary

Feeling Underpaid? Benchmark your salary by job title, company and location. Find out where you stand in minutes.

compare my salary


Newsletter-SymbolFree Subscription

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive daily email alerts from the finews editorial team with a list of the top featured articles.

Share with us

Do you have any market intelligence to share with – email us on – All communication is completely confidential and strictly anonymous.