PARIS - The Paris Asian Art sale on 12 December is studded with highlights from a rare Imperial gilt-bronze archaistic temple bell, Bianzhong, Qing Dynasty, Kangxi Period, dated 1713 and a fine and rare Imperial embellished zitan book carriage, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (1736–95) to a fine and rare well-carved mottled celadon and russet jade rhyton, 17th/18th century or a fine and large carved pale celadon and russet jade boulder, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (1736–95).

It is impossible to select a particular favourite from among these but one that must surely capture the imagination is an unusually large moonflask boldly decorated in underglaze-blue and vibrant colours of the doucai palette with cranes flying over branches with laden with peaches.

A Rare and Large Doucai Moonflask
, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period (1736–95). Estimate €80,000–120,000.

It was made in the 18th century in Jingdezhen and found its way to France some time in the 19th century. It was discovered by chance by a member of the Asian Art department in Paris on a visit to a château in the south of France. The vase had been in the family for well over 100 years and had originally been acquired by the Comte Louis de Montgermont (1792–1854), Head of the Bank of France.

Comte Louis de Montgermont (1792–1854), Head of the Bank of France.

The Comte’s impressive art collection was passed down in the family, yet while parts of it were sold in the early 1900s in Paris, this wonderful example of Chinese porcelain remained in their possession. It is a tantalising testimony to the many treasures of Chinese art hiding in private European collections just waiting to be discovery.