As a living culture dating back 5000-plus years, Chinese art from antiquity offers a wealth of styles and materials. Interest has grown in Chinese art in recent decades as the country has grown and become more open. The result has been an enormous increase in the number of works of Chinese art available to collectors.
Cloisonné, stone sculptures of basalt and jade, terracotta sculptures, porcelain wares, silk paintings, and works on paper, to name a few, display the vast mix of Chinese art created over the centuries.
Comprising a range of cultures, the art of Southeast Asia cannot be described as a single idea. Indigenous societies mixed with Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam have all played their part in influencing sculpture, painting and textiles from the region.
Some of the most beautiful and recognisable works of art from some of the most incredible ancient civilisations of antiquity originate from this region such as the Ankor in Cambodia.
Cultures or countries include: Cambodia, Khmer, Thai, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.
Tribal art from the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Australasia has been a mainstay of our auctions. Over the years we have sold museum quality works of art with excellent provenance, from indigenous cultures across the globe. These have ranged from wood and stone carvings, to adorned heads, bead and sennit (woven fibre) decorated bowls, battle clubs, shields, neck rests, musical instruments, hair and body ornaments.
Cultures and regions include: indigenous art from Australia, the Dyak people of Borneo, the Sepik River and others regions of Papua New Guinea; and Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian cultures broadly.
India and the Himalaya
The Indian Subcontinent and the Himalaya provide masterpieces of Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic art from the regions religious life and then secular works from the Indian Mughal and Rajput courts. Intricate stone carvings and finely-detailed bronze sculptures are some of the most recognisable works of art from this area.
Gandhara and the Indus
Two of the great early cosmopolitan cultures were the Gandharan and the Indus Valley civilisations.
The Indus was one of the three Old World civilisations (Egypt and Mesopotamia being the other two) and dates from c.6th millennium BC. It lay on the Northwest frontier of India and was the most widespread of these three.
The Kingdom of Gandhara was located at the intersection of what is now north-west Pakistan and north east Afghanistan on the prosperous Silk Road.
Both these cultures have left with us a tantalising combination of mystery and beauty. The art is greatly sought-after by collectors and we have had the good fortune to have sold a great many works at our auctions.
Regions include: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northwest India.
Egypt and Classical
Classical Antiquity is the broad-ranging terms for the Greco-Roman civilisations based around the Mediterranean Sea and we include Egypt here for geographical reasons.
When we think of art from antiquity these evocative early civilisations are usually at the forefront of our minds due to the lavishness and accessibility of their art. Fine pottery urns from Greece, gold and faïence jewellery creations from Egypt, and stone sculptures or mosaics from Rome are some of the best-known styles from these cultures.